Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fracturing a Painting

Pipe Essentials, a 10 x 12 oil painting illustrating the use of "fracturing" techniques
One of the techniques C.W. Mundy taught in his recent still life workshop at Fechin Art Workshops was what he termed “fracturing a painting.” This involves different methods to break up a painting to keep it interesting to the viewer. I started with a gesso base on a board to create texture. Fracturing is created through variations in brush work, use of a palette knife, and softening edges. Pipe Essentials tells a story which is important for a successful still life. The Prince Albert tobacco can came from my Grandfather and the pipes are from my antique collection. The box of matches are placed to enhance eye movement. What experience have you had using fracturing techniques?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Before and After C.W. Mundy Workshop

Taos, NM was the location of C.W. Mundy’s five day still life workshop. I first met C.W. in 2005 when he taught a workshop in the Loire Valley of France. In addition to being a plein air painter, I strive to excel in still life paintings. As a life-long learner, workshops are an essential element in ongoing education.

C.W. has seven foundational truths of painting: Drawing; Squinting; Design; Value; Color; Edges; and Paint Manipulation. I incorporated each into the still life below which I painted after the workshop concluded. A few reasons I believe the  “after” painting succeeds compared to the “before” painting is because there is a more defined focal area. The orange has the brightest brights, next to the darkest dark. This is key to drawing your eye into the painting. Paying attention to still life values more in the “after” painting caused me to paint the upper portion darker and the table lighter. This achieves greater contrast and interest. The second copper pot has softer edges. It is not the focal point so not as much attention is placed here in the “after” painting. Do you agree the workshop helped the second painting succeed? Let me know if you have other questions as to paint choice differences between the two paintings.
Still life in preparation for C.W. Mundy workshop

"After" still life - same set up, but after C.W. Mundy workshop completed.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Plein Air Workshop

Interested in a 2 1/2 day plein air workshop in Sebastopol, California. AWS has organized one from October 19-21, 2012. Click here for details.