Monday, August 22, 2011

Painting with Bill Perkins

Toward Provo Canyon- 8" x 10", Oil

Last week I took a couple of days to attend an outdoor painting workshop with Bill Perkins. It was a good chance for me to continue developing my outdoor painting skills. The more I paint outside, the more I realize the only way to learn to paint outside, is (stunning revelation) to paint outside. I feel like I get more comfortable and confident with every painting. I feel the paintings are consequently getting better as well.

The actual scene in west Provo looking northeast toward Provo Canyon

This is my first effort of the workshop and I like certain things (the composition, overall color and values) and other things I'd like to have captured better (the texture of the trees and the mountains). I thought the two main trees were too similar in size, so I adjusted the shape and size. Looking back, I think I pushed the color a little too much in certain areas and I'll probably tickle it a little in studio before I let it go.

In progress on the easel

I tend to want to have something that I can call finished. Bill kept stressing that for him, these outdoor studies are just a way to "capture a moment in time". He concentrates on getting maybe a dozen spots of color and value down in an accurate way and then using the study to create authentic interpretations of the scene in studio. I admire that approach but still bring myself to not want a more finished painting from the experience.

Bill Perkins Color Boot camp
Bill Perkins site


Mike Blake / Monisawa said...

I have been painting/drawing on and off outside for a few years...and after spending 3 hours today I have to declare that, "you don't know what painting is until you do it outside." It was humid, and ticks were dropping all around me from the tree overhead, but everything (including the paint) was alive! I think artists, heh, honestly people in general too, should spend more time outside. Thanks for this post.

Greg Newbold said...

Mike- keep it up! I have heard artists say if you want to learn how to paint period, paint outdoors. I think the observation, color response and sheer speed that you are forced to paint with outdoors, transfer to anything you want to paint.