Meeting Notes, June 20, 2019

Today's topic: Blocking in or starting a painting...what is your method?

Celeste: I begin a painting by planning with a black and white thumbnail. Sometimes I'll do a rough color thumbnail. I usually block in by massing the colors that I see with paint and gamsol. Then I re-state it with paint. I'm showing two recent plein air paintings. One from the Kat Sowa paint out and one from Laurelhurst Park.

Dianna: I'm an acrylic painter and acrylic dries fast. I plan everything in advance even my color harmony. I mix colors ahead and I do a grisaille first and then go over that, painting very generously and wet-into-wet. I produced this instructional booklet that explains it for my students. I am showing three recent paintings. I achieve this texture by (boldly) painting over previous paint applications.

Kristie: I have been sick but I am better now. I have taken 3 workshops and also lately been painting every day with my Mom! (Congratulations Kristie first place in the OSA Rose show---applause)!
I begin differently for different types of paintings.

Jeanie: I brought in a blocked in painting. I paint the colors that will be the final colors! (Editor's note, sorry this painting did not make it to me to be photographed. Jeanie, please email a photo)

Lisa: I often block in in a color that I want to ultimately "peak through". So, if I am going to paint a predominately green painting I will block in with red. Sometimes I will block in with a violet. Recently I painted this commissioned portrait.

Chris: I'm new to all this...I go for shapes and I am still learning. I like to watch videos on youTube by an artist named Christain Arnould. I like how he starts a painting. When I was at the "Big" paint out I was impressed how everyone got a lot of information on a big canvas in a reasonable amount of time!  Everyone was so decisive! Seeing that was an aha moment for me. I am showing two recent plein air paintings. One from Kat Sowa's paint out and the other from Oakwood Gardens. Both places were wonderful...with so much beautiful scenery. (I'm sorry it looks like Thomas Kinkade! But, in my defense, the whole place looked this way!) Laughter!

Mike: I'll try to get over the discrimination!  I am watercolor, not oil, so I don't "block in" like you do (Laughter)! the equivalent is that I do a drawing first...I learned from Yong Hong Zhong that it is ideal to do a black and white sketch before painting. Then I might test the entire idea in a sketchbook and if I am satisfied I might paint it larger on watercolor paper. To me, to plan properly is the discipline of thinking and making decisions.

Donna Sires: I paint in pastel, so I do a watercolor underpainting. I let it dry and go over the top with the darkest pastels and then add mid and light pastels...keeping the values where they belong. (I painted this painting in a "reductive" manner. I put down pastel in a strong manner to get full coverage and then removed pastel from certain areas (to achieve good contrast).

Donna Stevens: I begin with a good pencil sketch. If I am satisfied I go ahead. I brought this painting that was accepted into the NW Pastel Exhibit in Tacoma.

Tom: I establish some sort of horizon! After that I add mid tones and darks--then highlights! I am participating in the Lake Oswego plein air this year. I painted this at Luscher Farms.

Kathy: I find the thumbnail to be important. It helps me to block in the masses and if I don't plan like that I can almost guarantee that my painting will be mediocre! I get the darks in first. I painted this at Laurelhurst park.

Elo: I need to do thumbnails before I paint. I put down paint in the color that it will be. If the painting doesn't work in the beginning I abandon it and start another! I know one thing, I find it nearly impossible to paint an oil painting "from" a gouache painting...I have not been able to do that yet. I am turning in a painting for the Elizabeth Jones exhibit. I'm participating in the Lake Oswego plein air. I am showing 3 recent paintings.

Becky: When I paint plein air I do the most complicated scenes! Why do I do that?? (Laughter)! I have tried many different ways to start a painting. I haven't settled on just one that I use every time. (I use a different method for different paintings!) I am showing a recent painting.

Vicki: I do a sketch in a sketchbook that I think is respectable. I add notes about my main points. Then, when I begin the painting I use earth an orange-y color and burnt sienna. I'll be off to a good start......but then I become distracted and "lose it" all! (laughter)! I am showing a sample plein air sketch.

Jim: My favorite way to block in is to put one color all over the surface and then wipe away the areas that will be receiving light. I like deciding on the big shapes this way too. I often use red oxide or some sort of a muted violet for this. I did both recent paint outs. I liked Oakwood Gardens..there is so much to paint there, even alpacas--but I opted out of that idea, they move too much. (Laughter)! I am showing three recent plein air paintings.

Tim: My name is Tim and I am addicted to art! (Laughter)! I "ragged" this in (my painting from Oakwood Gardens). I apply paint with a rag, broadly --I rub it in and then add paint on top of that. I don't use any solvents or medium. I sometimes scrub in an underpainting with a brush...and I mean scrub! Jim, look...I put in the alpacas! (laughter)! I am showing two plein air paintings.

Ping (new): I am here with my husband, he is the visual artist. I am enjoying this conversation. My creative expression is dance. I listen to music and watch choreography..I take it in and then I interpret the dance and then it becomes my own. I hear similarities between how you all plan and how I plan. I have to "feel it" before I can commit to doing it.

