Monday, June 21, 2010

Workshop - Day 1

8:45 and I pull into the parking lot of Cheap Joe’s. Nerves on edge, I parked, ready? For the first day.

The studio is well light, and spacious. Even though the room was just about filled, it was not crowded. Most seemed quite experienced, which I found a bit intimidating.

Nonetheless, I was there to learn and learn I did.

Sean Dye is the name of the man leading the workshop. You can see his work on his website, Sean Dye Studio. He does have a unique way of starting a painting.

He encouraged everyone to try a variety of surfaces. Being at Cheap Joe’s, these were readily available. He also talked about adding texture at the beginning, even before the underpainting.

First painting, we had a choice of mediums to add texture, gel medium, modeling paste, etc.

I used a really rough one with pumice in it, as I had use the smoother gel medium before. I am doing a painting with a lot of rocks in it, and the medium will determine where the rocks are.

Also, a new thought, he makes sure he tints his canvases with a mat acrylic. Most acrylics tend to have a shine to it, but a mat acrylic will give you a little better hold for the later oil layers. This may be why from time to time we get a complaint about adhesion on the painting forum. They may be using a high gloss acrylic paint for their underpainting. I did not realize there was such a thing, but there is.

A solid acrylic wash was put over the entire canvas, and then it was set out in the sun to dry. Today the temp got up to 87°, drying did not take long!

One really new thought, he sketches his oil painting, not with pencil or charcoal, but with India ink! It does not react with oils at all.

Tried it, and it does make for a great way to draw out the painting.

After the line drawing, we then used ink washes to locate and set our lights, mediums and darks.

After that was dried, we had choice again of medium for the underpainting. I have used acrylics before, but again, mat acrylics to insure there is no trouble with the later oil layers. But the other choice was gouache. I never heard of this, but watched his demo, and it works! This tends to be a thin layer, which is what you want. This underpainting is done in complementary colors, so they tend to look weird.

Then the layers of oils were begun. Using a drying medium and very thin paint, color is built up thinly but quickly.

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