I have been wanting to explore ways to make larger studio paintings from my many small, quick studies. It can be very challenging to maintain the freshness and observed sense of light and color, while resolving everything as it needs to be in a larger work. That's the focus of this workshop, developing a strategy to make that possible. The quickly-painted color studies are not meant to record detail or accurate drawing or composition, because reference photos can resolve all of that later; but the plein air studies are crucial as a record of the color and light that can only be observed by the human eye. They are the only color reference used in creating the finished painting.
On Friday, we painted quick color studies in two beautiful places here in San Diego. Marian Bear Park, and Torrey Pines State Reserve. Here are the 8X10 color studies I did, along with photos I took of the scenes.
Torrey Pines Reserve is full of rugged, tangled trees and harsh, windswept landscape that doesn't really have a lot of color (especially when the ocean mist is in the air, as it was that day). The photos show just how much chaos there is in the actual landscape, and this is easiest to edit when you can move side to side to see beyond the unwanted obstacles and observe the color of the area beyond.
Over the next two days in the studio, we chose one of our studies and learned how to use various image manipulation techniques with the reference photos to resolve all matters of composition. Then, using those corrections with our on-site color study, we completed a larger, finished painting. I'll post more about that process tomorrow, along with the finished painting.