Sunday, November 1, 2009

Michele Usibelli's workshop on Whidbey Island

I took a day off on Friday to attend this Fri-Sat workshop at Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio, which is located at an artist's, Cary Jurriaans's, residence on the island. Day 1 we worked on still life then from photographs for day 2. In the photos above, four still lives are from day 1 and the figurative painting is from day 2 that I painted from a photo Michele brought in (the man resembles me but not myself). The size of the surfaces is relatively small. From top left toward bottom right; bread 8"x8", plum 9"x12", apple 11"x14", vase and fruits 12"x16", man in front of a painting 11"x14".

Even though I struggles with smaller brushes with smaller surfaces, which I intentionally avoided in the past, I've learned some key components of Michele's aproach, and many other artists' in this style, and found them applicable to mine. That means I need to make some changes to my own style.

Those key components are:
  1. first, sketch well with paint to define the composition and larger shapes. (Michele has background with architecture).
  2. use dark wash to define the darkest dark and some darker areas. Most of them shows up in the final painting.
  3. define lightest areas of focal points in this stage and work toward mid values from both sides.
  4. dark part is mainly thin only with thiner. Lighter part is thicker with medium.
  5. curve in the edge of shapes by painting surrounding background.
She uses the same technique with up to 3'x3' size. For bigger surfaces, she just changes brushes to bigger ones, according to her answer to my question.

I want to try some more with these components myself then adopt whatever works for my lanscape paintings, and other subjects. It might not work at all if my skills don't allow it. But I'm hoping I can transform my style to be better.

No comments: