Monday, February 13, 2017

Preparing for a Demo

 Demo - Jackson Dinghy
8"x8" on 3/4" gallery wrap canvas

Practice - Jackson Dinghy
8"x8" on 3/4" gallery wrap canvas
Available here

On Saturday I did a demo at the For the Love of Art event at the Drawing Room at Anthi Frangiadis Associates in Marion, MA. It was a lot of fun, with engaged viewers who asked very good questions. It had been a couple of years since I'd done a full painting demo, but lots of hours teaching with minim demos had happened in between. Luckily I also remembered something I'd learned in my previous career, after not doing very well on panel discussion that I tried to do off the top of my head: preparation is key! Here's my advice and what I did to prepare:

- Choose subject your audience can appreciate. I prefer to do demos from life, but that has to be balanced with what your audience would like to see. In this boating community, I knew what my subject needed to be, even though it was the dead of winter!

- Choose a painting that you've painted before.

- Practice the drawing several times over a couple of days. A solid drawing makes for a stress free demo. My goal was to draw from the photo and then to add a grid and compare my drawing on the canvas with a photo that also had the grid as a way for the viewers to check my accuracy. So I practiced drawing on paper from the plain photo and then adding the gird and fixing my mistakes. It was instructive!

- Practice the demo painting, i.e., paint the whole thing. This was important because it had been a couple of years since I'd painted the original. I had to remember how to mix all the colors so as to not waste time experimenting during the demo. And I found that my current process (with a value under painting and two layers of color) took more than 2 hours, so I shortened it to one layer of color for the demo.

- I didn't practice what I was going to say. I could talk all day long about the painting process!

Interestingly, even with the explanations and answering questions, the demo was less than an hour and a half, so all was well. And I enjoyed it! That's good because I've got another one scheduled for an event in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, in June.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Liqueur and Clementine

Liqueur and Clementine
8"x6" oil on canvas panel
Available at Yarmouth Frame and Gallery

 Drawing into the yellow ochre background with the wipe out tool, zoom in to get a better view

 First thin color block-in
Second pass with color

When painting a glass object, it can be hard to capture the small changes in value between the glass, edges, and background if you do your drawing in dark-ish paint, like I usually do. that problem can be solved by using an initial under painting that matches the value of the background, and drawing into it using a wipe out tool, like the one made by Kemper.

Thanks to Robert Abele for showing me this method!