Eureka, CA, 6/25-27, 2021
COMPOSITION AND VALUES IN PLEIN AIR PAINTINGRedwood Art Association, Eureka, CA
“Color gets the credit, but value does the work!” It’s a phrase you have probably heard before, but what does it mean? During this intensive four-day workshop, dive into the world of values and composition with master artist Charlie Hunter.
We will focus on how to build stronger paintings through values, edges, drawing and composition -rather than relying on color to make our paintings sing. By simplifying forms and emphasizing composition, your work can take on a power that will truly make it stand out.
While the focus of class will be to paint landscapes from life, we will also discuss an often-overlooked step that pays off in spades - creating drawings to help solve problems prior to laying brush to surface. Multiple demos by Hunter will show how he goes about creating his award-winning work. Students are sure to leave this class laughing, challenged, and armed with an arsenal of pointers and tools to strengthen their painting and create the best work of their life.
I strive for my paintings to reside in an uneasy calm, half way between a photograph and a memory. The work of photographers such as Dorothea Lange or Walker Evans resonate in manner similar, yet distinctively different than -say- the paintings of Edward Hopper, Joseph Stella or Franz Kline. All, however, coexist in our collective visual language.
I use a variety of moderately unorthodox techniques, such as manipulating paint with a window washer’s squeegee, or impressing the pattern of paper towels into a painted surface to evoke the halftone screens and ben-day dots of classic photographic reproduction. Concurrently, the thin, semi-transparent paint film allows for somewhat random mark-making to appear almost photographic in detail. I want these effects to be noted, almost subconsciously, by the viewer.
The limited palette, near monochromatic nature of my paintings are, I hope, somewhat analogous to the stripped-down writing approach of a Raymond Carver or Ernest Hemingway, attempting to eschew extra verbiage for imagery that is pared down to sinew and bone.
- SOME EXPERIENCE OUTDOORS
- INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED
- PORTABLE EASEL NECESSARY
- INDIVIDUAL ATTENTION
- INSTRUCTOR DEMONSTRATIONS
9:30 am - gather in Discussion Area. Coffee, tasty snacks
9:30-10 - Introductions
10-12 noon – HUNTER DEMO
12-1 pm - lunch on own, or start working
1-3 - students paint
3-4 - gather in Discussion Area. Group critique/discussion
10:00 am - gather on location
10:00-3:00 - students paint
lunch on own
3:00-4:00 - Group critique/discussion
10:00 am - gather on location
10:00-12:00 – HUNTER DEMO II
lunch on own
1:00-3:00 – STUDENTS PAINT
3:00-4:00 - Gather in Discussion Area. Final group critique/discussion
Since the class is for 'intermediate-to-advanced' painters, I hope/trust you all have a plein-air set-up you use and are comfortable with (portable easel/palette, paper towels, portable stool if you need one, trash bag, paints, thinner of choice - since I use water mixable oils, I just have a big ol' bottle of water, cups and bowls for thinner, etc). I do not care if you paint in a very different way than I do - we are on our own journey to truth.
If, however, you are really wanting to emulate “the Charlie Hunter method,” there is an extensive Materials List on my webpage (http://www.hunter-studio.com/store-materials -which, by the way, if you order from, I get a small kickback which keeps the cats another day away from starvation). The very, very bare-bones supplies (aside from your painting rig, towels, bowls, mixing cups, etc) you would want are:
- COBRA Van Dyke Brown and Cobra Raw Umber (I am also liking the Cobra #87 Painting Paste these days)
- Winsor Newton ARTISAN (water mixable) Safflower Oil
- Synthetic flat brushes, and a 1.5-2.5" wide "Chip" brush
- Surfaces enough for 1-2 paintings a day (pay attention to what I say on the 'materials page' about the qualities the surfaces need to have. And if you are making your own panels, don't sand the acrylic gesso). I think anything from 8x10 to 12x18 is a good size for a workshop like this. Be sure to have figured out a way to transport your wet paintings home (I like Ray-Mar wet painting carriers, myself).
- I really, really like the Ettore 6" brass window-washer's squeegee. I really hate the cheap ones that one can get at Home Depot.
- I use cotton swabs a fair bit, and also mint Stim-U-Dents (this doesn't mean you must have Stim-U-Dents, nor does it mean that if you can't find Stim-U-Dents you should bring other dental products as substitutes).