I had the great pleasure of doing a 3 day workshop for the Fraser Valley Artists in Surrey BC, April 1-3. It was an urban landscape workshop. Most participants were relatively new to this subject matter. That’s actually an advantage because I like to start off by practicing and playing with some of the urban landscape elements.
I find every workshop is different and has it’s own flavour. This workshop was a little different in that the participants were by and large very accomplished artists. That required me to go a little further in terms of my demos. However, I find that it is nearly always beneficial to go a little past my comfort zone and that was the case this time.
I like to get the people painting as soon as possible so we started practicing how to paint figures and cars the first morning and them I demoed in the afternoon. The class wanted to see me complete as much of the painting as possible in class so I didn’t get to work on it that night in the hotel (which I love doing). It’s based on a view of St Mary’s Church in Calgary. In the reference photo the street is lined with banners but I’ve grown tired of painting banners so I changed them to palm trees. This is that demo at the end of the workshop.
Demo 1 end of workshop
When I got home I finished it off like this. I felt that it need something in the sky to solidify that area and I love the trolley lines of Vancouver so they were added.
Demo 1 final
It’s been said that it’s better to leave a painting a bit underworked rather than a bit overworked and I did overwork it somewhat but I still like it.
The second demo was a brand new painting for me. I just love this particular grouping of cars and I was determined to down play the buildings in order to serve the story happening in the foreground. This is how it looked at the end of the workshop. I like the framing device of having darker figure shapes at each side of the painting.
Demo 2 end of workshop
This is the demo as far as I’ve taken it. It’s still only about 75% finished but I like it so much that I want to live with it for a while in order to see what it needs.
Demo 2 final
We only had half a day for the third demo so I didn’t get much finished. I find the perspective of this image to be very interesting even though the distortion is an artifact caused by the nature of a camera lens.
Demo 3 end of workshop
(I have made a video clip analyzing this painting that you might find useful). It’s actually quite a simple painting even though it looks hard. Here is the final version.
Demo 3 final
I was very impressed with all the paintings produced by the group and I managed to get photos of a couple of examples. These are also not complete but show a strong grasp of all the ideas that we covered.
The artists who attended the workshop were a very friendly, very accomplished and very enthusiastic group. There was a lot of laughter. I have come to find that when a workshop works well I’m always inspired to paint more and that was my experience with this weekend. Here are some shots of the class.
The class at play
I would like to thank the Fraser Valley Artists for the invitation.
If you would like to see one of the participants take on the workshop visit Wendy Mould’s blog.