A couple weeks ago I held a 3-day oil painting workshop in beautiful Laguna Beach, CA. I had a small group which enabled me to give everyone LOTS of attention (I did my best not to hover over each of them.) One student traveled all the way from Florida to be there.
The first day started with a demonstration painting and I explained my approach and thought process while I worked including lots of talk about warm and cool colors and using them to create depth in your painting. Then I turned my group loose to work on their own paintings. At the end of the day we had a group critique where I talked about the aspects of each student's painting that worked and then offered suggestions for improvements.
The second day I had them paint 3 small studies. They were allowed to work on each painting for 2 hours only. The purpose of the exercise was to get them thinking about the landscape as large simple shapes, not specific details. One student mentioned he was having trouble painting trees so I made sure he painted a palm tree as one of his small studies. It was absolutely amazing to watch the light bulb switch on over his head when he understood how to paint the tree and how to see both the positive and negative shapes that formed it. We also ended that day with a critique.
The last day I did a small, quick demonstration painting just to reinforce everything I'd been teaching that weekend. My goal was to give the class as much painting time as possible before the light changed dramatically. Each of them produced a beautiful painting, I was very proud of their accomplishments! Below is a view from our painting location, just another day at the office.
If you would like to be part of my next plein air oil painting workshop in Orange County, please contact me with dates that work best for you and I will add your name to my interest list - just click here. I will be planning my 2012 schedule soon and will let email you with more details.