My 3-full day workshop at MainStreet Art Center, Lake Zurich, IL, Abstract Paintings of Nature in Watercolor was finally a go! I had a wonderful time getting back in the teaching "saddle". Because of COVID19, this workshop had been rescheduled several times. But Frankie Johnson, owner of MainStreet and I were bound and determined to have it happen. As you can figure all of my events had been canceled. 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.
Besides demonstrating the beauty of watercolor I shared my thoughts about materials and the importance of buying the best products you can afford. One of my students was using a mix of Winsor and Newton Cotman and Grumbacher watercolor paints. Needless to say, she was struggling so I let her try my QoR watercolors and she said "WOW! What a huge difference." I can't stress enough the importance of using professional-grade watercolors. 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. 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. My series 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. If you would like to see my supply recommendations and list CLICK HERE.
Masks on, socially distanced in place, sleeves pushed up to work, learn, and have fun!
DAY 1: 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.
My afternoon demo was a fall scene full of autumnal colors where my students learned the spontaneity of no drawing and following the light and dark patterns. Two paintings completed and so proud of everyone’s first day of work.
DAY TWO: The learning and fun continue! Two more were paintings completed.
The morning demo was T.C .Steele's house in southern Indiana. During this demo, I wanted to share the ease of drawing a structure and how to incorporate it into a landscape in a simple way. I also shared how to make a very dark subject interesting.
The afternoon demo was another scene from the Great Northwoods of Wisconsin. The tranquil water scene was a perfect example to show how to achieve an atmospheric perspective. Pushing the background back and look believable. I also get quite a few requests for the secrets of painting water. I shared my approach to water with just a few brushstrokes. So proud of everyone’s second day of work.
DAY THREE: the last day of my 3-full day watercolor workshop. In the morning study, I wanted everyone to learn how to work with high-contrast and minimal drawing. I also wanted to share my techniques of dry-brushing in watercolor.
The afternoon was the student's choice. I shared two different subjects and the vivid green forest won. Once again this demo was without a pencil sketch on their watercolor paper, freehanding light and dark patterns. Working with a close color palette of greens and blue-greens and how to use one complementary color to gray down your shadows. And finally, be fearless about pushing the darks especially at the beginning.
I want to thank everyone for signing up and attending including the owner, Frankie Johnson, and Kathy Clouse who is MainStreet's Girl Friday and more. The three days went by too fast. I was so impressed with everyone and I’ll let you in on a little secret — half the students never painted in watercolor before which made it that much more thrilling for me because my goal is to help people truly see. Also thank you Frankie and Jay for your hospitality.
Well, I had my second Watercolor Escape Saturday last weekend on March 28th. If you are new to this my wife, Marilee and I are committed to broadcasting a Facebook Live every Saturday at noon EST till our lives kinda get back to some type of normal. We want to offer an escape even for an hour or two.
In this week's blog post I have included the video now on YouTube (edited as a paint-along) and my demo notes. Here's what you will find:
Gallery of Work
Highlighted in Video
Below are several demos I did playing with composition and value studies before the final painting titled Walking in My Father's Footsteps. I also share additional paintings in the video. Click on the painting to see a larger version.
Every year I paint a special birthday card for Marilee. I remember once a long time ago we went to the Terra Museum to John Singer Sargent watercolor show. Sargent would paint special gifts for his sister with tender words and well wishes. They were touching and moved both of us.
This painting is of one of our favorite walks in spring up not far from our cabin. The silver light and tender greens you only see during this time of year.
This study was painted on handmade paper containing seeds, leaves, and stems. The paper had very little sizing so planning my brushstrokes were essential. Could not rework once the paint was laid down.
Final studio painting
I promised myself I would experiment with new color combinations during this down time. Here is an example a new color combination palette. And don't think you can't find painting reference material. This was taken by Marilee while we were driving north through Wisconsin to our cabin. The sun was setting, the sky was on fire and the earth was rich with color. Here's my 6-color full palette:
I have enjoyed Winslow Homer watercolors long before I ever picked up a paint brush. My father admired his work and would share his paintings with me. He would break composition rules and make them work.
I suggested a Homer book that looks like it's out of print but you may find on Ebay. There are other Homer books at Amazon (CLICK HERE) like this one. If you rather go to your library and check-out a book. Also here's a website to view. CLICK HERE.
Incase you didn't here we got a new puppy this year. Her name is Miss Poppy, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and she is such a joy. It's a blessing to have her and an additional heartbeat in our house.
Well that's it for now. I hope we will see you next Saturday at noon EST on my Facebook page for another Watercolor Escape Saturdays.
Remember Leave a comment below, tell me what you think and what you would like to see in the future.
Wash your hands and your brushes,
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Please join me for
Westminster Presbyterian Church Ash Wednesday service on Wednesday, February 26 @ 7:00pm
I will create an original watercolor during worship illustrating the Lenten theme of paradox. You will see the painting come to life on large screen monitors while Rev. Quincy Worthington talks about the meaning of paradox.
There will have an artist’s reception immediately following the service.
I want to thank the Peninsula School of Art for the fantastic opportunity this earlier this month. The 2-day workshop went very well, and the students were great! Those of you that have never been to the school I want to let you know first hand the facility was beautiful and accommodating in every way to make the experience work for the teacher and student.
Considering how many miles I have clocked in traveling to Wisconsin this was the first time I experienced the quaint charm of Door County. Picturesque scenes were suitable for a postcard or better yet an afternoon of plein air painting.
