This past weekend I took a painting workshop with Frank Serrano, an Artist Member of the California Art Club, to learn urban plein air painting. I have been primarily working from photographs in my recent work, figure drawing is all I’ve really done working from life. I’ve painted outside a few times but never with any instruction. This was a great experience! Here are some photos of what I did on Saturday…
The pictures on the left show my reference and on the right are the paintings I did. Frank demonstrated before each new subject and explained his process. After the demo we were let loose to find our spots and whip out the paint. You can see in the first photo that I have 2 artists painting a different view sitting right in the middle of my painting. Thank goodness he told us we could leave stuff out!
In the early part of the day the light changed so much that you really had to nail down where your light and shadows were going to be so you didn’t keep changing things. By the time we left the first location it was 1pm and time for lunch. We moved to our next location in a more industrial section of Burbank. Frank really knows some interesting spots. I have to say I preferred the gritty industrial section of Burbank to the horse alley we started with. I love the little field studies I did that day, I didn’t have a chance to finish them as we ran out of light but I did learn a lot that day.
The main lessons I came away with were…
- Stay loose – don’t worry so much about the small stuff.
- Pick you focus and gray the other areas down.
- I’m the artist…if the picture is better with something left out or changed, do it!
If you can think of anything I missed or have any feedback, leave a comment I’d love to know what you think.
After just one day I knew I would have a different approach to photographs so I’m testing out my new skills…stay tuned!
This blog is about my journey as an artist so aside from my art, I’m going to share with you the things I’ve learned that have helped me or inspired me to keep at it and become a success.
One of the biggest reasons I put aside art for as long as I did was that I had a hard time dealing with the fact that I was producing all these paintings and then they proceeded to sit in my basement, it just seemed pointless. I didn’t need more stuff to store in my basement – I already had plenty of that! I didn’t have the time or energy to really make it as an artist, I had to make a living after all. So I put it in the closet for the next 5 years.
This year things changed…I changed. I realized that it was possible to be successful as an artist. If others could do it, I could too. I took my art out of the closet and I started producing so many paintings that I risked flooding the basement. But this time I was determined, I was not going to let it pile up in the basement. I just had to figure out what successful artists were doing because it was obviously something that I was missing.
The first thing I did was I stopped being a Facebook snob that only accepted people as friends that I actually knew. Sounds silly but soon after I put up a photo album with my art I started getting requests from other artists. From these friendly artists I’ve learned valuable information that has helped me in my journey to find out the secrets I was seeking. Two weeks ago it lead me to the most amazing discovery yet. Through an art blog that was recommended by one of my new friends I found a book written by a gallery owner called “Starving to Successful” . I read the book in an afternoon. I believe that it is THE book for an artist that wants to be successful. I found that I was doing a lot of things right (which was nice to know) but it completely filled in all those questions marks that I had. I’m grateful to the author J. Jason Horejs for writing the book and helping me in my journey to become a professional artist and keeping me from stumbling around in the dark.
After being away from drawing and painting for 5 years I attended a model workshop today at McGroarty Art Center. Feeling rusty and out of shape, I opted to a simple sketch and not be so ambitious and tackle a painting. Here is my 3 hour sketch which I added a little color pencil to.