From Charles Reid workshop
He demonstrated in the mornings and then we painted in the afternoon. He did not do a lot of talking during the demo, hardly any. They made sure that everyone got to be in the front row and I found, on the last day when it was my turn that it did make a difference as to what I was able to discern. He makes an odd little under-his-breath half hum, half whistle, tuneless, almost like heavy breathing . . . He and his wife Judy seem like nice people, it was odd I thought, they did not have an everybody say who you are etc introduction. Some people were "followers" some new, most everyone was from somewhere else, not here. One person even came from Japan.
From my scattered notes . . . he'll lay things in as ovals but then a lot of the time he works from the nose and adjusts (erases) outline as necessary, he like to key things from it, using it as a measurement for other features, he'll use one feature to locate another (for example drop straight down from bottom of ear to inside of arm). He draws putting weight on his hand.
He often starts on white page, even when he starts with washes they are not great sweeping ones, but a series of more specific washes in smaller areas that he connects. Looks like he uses relatively dry color and then softens w/water, then looks like washes. Paint is primarily mixed on the paper. I even saw him splatter but not for effect but for mixing, he mixed the drops. Uses yellow ochre, burnt sienna, cad red, cobalt blue, cerulean. When he would fetch paint to mix he stressed to just dip into paint and get full strength color, if a puddle then too much water. Keep colors moist. (spray)
Value more important than color . . . look at differences in direction . . . measure (relate one part to another) but has to look right too . . . make something a little larger if it needs to project forward (like a knee) and/or warmer . . . do features first
He'll rub a circle of color on the paper with his brush in the approximate spot and then expand it to the right shape and size. Uses the middle of his brush more than the point (so the point stays good for a really long time)
He wishes no one would go back and reiterate (I think because it dilutes freshness)
Emulate Velasquez when doing black area such as a blouse and just make a dark shape, not light and shadow . . . dots of color between fingers
He goes slow . . . careful with drawing, w/color and paint application . . . mixes on paper . . . watercolor is "careful spontaneity".
Uses Ivory Black, at one point he used it and then softened the edges and overlaid it with I think Chromium Green. Beautiful. Another combination that was stunning was Turquoise and Lemon Yellow.
I took photos of his stages:
I particularly loved the butterfly shape on the nude. Also the green accents on either side of the neck of the guy in glasses . . . for some reason as I was sitting there he was making me think of Dan . . . at lunch the first day there was a 3 alarm fire in a building on campus under construction. I walked out and could see all this intense black smoke (different view than photo) and guys on the roof who didn't look particularly concerned. Was surreal for a moment until the sirens started. Last is group photo, woman next to me teaches drawing animation and I think was putting me in mind of Ferris . . . I'm glad I was able to do the workshop, just because it was nice to do something normal and too it felt good to paint. Can't say I was overly impressed with anything I did.
Did scribble in sketchbook:
Green that is blue
Ruddy skin tone glimpsed through shadow
Splash of red in the blue surround
Singing harmony left and right
The green of blue and green of yellow
Conspire to hum in visual delight
I liked Glenn Vilppu, the instructor for the weekend sketching workshop I had also signed up for. He is 80 and still going strong. Lives in Southern California, teaches animation at UCLA and has his own online academy and does workshops all over. Next year if he returns I want to do his figure workshops, they conflicted with Charles Reid which is why I didn't this year. I had heard a year or so ago that if one gets a chance to study with him he will really help your drawing . . . He knew and studied with Harry Carmean and other names we knew from hearing Tim talk so he was fun to talk to.