Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Workshop with Stan Sperlak at the Noyes Museum, New Jersey

I had the pleasure of taking a workshop this past weekend with Stan Sperlak.  He is a very accomplished artist who has mastered the art of simplification.  He specializes in paintings of the Jersey shore, as well as nocturnes.   He paints with passion, he loves what he paints and it shows.  Here are some photos, I learned a lot and had fun as well!

Can you believe this gorgeous painting by Stan?  The size is massive, it's absolutely magnificent!  He truly is a master of simplification, and his paintings make such a statement.   One painting was better than the next, the room was filled with eye candy!

I went to this workshop with my friend Cindy.   We decided to take a short drive to the marshes for some quick sketching and photos, then back to the museum to do some painting.  Most of the students stayed and sketched and painted the scenery in the back of the museum.  We were more interested in the marshes, so off we went! 

After I painted my first sketch, we broke for lunch, had some discussions, and then headed back to our easels for more sketching.  Stan challenged me to take the same scene I sketched and do four more, smaller in size, and different in color/time of day/season, whatever I wanted.  He told me to "just make it up"..... not something easy to do.  Well, I'm not one to back down from a challenge, so off I went back to my easel for some very quick paintings.  The first one was somewhat successful, and the second one needs some tweaking.  When he came by to check on me he then challenged me to make the third one a nocturne, and the last one in the fog.  I ran out of time for the foggy scene, but I did get in my very first nocturne.  It helped that I was surrounded by his beautiful paintings, most of which were nocturnes.  All my paintings are done on Uart paper, 500 grit.

Painting #1 from my sketch at the marshes, and from memory as well as a digital photo (I looked at my camera a bit as I painted, though the image was pretty small).  Size is 8" x 10".

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

Painting #2 was made up, I really was just trying to use a different color palette.  Size is 4" x 5 1/2".

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

Painting #3 is also made up.  I had some trouble with the color palette on this one, I don't think it was a successful as the last one.  Size is 4" x 5 1/2".

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

Painting #4 is a nocturne.  This was my first time trying a nocturne, but as I said it helps to be surrounded by nocturnes done by a master.  Size is 4" x 5 1/2".

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

Here you can see that I just took a larger piece of paper and taped it off into four sections so I could paint smaller.  You can also see the fourth one was started (the foggy scene), but I ran out of time.

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

In honor of this workshop I finally set myself up with a small Dakota box.  I brought it with me to the workshop, I found it quite nice to have all my pastels in one place! 

Filling this box with pastels was quite a lot of work, and this may not be my end result.  I just may add more darks and lights, and remove some midtones.  I have to work with it some more to be sure, I think it is a work in progress.

It was a great workshop!   I highly recommend Stan's workshop to anybody that loves pastels, loves to plein air, and wants to learn to simplify.  He can release you from the slavery of photo references, I'm sure of it!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"In a Mood", charcoal sketch, 8 1/2" x 11 1/2" on Canson paper

This is a charcoal sketch I did quite some time ago.  I was intrigued by the expression on her face, and I wanted to play with some new charcoal pencils I bought.  I figured it was a good subject to play with.  This was completed pretty quickly, and I was pleased with the result.

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Veronica for Dan - #2, Pastel, 11" x 12 1/2", painted on Wallis Belgium Mist

I know I haven't posted a painting in a while, life has gotten in the way but I'm now hoping to get back on track.  I had this one on the easel for quite a while, I just wasn't able to complete it until just yesterday.  I'm quite glad it is done, I really hate it when something sits for too long in an unfinished state.

The lighting was a bit difficult, it was coming from her right, but almost behind her as if backlit.  Not much in the way of shadowing, it was a challenge to model the face properly but I think I got it.

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.