Thursday, April 5, 2012

Back to My Birthday

This year for my birthday (March 17) I chose to celebrate by attending an all day painting class at Red Deer College.  It was a treat!  I really, really liked the instructor, Jean Pederson, from Calgary.  There were five middle aged women in the class, and we all got along very well.

Jean started by talking with us about the elements of painting, and how one element (colour or form, for example) should predominate in a painting.  Then she started us off by demonstrating on a large canvas on the floor, dropping paint here and there, swooping some gels around the canvas, then spraying with water and spreading with a really big brush, or by tilting the canvas this way and that.

We all got started, and I really enjoyed this part.  I was even very happy with the result that I got.  Then we went for lunch.  After lunch Jean had us pick out a good painting from a book of classic paintings.  We drew three thumbnail sketches of the forms in the painting, and then, with watercolour crayon, drew those shapes over our "underpainting."  That's where I fell off the track.  I couldn't mix a good grey, just not enough experience mixing paints.  So I got a dark blue, which really covered up the painting I already had.  I tried to remove it, but was only partially successful.

At that point we were supposed to paint another painting, a realistic one, ex. a landscape or vase of flowers, over top of the grey, and then scrap with various tools, down to the underpainting to bring some of those colours through.  I never did get to the realistic painting.

Instead  I started another canvas, and that was not as successful as the first.

I liked painting on a large canvas (24" by 36"), something I had never done before.  I want to try some more paintings along this line, and I do have two more canvases to use.  But I want to develop a picture from what I see in the "underpainting" not to impose another painting on it.

Here's what I took home:

And here's a close up:

I had a really good time, and I think this part, anyway, of the painting is pretty neat.  Maybe I should just cut up the canvas so that this is the whole painting!


  1. I like it a lot, particularly the close up. You should bring along some art supplies when you come to Yosemite.

  2. I'll put them on the list to pack along. Not this sort, though, that canvas is 2' x 3'. A sketch book and some watercolours, probably.