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.
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.
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.
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.
Judy telling a funny story in one of the breaks (much to Charles’ annoyance).
The finished piece.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The drawing – I’m always happy at this point in the proceedings. Took around 20 minutes.