My most recent 2-full day workshop was in beautiful southern Indiana – Brown County Art Gallery, Nashville, IN. Abstract Paintings of Nature in Watercolor was finally a go – because of COVID19, this workshop had been rescheduled! But things started to come back to some form of normal and Jeanne Bennett, Gallery Manager, and I were bound and determined to have it happen. Last years' workshop was so enjoyable I wanted to build on it.
As you can figure all of my events had been canceled earlier this year. Marilee and I were incredibly organized this year with scheduling teaching, workshops, shows, and demos This was the weirdest thing to see it vaporize before our very eyes.
WELCOME TO THE "LITTLE SMOKY MOUNTAINS"
Brown County, IN is a mecca for artists. Known as the Little Smoky Mountains Indiana's beautiful artistic hill country, The drive into Nashville never ceases to amaze me. According to WGN 9 TV in Chicago, Brown County has more artists per capita than anywhere else in the Midwest. Once you visit this area its easy to understand why artists are drawn to its beauty. The rolling hills, lush forests, and winding roads along with picturesque cottages make for a perfect canvas.
HISTORIC BROWN COUNTY ART GALLERY
Here's a little history about the historic Brown County Art Gallery. The gallery has a rich background. The gallery was established in 1926 by the early members of an important regional art colony who began exploring rural southern Indiana in the 1890s. These early artists had been trained in the best art schools of Europe and America and were attracted to the rolling hills of Brown County because it offered both dramatic landscapes and interesting people to serve as subjects for their work.
In 1926, they formed the Brown County Art Gallery Artists Association, which I am a member of and set up a gallery in a former grocery store donated by a patron. For over eight decades, the Gallery has managed to survive wars, depressions, recessions, fire, and relocation, making it one of the oldest galleries in the United States.
The Brown County Art Gallery Foundation has 400 paintings and artifacts in its Permanent Collection. When the Gallery was founded by the early artists in 1926, many of the artists donated paintings and other items to the Gallery to create an ongoing exhibit. And 90 years later, the Brown County Art Gallery is still exhibiting the work of the early Indiana artists.
The gallery's Permanent Collection has continued to expand with generous gifts from donors. A rotating exhibit of the early paintings, along with a number of fascinating historical displays are on display in the Permanent Collection Gallery on a daily basis.
Besides demonstrating the beauty of watercolor I shared my thoughts about materials and the importance of buying the best products you can afford.
I gave a squirt or two of my QoR modern watercolor paint colors to my workshop students who needed them. I also handed out QoR color charts supplied by my friend Valerie Allen, Lecturer and Workshop Leader for the Certified Working Artists Program at Golden Artist Colors. I wanted them to experience the thrill I have when painting a watercolor painting with QoR paints. I can't stress enough the importance of using professional-grade watercolors and what a huge difference it will make during your painting experience.
Here's a few reasons why I like them:
In addition, the same goes for watercolor paper. Only buy 100% cotton. You are asking for trouble if you buy a cheaper grade that contains wood fibers. The paper will pill when you scrub it. I personally love Indigo 300# cold press handmade watercolor paper. I also enjoy painting on Arches 300# cold press watercolor paper. In fact I supplied each student with two-quarter sheets of Arches.
My third must-have is real hair brushes if you can afford them. Otherwise a blend of synthetic/real hair. If you take care of them you will keep them for a long time. The real hair loads a lot of paint and doesn't wear out like synthetic. My 1" 202 Morrilla is over 40 years old. Unfortunately, it's not made anymore but you may find a used one on eBay. I got a three brush set last year made by MEEDEN, Cat's Tongue Shape Paint Brushes-3 Piece Set for Watercolors At that time when I purchased them they said they were made with sable. Later in the year they said they were made of squirrel. Today it reads horse but at this time like so many other things made in China they are out of stock. I haven't tested the horse hair brush to see how they load and flow onto the paper. if you want to try these reasonable priced brush set CLICK HERE. Remember they are currently out of stock.
Okay who hasn't done this with art supplies or something else like hair spray instead of deodorant? Well, I sure have more times than I can count. One of my students came in with her supplies I recommended for the workshop. She laid out her colors and started to paint but one of the colors didn't mix very well. I mean it wouldn't mix at all like it was oil paint. OH! It was oil paint. It had been misplaced at the store and unfortunately she grab it. Lesson learned to always check the label.
If you would like to see my full supply recommendations and list CLICK HERE.
MY TEACHING STYLE
I have a selection of my own personal photos that I gather for a specific workshop. I handout 4"x6" prints of the subject matter to the students. I normally select the reference material because I want to teach specific techniques plus my workshops consist of paint-alongs.
I like instructing as a paint-along because it gives the student bitesize amounts of information. Then they go back and recreate my techniques.
Depending on the complexity of the reference there could be 3-7 steps in my paint-along. Here's my methodology:
I also encourage my students to take notes, photos, and videos if they wish. I share so much information that it's hard to retain it all. I also encourage them to recreate the watercolor painting at home and send it to me for a critique.
