I borrowed this phrase from the recently deceased Canadian painter Robert Genn who believed that there is only so much we can learn about how to paint from the many fine instructors and resources available today. The true learning comes from going off on our own and just doing it - Go to your room!

I have had the good fortune to take instruction from outstanding artists in Canada and the USA. I continue to work on my own development ( Going to MY room!) . I share, through this blog and workshops, what I have learned and what others have shared with me.

I created this blog primarily for those attending my workshops to keep in touch and to further share as we grow together. If others are interested in following that would be great.

Enjoy the journey.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Ken DeWaard Workshop - my review

I have admired the work of Ken DeWaard, of Hope Maine, for a couple of years. I admire the clean shapes , his management of values and overall design. He has a knack of outlining areas in a mid value line that is quite unique and I find really interesting - even his portraits. When a workshop was announced at a time of year that worked for me I took it.

Examples of Kens work

The workshop was held by Coastal Maine Workshops in Rockland Maine. I took a David Curtis workshop with them last year and the overall experience was excellent. The indoor facilities are good, they have a dedicated workshop assistant assigned to help the instructor and students, and the painting locations, both harbours, rural and urban are excellent. . Very nice folks to deal with.

I generally rate an instructor on the following : competence, enthusiasm, a joy for teaching , a sincere wanting to help students , and pleasant to spend time with. I rate Ken highly on all. Ken is a good instructor, he sincerely wants to help his students and he is a great guy to spend a week with. He worked hard on our behalf.

Ken works on a neutral toned canvas. He makes his design using vine charcoal. He starts by placing the lightest light and darkest darks keeping them in the area of the centre of interest. He quickly lays in his first best guess for values in each large area. He next moves to add detail to each value mass .  A strong plein air sketch in an hour.

Kens palette is unique - at least to me.  His warms include  two yellows, trans red iron oxide, cad red lt and a cool red. His cools include ultramarine blue, prussian blue and ivory black. He puts out two titanium white - one to be used for warms and one for cools. New to me was how he used his ivory black. I pretty much stick to using it with yellows for natural greens. Ken often neutralized bright colours making them very strong darks - eg. adding to cad red to produce a very deep dark mauve.  I played with this during the week and produced some interesting colour combinations.

We painted harbours, farm buildings and wonderful older homes. Ken worked hard to ensure everyone got adequate supervision. I made about 18 starts over the week -a good number being  wipe outs. His suggestions and encouragement I expect to  affect my work in oils - and maybe acrylics.

To sum  up, Ken is a very strong teacher and a nice guy to spend time with . I highly recommend his workshops .