In each class taken, there’s at least one takeaway. Sometimes it’s technique, sometimes it’s an encouragement, sometimes it’s just the learning process!
For the past two days, a group of students met for Ron Stocke’s Painting Vistas class. Each student came away with their own learnings, but I thought I’d share a few of my own aha moments.
- Don’t paint everything. I have a fascination with cityscapes, but have been afraid of diving into vistas of cities out of fear of all the tiny buildings and windows. This class took away that fear.
- The world is gray. Especially cities! Blue grays, green grays, warm grays….
- A good painting is full of contrast. The painting shown here is a rural landscape; there are any number of areas I wasn’t happy with – but several that delighted me. The contrast made all the difference.
- Plan. Back in art school, I knew to make thumbnail sketches. But that seemed to have disappeared in the decades since then! A new sketching ritual has begun…let’s hope I put the sketchbook down long enough that some work gets done.
- Trust yourself. I tend to make “too” many strokes to paint a single object – not due to having to small a brush, because I had a #16 in my hand. He kept reminding me to trust that my hand knows what to do – just commit and do it. In the last few minutes of class I switched to doing some quick studies to experiment with just how few strokes I could paint an object – it made a huge difference.
That’s just a tidbit. There were some technique things I gained, but for me the overall concepts are most important right now. I’ve only been working with watercolor for a few years, and though many students may disagree – I have yet to stumble upon “my style” in the medium. I’m working at it alongside everyone I’m teaching…and I hope you’ll continue to stay engaged and grow with me!