,MASKS ON, SOCIALLY DISTANCED IN PLACE, SLEEVES PUSHED UP TO WORK, LEARN, AND HAVE FUN!
DAY 1: MORNING: I started demonstrating right away working from my iPad.
I begin with a limited pencil drawing on the paper. With this 6-color, full palette snow scene I talked about temperature value, color, and intensities of their paintings. The morning painting was a snow scene of the beginning of the Wisconsin River (Land O' Lakes, WI) which has been one of my favorite sites to paint, whether it's spring, summer, fall, or winter. The levels of water change as does the foliage, colors, textures, and the influence of light. I call this river home. In this exercise, I wanted to teach how to handle snow and paint anything white. evaluate temperature and not copy the photo.
I gave them an oversight on atmospheric perspective so they could create a good depth of field. We finish this painting in three steps as a paint-along. Through my years as a professional teaching of watercolor painter, I have found this technique works well with the student. They go through the process which helps the student retain what was created.
DAY 1: AFTERNOON: After we returned from lunch my afternoon demo was a fall scene full of autumnal colors – limited 5-color palette. I wanted my students learned the spontaneity of minimal drawing – just the road and the tree and following the light and dark patterns. One of my students suggested a a cozy cottage in the composition and wanted to get my thoughts. I said it was a great idea and added it to this pleasant composition. See changes can be made while painting, but first think it through.
Two paintings completed and so proud of everyone’s first day of work.
DAY 2: MORNING: The morning painting was of a cabin tucked into the woods. This painting was a limited palette of 5-colors – remember 6-colors is a full palette. In this demonstration I wanted to share my techniques regarding how to keep your edges as soft as you can while painting a highly textured background. This allowed the cabin to emerge from the wooded background.
DAY 2: AFTERNOON: The afternoon I demoed a 5-color limited palette painting was a freeform swamp scene. In this exercise I wanted the students to painting without a drawing.
I started with my usual block in method by painting from background to foreground and large areas to small. I washed in the cool gray down colors in the background working forward two more intense and darker color.
Painting the large shapes and values. to form the finished picture adjustment of the values and shapes. Working smaller values with details. When everything was in place and the painting was dry I began placing the masses of trees. To finish up I added details to the trees and a few accents of color.
One of my students suggested a unicorn in this "Lord of the Rings" looking painting. As you can see the unicorn slipped away before I could add him. ;))
During these two days of instruction, I shared my knowledge with my students on a multitude of things including composition, focal points and how to keep the eye moving.
We covered fall, winter, spring and summer scenes and how to handle the temperature changes through the seasons. This gave the watercolor paintings a more pleasant, authentic look. All the demonstrations were done with limited pencil work and the majority of drawing was formed with the brush.
People ask me why I like smaller classes and workshops. Well, having a small class or what I like to call mentoring workshops gives me an opportunity to focus on each individual student. Working with the student for one, two or four days allows me to gather the exact insight on each student's individual needs in a concentrated manner. I enjoy teaching to truly see, overcome fears and find joy in painting. We all had a good time learned a lot and experimented a lot.
*AFFILIATE DISCLOSURESAmazon: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
This week I'm proud to announce I have been asked to give another Facebook Live watercolor demonstration sponsored by Dillman's Art Workshop Retreat in Lac du Flambeau, WI.
This was photographed in the Great Northwoods, believe it or not, this waterway in northeastern Vilas County is part of the Mississippi headwaters. I call this area home in my heart and you will too during my FREE watercolor demonstration.
As you may know, my wife, Marilee, and I suffer from wonder lust and enjoy exploring the great Northwoods while we visit our little cabin in the woods. That's one of the many reasons we love Dillman's. They are nestled on a beautiful, pristine lake framed by majestic pines. Checkout Dillman's Resort and enjoy exploring nature's wonders. Life is good.
DEMO REFERENCE MATERIAL
Want to paint-along with me on Wednesday? Well this will give you a head start. It's my reference packet including:
If you want to learn more about my tried and true watercolor supplies please visit my website. I have articles, videos, and favorite books. We are always adding to the page. So please come back often.
CLICK HERE TO MY WEBSITE SUPPLY INFO/LIBRARY
Now you are all set. Remember to mark your calendar for
August 19, 2020, at 3:00 pm CST. Here's the link to a wonderful afternoon of watercolor painting. Don't forget to like Dillman's Facebook page.
OF THE GREAT NORTHWOODS
Later on this year I will be giving a 4-FULL day Watercolor Workshop at Dillman's. The dates are Sept 27 (check-in and reception) September 28-October 1.
For beginners and intermediates, my unique step-by-step instruction in transparent watercolor, focusing on large patterns of light and dark using scenes from nature, will allow students to watch, go back and recreate what was just painted. Students will learn how to build a painting from start to finish while gaining a deeper understanding of the techniques, properties, and tools of transparent watercolor. I will cover all four seasons to explore color temperature, intensity, and value. Students will complete seven paintings with a critique on the last day. Photo references will be supplied. Students will leave with new confidence, ability, and understanding.
