I'm finally back from my travels, to the workshop and then visiting family (and painting on my own) for a week. As for our move to Italy, my husband leaves in less than a week, and I'll follow sometime in July, as soon as my visa comes through.
The workshop was brilliant! By recounting each day of it here, I hope to deepen my own understanding of the principles and renew my commitment to the practice of seeing and representing color in a new way. Our brains are naturally programmed to see only local color; we differentiate objects primarily through line and value, and my past experience in art school did little to change that. Learning to see and represent light and color the way the Colorists do is incredibly invigorating, and is already changing much about the way I see the world.
We began with block studies, which Camille demonstrated. This is the setup she was painting:
And here is how she demonstrated a beginner's painting of it (from a more elevated viewpoint):
It's critical to see the relationship between the color notes and the light keys. That's what makes a painting work, to convey a sense of bright sunlight and deep shadow. Every plane on the blocks and the tabletop has a slightly different color, even if they look very similar. In reality, no two distinct planes are exactly the same color, so it's important to represent that.
We were instructed to "paint like beginners"--meaning that, for the purpose of the exercise, we were to properly relate all the color notes and light keys, while disregarding reflected light and color changes within each plane--just one color to represent light, one for shadow, within each plane. My first study shows some understanding of representing the relationship of sunlit and shadow planes of Blue, Green, and White blocks on a light pink and light yellow cloth, but there's still reliance on local color and on value:
My second study, White, Yellow and Red blocks on light blue and light pink cloths, went through a lot of adjustments to relate the color notes and light keys correctly:
I need a lot more practice with these.
Tomorrow, more block studies, including some round objects! Days 3 and 4, landscape!