Birds again

Even though I’ve been at a workshop I can’t neglect my birdmaster duties.   Here we have the common shelduck which came out rather well.

This one is the black chinned mountain tanager which I tried to make a little sploshier and didn’t come out so well.  I actually did this one first so maybe I need to have a warm up bird to get into the groove.

Charles Reid Workshop 2015 – Day 5

Day 5 was our day to paint outside.   This is always tough and energy was low.   It’s surprisingly draining sitting around painting all day and I was wondering how I was going to keep up the enthusiasm for an extra week.

We all drove out to Rocky Neck  in Gloucester where the 
North Shore Art Association

 headquarters is located.  It’s a fantastic spot and we could easily paint here for a month without running out of subject matter.   There’s a great view across the water of Gloucester town hall and views of boats on the water in 3 directions.   Even the NAA building itself is worthy of a painting.  This was going to be tough!!

But down to business.   Charles chose a view with several foreground boats with the Gloucester skyline in the distance.

Everyone was very fidgety and Charles wasn’t very talkative today.  He started off with a partial drawing.    Boats (like planes) have a tendency to disappear at a moment’s notice so he draws a bit then paints a bit just in case.

Everything was very bold.   Peacock blue was used for the water which made everything pop but somehow still works.

As time went on the foreground was looking a little bare so Charles plucked a photo from his portfolio decided to stick a figure there instead.    This is actually a picture of John Singer Sargent, one of the most famous watercolorists.

Our turn came after lunch.   It was very hot and I was anxious to finish and had the intention of choosing a pretty simple view with not much in it.  

I failed at this – what I thought was simple to start turned out to be a bit of an epic.   This is always a problem when painting outside.  You have no idea of how complex things are around you until you start trying to paint them.  I would have been better off just picking one or two boats.

This was the end result and it’s not one of my best but I was pretty happy under the circumstances.

Charles Reid Workshop 2015 – Day 4 Painting 2

As I’m Speedy Gonzales now I spent the last hour doing another model (also called Gina).   I’m pretty happy all round today – having a blast!    Kie who was sitting next to me gave me some good advice about putting more color into the face which worked well.   To be honest I could have gone even stronger.   Must remember that next week.

Charles Reid Workshop 2015 – Day 4 Painting 1

So this afternoon the first model was Gina.  She has wonderful curly red hair and a really intense expression.  She was great fun to paint and came out well.

First washes and some detail in the features.  This was another 20 minutes (I’m speeding up).

More detail in the features and the start of the hair.

Charles Reid Workshop 2015 – Day 3

My day three painting.

Charles did the drawing and then went through the colors – cad red and cad yellow for skin tones with added cerulean for cooler areas.

Our model in a rest period.

My view.  Second row today.

20 minutes in – the drawing is done and I was very happy so far.

; I had a bit of trouble with the cheek shadows but there wasn’t much I could do so I left it.

Charles Reid Workshop 2015 – Day 3 Bonus Post

So I was up bright and early and at the workshop location by 7:30.    Just time to paint the still life that Charles did yesterday before we start on the demo.

Drawing went well – some peace and quiet is welcome

Half way through.   Frankly I wasn’t too confident how this would turn out but I was pretty happy.  The white flowers are looking good and the vase came out well.

The finished product.    I had to rush at the end as we were waiting for the model to turn up and my poor bottom left hand bird suffered yet again.

Charles Reid Workshop 2015 – Day 2

My day 2 effort.
Day 2 was still life again and we started 9:15 sharp with Charles demoing another flower based still life. 

The setup (the coffee cup isn’t part of it).    All the flowers were white today which I really like and I much prefer this to yesterday’s. 

 I don’t seem to have taken a picture of just the drawing but here it is after the first bout of painting (roughly 40 minutes in).  He started with the shadow of the vase and worked is way up through the dark foliage pieces to the white flowers.  Finally before the break he put in the background which helps to bring out the edges of the white flowers.

My view today – much better than yesterday as I was in the front row.

