3.10.09

Sara Linda Poly workshop well worth it!


I had the pleasure of facilitating a Sara Linda Poly workshop last weekend which gave me the wonderful opportunity to see her demo, observe her teaching style and paint paint paint for two days. Sara is a great instructor who teaches a well organized but flexible fashion and encourages growth in her students. I would do it again in a heartbeat. The weekend reminded me of that John Singer Sargent painting "Reconnoitering".

She also has a "keep it simple" approach to beginning a landscape painting and provided the following challenge to her students. Finish a small 5x7 painting with either a 3/4 inch flat brush (or palette knife) in 50 strokes or less.

Below, I've provided a summery of my own interpretation of her guidelines during the demonstration. Of course, this may be my own view of her words colored by my own background. So, to reach into the mind of Sara directly, visit her website where sara shares some great tips on landscape painting.

- Start with a warm toned canvas and rough in your sketch with a tertiary color (they dry faster)
- Simplify your composition by selecting 4 or fewer elements (earth, water, grass, trees, mountains, sky, rock etc.)
- Use the golden triangle to find a sweet spot for your subject (again, remove any element details that don't support the subject)
- Block in color from lightest to darkest dark (sky and corresponding water are typically the lightest parts of a composition)
- Fall in love with all of the glorious shades of grey, they are your friend in a landscape painting
- Know when to step back and/or walk away (Expressive landscape paintings are often finished long before you add final details)

If there is any part of these notes that you'd like to learn more about, feel free to e-mail me and I'd be happy to expand. I try to keep the blog posts short but always enjoy a good exchange of artsy conversation.