I had the opportunity to work with a bright and engaging group of painters at Gibsons School of the Arts just recently. Omigosh, they worked so hard! This is a demo painting I did about half way through the workshop.
The room was silent, as students one by one came to the realization that I WAS REALLY ASKING THEM TO PAINT WHAT THEY SAW. I think some had hoped there was some "wiggle room" in the task I was asking them to perform; namely that of painting from life, and getting all the shapes, tones, and colors right. Thought also needed to be given to design - in fact design was the first job on the slate as they each set up their own still life. The angst was palpable at times due to frustration levels rising as different challenges presented themselves, one by one.
In the end, everyone was smiling and quite pleased and perhaps surprised by what they had accomplished. They also (I hope) came away with the knowledge that the point of the excercise here WAS the excercise. The practice, on a regular basis, of training your eye to see by painting and drawing by life, is the best skill builder I have ever run across.
My thanks to Sandra, Terry, Shirley and all the folks at Gibsons School of the Arts for a wonderful instructing experience. Thanks also to my hard working and good natured students. You guys were amazing, and it was a pleasure to work with you.
Keep that paint flying!