(Bill Davidson is an Atlanta ares Plein Air painter who gives workshops in the area)
Spring Tips for Us Painters
By Bill Davidson
I am just back from 2 weeks of real hard studying out west, in time for the fabulous spring season. Another teacher and I discussed what really helps, and we decided repetition, because we always need to be reminded of what works and does not work.
With that in mind, get around some good artists in the spring, and get “fresh” eyes, and immerse yourself in your art. Review your notes and repeat the basics. We must always be growing, which means more learning.
I spend a “focused” month every year trying to “grow,” and see well, and learn things that make it easier. You don’t have to do that, but repeating what works and growing will absolutely make you better. It helps to have someone around you, on occasion, doing it right, as we all slip.
Plein air is hard, but exhilarating and really fun. You need Plein air painting and studio painting to grow.
Begin with this for your Plein air outings: Remember to pay attention to variety in the big shapes. Use a good sized brush and get the light “read” right. Then quit the sketch before you lose the light “read.” Let it dry, and add detail later, if you want. But watch carefully how the detail may not add to the light “read.” These good sketches will make all your paintings better.
By “light read” I mean to get your values to portray the light and shade well – the feeling of it.
I have some really loose studies that I put on my website http://billdavidson.biz , so look at my loosest ones if you like, and aim for that unfinished look. You will love doing it.
Hope to see you out there.
March 3, 2008