Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mitchell Albala Workshop on Bainbridge Island

  Today I joined a workshop taught by Mitchell Albala, held at Oil & Water Art Supply ( on Bainbridge Island. As I wrote in blog in the past, I read through his "landscape painting" book and understood most of his theories of making landscape painting in his way, which I mostly agreed. I was there to learn a part of his process of making landscape paintings directly from him.  Since I was at Dick Brick on Capitol Hill to see his demo (I also wrote this in my blog) he remembered me and said "you look familiar", which made things easier for me at the beginning.

  Ok, the process and practices were simple.
  1. clop a letter size of color photo using a set of "L-shape" cloppers to find an interesting composition. 
  2. put a tracing paper on top of the photo and block shapes in 3 or 4 value ranges. The first picture above shows it. We mostly used a marker pen (Prisma) for this process.
  3. mix 4 values with titanium white and black acrylic paint (dries much faster) [mixed the 5th value later] and paint the composition you clopped. The left photo in the second picture shows it.
  4.  reduced the values down to two (black and white only) and paint the same composition. The right photo shows this.
This entire practice force us to see the landscape in only big shapes, which helps us to judge what's interesting in the painting before picking the scene. Mitch uses this process in Gage Academy's classes as well. I've now well absorbed what he wrote in his book.  I think.

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