Monday, July 28, 2008

Richard McKinley Plein Air Workshop

Richard McKinley demonstration
Dillon Falls, Dechutes River, Oregon
Photo by Miki Willa

Today was the first day of our plein air workshop with Richard McKinley. In the morning, we sat in a classroom where he gave us an overwhelming amount of information. It was great. I learned so much about composition and simultaneous contrast. Two of my goals for this workshop revolve around those two skills. My other goal is to learn to see with my own eyes instead of through the lens of a camera. I really think that if I can develop this skill, it will make me a better studio painter in the long run.
The class time ran a little long, so we didn't get to our location until after 2:00. I have to say it was quite beautiful. It was also hot, dusty, and the bugs were very hungry. We were forewarned so had umbrellas and bug spray, but I found it quite distracting. I really don't like bugs too much. I kept the bug spray with me at all times and kept reapplying until they left me alone. It didn't stop them from doing fly-by stunts a la Top Gun. By the time I got my thumbnails done, I was ready to pack it in. I really wanted to do a larger piece, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.
Richard is a great teacher as well as artist. I am really looking forward to the rest of the week. Tomorrow, we will be travelling to a river trail system in the mountains surrounding Bend, Oregon called Green Lakes Trails. I am looking forward to a full day of painting. I will post what I do whether successful or not. After all, this is a learning blog.
Below are my thumbnails from today. The first one is line directions. The second is shapes. The third is first impression of values done in pencil. The fourth is done with grey tone markers after consulting with Richard. The last one has a bit more detail. I did take photos, so I may be able to do this one in the studio when I get home in seven weeks. Did I tell you we are on a seven week plein air road trip? Stay tuned. This is only the beginning.

1 comment:

Mary Ann said...

Sounds like a lot in one day. It is beautiful in that area--but what a shame the bugs are around.
I hope you are feeling well and enjoying the people as well as the instruction.