In this hands-on workshop, my students gained a foundation and more in-depth understanding of the elements and techniques of transparent watercolor. They discover the unique properties of the medium, as well as how to control and use them to their advantage concerning landscape painting.
During the two-days, they learned how to use their materials effectively, interpret of color, create a working composition, and build a successful painting from start to finish through demonstrations and guided exercises. I supplied photo references for various types of landscapes.
I encourage my students to take photos and videos – as much as they want. The combination of taking notes, pictures, hands-on painting and the final critique produces a good learning experience that the student retains.
A simple landscape was demonstrated with a farmhouse and outbuildings. This introduced the student to necessary procedures of the ”block-in..” Also, I had a brief talk about simple perspective. This painting took about one hour.
The second demo of the morning was a snow scene (farm scene in the woods). I discussed the painting of white subject matter and how the temperature is perceived.
Hot press Arches
Finally, the paint-along with the students was a forest scene with a small creek and reflections. Big sweeping movement of color was demoed, paying attention to large shapes, not objects.
Water was the theme! Still water, moving water and water in a snow scene. Elements from day one we're employed.
This first demonstration I wanted to show how you can take 3-colors from a primary group: a red, a yellow, and a blue and give the impression of full color. I also wanted to demo how simply water can be executed by paying attention to the patterns of value. 45 minutes
The second demo was how to simply paint falling water with your brush. This demo took 45 minutes.
At the end of day two, a casual critique took place. I talked with them about what they did wrong and how to improve or correct it. Also wanted to let them know what they did right and encourage them and build on their successes.
I'm sorry we didn't have an extra day or two to continue – I felt like I was just getting to know you. What a talented group of artists.
Class was a lot of fun. I plan to rework the “paint-along” pictures done in class.
Thank you! I will try to practice what you showed us. I wish we had had more time too. I had a wonderful time in class. You had many life lessons along with watercolor techniques. Thank you. I look forward to staying in touch.
June 9-June 30, 2018
Brown County Art Gallery • Nashville, Indiana
AN ANNUAL JURIED FINE ART EXHIBITION AND SALE OF
TRADITIONAL AND REPRESENTATIONAL INDIANA ART
As always I an honored and humbled to be included in a show of such amazing talent. Also I want to thank Jan Mills for purchasing “Walking with the Light.” Giclée prints are available. Please visit my online store for more information. At the River’s Bend is still available for purchase. Contact the Brown County Art Gallery for more information.
This years guest judge was Stapleton Kearns. Stapleton
Stapleton Kearns (American, b. 1952) studied in the atelier of R. H. Ives Gammell (American 1893–1981). Gammell was a student of major American impressionist William Paxton, and Ives passed on his art training to nearly 40 students over a period of almost 50 years. Kearns was a beneficiary of Gammell’s private instruction conducted at the historic Fenway studios in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1983 Kearns moved to Rockport, Massachusetts, and had the opportunity to know and learn from the older generation of artists who had made that area famous as an art colony. Kearns was elected president of the Rockport Art Association and held that position for five years.
For nearly ten years Kearns has lived in New Hampshire, and, writes a blog about painting that receives thousands of visitors each month. He also teaches workshops across the country.
To hear a great interview by Leslie Saeta and Margret Sheldon with this amazing artist, go to the podcast, Artists Helping Artists
In the late 1970s, a group of local artists organized Indiana Heritage Arts to support the current members of the Brown County art community. The principal activity of this non-profit group was an annual, juried art competition to take place each June.
Today, IHA makes its home at the historic Brown County Art Gallery in Nashville. What started as a local competition has grown statewide, open to any artist with ties to Indiana. The annual June exhibition and sale is one of the largest art competitions in the midwest, handing out as much as $80,000 in prize money and purchase awards to the winners.
IHA continues to honor the legacy of the early artists by supporting today’s Hoosier Masters. IHA leases a room in the Brown County Art Gallery to provide year round exhibition space to prize-winning artists, where they can offer paintings for sale. IHA sponsors artist workshops by bringing in the country’s top instructors, providing workshop space and administrative services. IHA also supports an annual student art competition held at the Gallery by providing prize money to the area's top art teachers.
IHA has a statewide membership of artists and patrons and depends on generous donors including corporate sponsors, local merchants, along with loyal collectors, to continue the mission of supporting Indiana’s top artists.
Indiana Heritage Arts.com
I had a great turnout for the LOLA Land 'O Lakes Arts All-Day Workshop. I was amazed at the turnout because the day was quite chilly, -15. But then I remembered the folks up north are of hardy stock. Weather doesn't stop them.
The class was made up of beginners and intermediates. LOLA has quite a great reputation to offer quality class for all ages thanks to WENDY POWALISZ, Programming Director.
Wendy said there had been great interest in a drawing class with a focus on simple perspective. So I created a specially tailored workshop just for them called Learn How to Draw Structures Fast and Easy, Then Paint in Full-Color Watercolor.
First half of the day I demonstrated and shared basic linear perspective theory with simple structures. They also learn two-point perspective and recreated what I shared with them by creating simple drawings.
In the second half of the day the class applied the knowledge in a transparent watercolor painting. During this session they developed a snow scene using the two-point perspective from the morning. They gained an understanding of working from foreground to background, large to small and temperature changes in the snow scene.
The day flew by, lost of questions were asked and my final watercolor demo painting was raffled off. Thanks LOLA for another great workshop.
From there I went back to our cabin, talked about my day with Marilee and took my best girl out for dinner. Life is good.
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.