Mark (new): I work in several mediums. Right now I am working in pastel. Whatever I am working on will usually go through several iterations before I consider it complete. The first thing for me is to decide on a paper. Will the color of the paper be a good foil for the colors...or will it cooperate? Recently I have discovered a green seems to be just the right thing for many different reasons. I "dance" using my entire arm. I get basic proportions and "carve" away,  creating positive shapes from negative shapes.

Susan: The block in depends on the medium. I don't do thumbnails...I just go straight to it! I will use a light mocha type color to put in a gesture quickly. Whatever (specific thing) attracted me I go right for that and build around it! I put it in first. If it is plein air, the light is only going to be there for about 20 minutes. Put it in first or you might forget it!  I recently did a portrait commission. It was such a challenge because I had to work from a photo that was less than ideal. I will show it to you on my phone. I was so glad to finish it. (see it in the people section of the photos). I am showing a painting of cats...a painting I did to show my pet painting qualifications for possible commissions.  (Congratulations, Susan, best of show in the OSA Rose Show) Applause!

Geri: I paint in acrylics. I block in with two main colors that are important to the painting. If I am painting a "period" painting I will look at colors from the 1950s for my palette. Ironically, I was painting this when I learned that Pantone declared coral the "current" color for 2019. I call this painting: "Gram".

Kim (new): I am a multi-media artist. I sculpt, design and I'm a florist too. I've gotten into pencil sketching and I just love I thought, ok! next I will paint! So then I tried to paint and thought....whhhaaaa???? what the h......????? How do I do this????? (Laughter)! What I realize is I guess I need lessons! (Laughter)!

Eunice:  I recently did a large painting of Oregon City (for the Lake Oswego show). I blocked in some areas with a palette knife! I particular, I wanted to establish the rocks on one side of the painting and the palette knife helped describe the hard rocks.

Judith: I've been taking a drawing class at PCC. I never know what I am doing! (Laughter)! I like to find old photos that do not have copyright issues and I draw from them. I did this from a fashion photo. My main interest was in the fabric and drapery of the clothing. I never plan!


Two upcoming paint outs (Thank you, hosts!): 

June 21 Friday Paint out (beginning at 9am) at Grice Farm with host Mike Porter 
10405 SW Grabhorn Road see information below

June 28 Friday Paint out (beginning at 9am) at Hansen Property with host Carol Hansen (see information below)

Next Thursday June 27 is the deadline for Beaverton Art Mix

Tom Daniels show is up until July at the First Presbyterian Church Downtown

Elisabeth Jones Gallery Elo Wobig, Za Vue, Annie Cannon and others: July 13

Elo Wobig will demo in the big tent at the Lakewood Show, 11:00 am June 22

Eunice Sause, Elo Wobig and others:  Lakewood Show

Za Vue classes (write for details and/or to be put on wait list):

Tuesday Figure Sessions facilitated by Bhavani Krishnan Tuesdays 3-6pm email Bhavani for location (outdoors when weather permits):

Dianna Shyne introduction to acrylics 9-12 in her Portland studio on Saturdays (ongoing) and Camino Island in July:

Susan Kuznitsky ongoing Saturday classes at OSA, July workshop and one day introduction to pastel workshop in July at OSA

Friday Figure Session Friday June 21 with model Jennifer Cox at OSA 1:15-4:00  Joanne Radmilovich Kollman

Tedd Chilless Stoller Winery Dayton, OR  July 14 reception (RSVP is required)

Hiatus Drawing club meets after the Alla Prima Meeting at French Quarter

Paint out Friday June 21, 9am, at Grice Farm (near Cooper Mountain Park) with Host Mike Porter 
The address of the farm is 10405 SW Grabhorn Road, Beaverton, 97007 (MAP)
The farm entrance off of Grabhorn Rd. has a large wooden archway with a metal “G” sculpture over the entrance dirt road and a sign for U Pick Walnuts.
The farm is privately owned by Steve and Beth Grice. (Be sure to say hello if and when you see them)! Painters are welcome there all day. Steve is an amateur artist himself and does metal work art. 
There are old derelict buildings, a windmill, an old yellow farmhouse, chickens, peacocks a couple of horses, old cars out in the fields, an old tractor…on an on. Restrooms on site and drinking water. (Bring your lunch to go with the noon art discussion). All media and all levels welcome.
Grice Farms 

10405 SW Grabhorn Rd, Beaverton, OR 97007

Carol Hansen hosts June 28 9am* at her property in Oregon city. Artists can paint the landscape or still life outside...or both!. Stay all day if you like, The sunsets are pretty too! address is 17525 S. Ferguson Rd. Oregon City. 503-367-8568 Link to map below...please note! the driveway is on Ferguson, not Maple lane like the map shows. From town, take Redland road out about 3.5 miles, turn right on Ferguson and it is the second driveway on the right, no gate. Carol will make several bouquets for those who want to paint an outdoor still life. see photo album on the event page. MAP:

Next Meeting Thursday June 27 Your signature and artist name....tell us your method for signing and additionally how you arrived at your artist name (first and last? just last?...why do you sign as you do?)  ---Let's Discuss!

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