Second stage (40 minutes of painting, 20 of drawing).   The leaves were put in – again helping to bring out the white flowers and the detail and shadow on the vase.

Almost finished now.  The vase has been finished and most of the foreground.

The final thing.  I think this is absolutely spectacular.  When he’s on his game Mr Reid is second to none.   Judy said this might not be for sale at the end.  She can’t bear to part with some paintings and I think this might be one of them.

Ok now me.  Oh dear.

This was my setup today.  Not as ambitious as Mr Reid’s but that might have been a mistake.  Anyway here we go.

 Drawing.  All fine so far.

Hmm ok.   Well it could be worse I suppose.  I wasn’t really happy with this although Charles patted me on the shoulder and said I was a good painter.   I struggled a lot and it came out a little stodgy.    
Like yesterday Charles said the bottom left hand part of the picture was the weakest (actually he said that at the last workshop too – must be a thing).    He suggested putting the pattern on the bottle (it was facing the other way originally) which I did and I think it’s better.
Not ecstatic but not too disappointed.   Carnations are always hard to paint and I tried to put some detail of the petals in (they usually come out like splodges).    Even though I don’t like the painting as a whole the carnations are the best I’ve managed so far.

Ok – off for a walk now. 

Charles Reid Workshop 2015 – Day 1 Bonus Post

After coming back from dinner I managed to balance my watercolor block on my knees and painted the setup that Charles painted.     It was a bit awkward and I was a bit tired but it came out ok.  I don’t recommend painting in bed.  Hard on the bed linen. 

Charles Reid Workshop 2015 – Day 1

So finally it’s here – day 1 of the Charles Reid workshop.  I had a horrific night’s sleep due to there being live music at the hotel and being kept awake by people scraping furniture around for 30 minutes at 2 am.   The parking was horrendous and Charlie had to be shoe horned into a far corner of the carpark.  The room is serviceable though and the view is nice.

The workshop location was nice and easy to find albeit not particularly photogenic.  the space is big and airy and there’s coffee and home made muffins on tap.

 Now I’m a veteran of the Charles Reid courses there were no surprises today.    In the morning Charles does a demo and we all sit around and watch.  He takes a break every 20 minutes or so which lets us take photos of the progress.

First off – flowers.  Charles is a big fan of still life setups with flowers and there’s usually a duck/fruit/other things scattered around. 

 This was the setup  – note the very nice duck decoy in the background.  Thankfully Charles and Judy had brought several decoys with them which I was very happy about.

The drawing.  No sketchiness but definite lines and drawn mostly without taking the pencil off the paper.  This took about 20 minutes.

Charles gave us a quick tour of his paints and then straight in with the vase and the flowers.  He leaves a lot of white on the paper,  even (especially?) in the dense foliage parts which gives a liveliness to the painting.  I noticed that, like last time, he started with the internals of the vase which isn’t the most important part.  He did say a couple of times that things often start off a bit rocky and it takes a little time to get into a painting.  Starting with a relatively unimportant part hides any early screwups.

 My view from the back row.   However with my trusty binoculars I could see things as though they were 6 inches away.

 A bit further on.   This is after 2 20 minute painting bursts.  Mr Reid goes very quickly.

And finished.    Pretty good huh?  

Now for my turn.

We all went to our painting stations after lunch (mine is in the front on the right hand side) and we had different still life setups in front of us.

This was ours.  Not bad and there’s even a bird decoy in there.  Time to get cracking.

 The drawing – I’m always happy at this point in the proceedings.  Took around 20 minutes.

The painting went pretty quickly and I’d finished in around 90 minutes.  Charles said he didn’t like the bird in the left hand corner which I didn’t either and frankly I’d put in at the end when I was flagging a bit.   The photo shows it after  little doctoring (warming up the colors a little) and he said it was much better.
I’m pretty happy.  Flowers are always hard and workshops are hard to do your best work in.   On top of that I was standing up at a table which I don’t like but I think things came out not too bad.