Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"Hiesler Park, Laguna Beach" ©

Day One, John Cosby Workshop-

Cosby teaches a limited palette, 3 pile of paint method. The result is a very fast way to identify, shift and control the temperature quickly. For plein air painting it's magic. He has spent years finding just the right primary colors, Cadmium Lemon Yellow, Chinese Vermilion and Ultra Maine Blue. The only addition to these is a Titanium/Zinc White. Starting out we mixed 3 piles of the main mass area in the general value, without putting a brush to the panel. I liked this time of mixing to glance at my subject and get familiar slowly, rather then diving in as usual. Next we massed in thinly the main areas, in my case the sand, water and cliff. Finding the focal point and completely working it out was the next step. Then within the large masses we were looking for connections, areas to create interest and always a way to lead the eye to the focal point. And finally a few finishing details of light and dark. The best lesson I gained from the first day was to hold back my darkest dark and lightest light until the very end of the painting, keeping the values toward the middle range. The gift of this waiting, allows the painter to add tiny highlights that really sing and nice deep darks that give a big punch.

Oil on panel, 8" X 10"


Marian Fortunati said...

Seems like you're having a great time and learning too!!
What could be better?

Unknown said...

I really like the idea of the 3 colours + white, Laura. Must try that myself.
Hope the commission's going well.

Laura Wambsgans said...

Thanks John and Marian- John 3 colors is freeing, I think you'll like it. Also by mixing everything on your palette you can look at the values right next to one another and make adjustments, saving tons of time. Marian, you would be in heaven down here, Sharon too. It's gorgeous, really kind artists from all over sharing tips. John brings out the best in everyone. Maybe next year? Thanks for the comments....Laura

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