Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ray Roberts Workshop Continues

Ray painted two demos on day one.   The second was really a tree portrait painted almost in silhouette against the bright grey sky.   Here are some points he made:
  • Every tree has its own contour. 
  • Paint groups of leaves rather than individual leaves and find the rhythm and unifying graphic sense to the groups.
  • You are orchestrating a gestural summary.
  • There needs to be a balance between unity and tension.
  • You should have mostly leaves or mostly sky... never 1/2 1/2.
  • THIS WAS A CONSTANT THEME..... Find the rhythm... all paintings are patterns of light and dark...  It's all "stuff" in the sunlight... not things.
  • Paint a few and indicate the rest.

On the second day we had hoped for clear skies but were disappointed.  So after a brief talk and some scouting around we each found a sycamore or other try with a shape that pleased us and tried to paint.  Here are some notes from day two:
  • The eye goes to where there is the most contrast.
  • Be faithful to the light.
  • Outdoor light harmonizes the colors.
  • Ray says he's tonalist in composition, but colorist when he paints.
  • He likes leaf patterns that spiral around the trunk or branch.
  • Pay attention to patterns and rhythms.
  • Ray calls himself a "movement" kind of guy rather than a "focal point" kind of guy.
  • Incorporate the contrast in the scene to help the design of your painting.
 Because we feared more poor weather, we decided to paint in the studio on the morning of the third day rather than in the afternoon of the third day.  (Turned out to be a beautiful morning...)  But you never know with plein air... It is what it is.

In the afternoon we were back to Eaton Canyon to paint outside again.  We painted and then Ray did a demo of the canyon again -- this time emphasizing the beautiful colors of the setting sun on the San Gabriels.  
 I'll discuss some of Ray's tips about working in the studio (We were in the studio for 1/2 day on the third day and the whole fourth day.) in my next post.

1 comment:

CrimsonLeaves said...

Love the bullet points of the highlights of the workshop, Marian! Sycamore trees are beautiful.

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