Kathleen Dunphy plein air workshop was an amazing experience. Not only was the town of Murphys quite a discovery (who wudda thunk), but in 3 days, Kathleen managed to make plein air painting “do-able.” Up until now, my efforts have been cumbersome and inefficient – and not worth the energy. And several of the lessons (aha moments) apply to studio work as well.
Quick rundown of the major take-aways:
- Don’t take anything you don’t need; and you need much less than you think. I had already streamlined my backpack and reduced what I brought to the bare minimums since I was flying. After the first morning lecture, I managed to reduce my pack by another 50%. I got rid of all the “aids” I’ve never used, the extra paints and mediums and resolved to take the glass out of my palette box.
- You can make almost any color you need with a very limited palette. Kathleen had us using the basics: Titanium White, Cad Yellow Lemon, Naples Yellow, Perm Red, Ultramarine Blue and Cold Grey. Everything else derived from those tubes of paint.
- Draw, sketch for design (composition) Shape of composition determines shape and size of canvas. Put drawing on canvas then look at the scene.
- Pre-mix colors: Standard secondaries: violet, orange & green. Then colors to match the scene. Can see the whole basic color selection on palette – great to preview to make sure they all work together.
Finally, Kathleen takes her studies to the studio for the final 10% painting. The three days’ work is still unfinished, will post finished ones once they are done. In the mean time, here’s what came out of the weekend.