His famous "L's"
Our five day Southwestern Watercolor Society workshop with instructor Arne Westerman began today. I will post a few highlights minus some of the funny jokes. He began painting after a successful career in advertising at about age 50.
1. He asked us to do things "his way" this week and that included careful planning of our design before painting.
2. We brought our own reference material and took that photo and did a 4 x 5 value and composition thumbnail. Each student's work is critiqued in a group situation so all benefited from the instruction.
3. He used the "L" shapes, cut up mats, to crop and edit these thumbnails and photos still looking for the best design.
4. He was not happy that so many of us brought small 4 x 6 photos to work from. He loved it when someone had an 8 x 10 to work from. He had large photos to share for any that didn't bring a project to paint on.
5. There is no such thing as equality in a painting. Something has to be dominant and the center of interest.
6. Forget accuracy and go for the artistic statement.
7. Try to be original in thinking and working and do not copy the photograph but make it your own. Move things around. Don't reproduce what you see but use what you need.
8. He promises to show us "how not to worry about our backgrounds".
9. Tuesday we will work on our 7 x 11 color study from our thumbnail.
10. First thing in the morning we'll see his slides and more discussion about what makes a good painting.
We are painting in Irving in a large room at the Jaycee Park, Center for the Arts, one of the BEST places to take a workshop. We have a table to ourselves, kitchen facilities, with large sliding glass doors to the outside where there is a park and a small pond with ducks. The weather was sunny and warm. It was a great day. At many workshops, participants have stayed up late the night before getting ready, nervous about the instructor, and start out wondering if will they get a "good" spot or know anyone, travel long distances and in sometimes horrible, slow moving traffic but despite all of these obstacles you have a great time trying out new techniques and we'll be ready for Arne's instructions on how to complete our color studies for our masterpiece.