We met in Nicasio, a very small village southwest of Petaluma. This was our first day utilizing what we had learned from the block studies to convey sunlight and shadow on larger forms: houses, trees, fields. This is the first scene we painted:
Here is the first stage of Camille's demo painting--all the main color notes have been stated and relationships established:
And here is Camille's completed demo painting:
The magenta undertones in the sky and trees still show through the touches of local color, and convey the sense of coolness in the shadow planes. The morning sky really did have a violet cast to it. Camille used brushes for her demo paintings today, mainly so that she could work faster; most of the students also used brushes. Honestly I feel that their work suffered for it, because it is so much more difficult to keep color clean with brushes, especially when there is indecision. And there was a LOT of that today. I preferred to stick with palette knives. This is my painting (12" X 9") of the same house, from a different vantage point:
I love the fact that Camille will say exactly what she thinks at all times, and will step in and correct something that isn't working. She helped me immensely with so many elements of my work every day during the workshop. Here, the roadway in front of the house. It was an asphalt road, and I couldn't get past the blue-grey local color of it to depict the sense of the sunlight on it. Camille mixed that warm tan color and laid it in, and there it was, a sunlit roadway! She also uses the same terminology that I've always used to describe painting--it's a language. We learn to express ourselves in that language as we acquire the vocabulary, and that is a long-term process. I understand that very well, since I taught languages before I became a painter. And it's exciting to think of painting as a life-long learning process.
Here's the second scene that we painted today--the early stage of Camille's painting is at the lower left:
Here's a better look at the first color notes in Camille's demo painting:
This was afternoon, and along with the temperature, the sky color had significantly warmed. Her initial color notes here reflect that increased warmth. She used a brush for the initial stages, and incorporated palette knife work in the finished painting:
Her handling of paint with a knife is absolutely incredible to see. There's a subtle calligraphy to it and a perfect mastery of technique that shows in every stroke of her work.
Here is my afternoon painting (9" X 12"):
Camille stepped in and removed some of the fussy-ness that I'm prone to, making the statements of foreground and background much more positive and definite. The colors didn't need much adjustment.
Tomorrow, we paint at the famous Wetlands where Camille produced a series of work that left me speechless the first time I saw it.