Last year I wrote a blog about my
amazing Dillman's experience titled
The Disneyland For Passionate Fine Artists
In The Great Northwoods Of Wisconsin.
This is a pretty long post but I walked you through the entire Popovich/Dillman's experience.
READ MY BLOG
Here's a short video from the workshop and noontime
Farewell Reception and Show & Tell party in the lobby – just click on the picture.
Take a few moments and check out
Dillman's beautiful resort.
Dillman's Art Workshop Retreat which was founded by Sue and Dennis Robertson in 1978. Through the years our retreat has hosted over 12,500 students for art workshops at Dillman's Bay Resort in Wisconsin and various international locations. The 4 and 5 day workshops are offered in lakeside art studios as well as plein air. Students are invited to bring their friends and family along on the trip to enjoy the relaxing resort environment. Local artists are also welcome to attend classes on a day student basis. The average class price is $70 per day. Information about our 2020 schedule of workshops in watercolor, oil, acrylic, pastel, mixed media, collage, pocket sketching, fiber arts and more is online at dillmans.com/2020.
Feels so good to have a busy day like last Wednesday, July 29, 2020.
Started off by teaching my weekly watercolor studio class at MainStreet Art Center in Lake Zurich. It's a drive from Highland, IN but this passionate group of artists is worth the trip. This energy starts from the top and that's because of the care and passion Frankie Johnson, Owner, and Master Artist shares with her students and faculty. She inspires and has the ability to unlocking talents from folks who come to the center.
I've taught watercolor at Mainstreet for six years and just finished a 3-full day workshop earlier this month. www.dalepopovich.com/best-3-full-day-watercolor-workshop
In my class, you will learn to implement key concepts and watercolor painting techniques that will allow you to have a deeper understanding of the medium, with a focus on the top principles of creating a solid painting.
As you understand these elements through painting pictures you will have better control of the medium and gain a deeper understanding of the creative process of transparent watercolor painting. I have to let you know my studio watercolor class has a waiting list so call Cathy and she will help you out. www.mainstreetartcenter.com
CLICK THE IMAGE TO VIEW THE JUDGING ON YOUTUBE
From there I went to Elmhurst Art Museum to judge the Elmhurst Artists' Guild 2020 Member’s Show. The EAG is a charitable and not-for-profit offering up shows and exhibitions, workshops, lectures, classes, and other similar activities. The purpose of this organization is to encourage, promote, advance, and assist art education and instruction, and the advancement and development of the arts.
EAG has its own gallery at the Elmhurst Art Museum. If you have a chance to stop by and check out the show or if you have any concerns regarding COVID-19 you can view the entries and video of the winners on their website. The show runs through Friday, September 4, 2020. www.elmhurstartistsguild.org
While in Elmhurst I stopped off at a friend and his wife's to say hi keeping social distance top of mind. Spent a few hours enjoying the afternoon chatting about art, family, and everything in between in their beautiful garden under the shade of a stately maple tree.
Got home for a little dinner and prepared for a two-hour Zoom meeting with the Plein Air Painters of Chicago. Met Virginia Ferrante, moderator of the Zoom event and PAPC member. I was invited to critique 30 pieces and let me tell you the time flew by reviewing amazing talent in this group.
CLICK THE IMAGE TO VIEW THE CRITIQUE ON YOUTUBE
The PAPC is affiliated with the Palette & Chisel Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago where I teach Watercolor and The Fundamentals of Drawing and Painting. The PAPC offers paint-outs April thru October. This prolific group schedules three Saturday paint-outs, one Sunday morning paint-out, and one Friday night paint-out.
Paint-outs feature cityscapes, nature in the parks, the Lakefront and Riverwalk. At least one paint-out per month includes a demo and members-only critique with an experienced instructor/guest artist. I was asked to be their July guest artist.
PLEASE NOTE: Between the current increase in cases of Covid-19 and the difficulty in physical distancing, the PAPC Steering Team determined to cancel future paint-outs until they can see a two-week decline in cases. They will assess the situation again, August 2, 2020. www.papchicago.com
Checkout Eric Rhoads https://ericrhoads.com Entrepreneur, Writer, Artist, Marketer, Speaker, Renaissance man's interview with Mary Longe, current lead for the Plein Air Painters Chicago. He spent time with her for his Plein Air podcast. Mary Longe shares advice for starting a plein air group. www.outdoorpainter.com
Dale L Popovich IWS
is an award-winning watercolorist and teacher who is passionate about capturing the raw beauty of the American landscape with the fluid stroke of a brush. As you will see the works selected in his portfolio represent the breath of his holistic approach to painting. You can also learn along with this talented and experienced teacher through his workshops, Palette & Chisel, Mainstreet Art Center i Lake Zurich, IL, Elmhurst Art Museum, Towering Winds Academy of Fine Arts an online art school, and Popovich Studio classes.