14 July 2010
Calvin Liang's workshop. Day 3.
The "Overseas Painter from China" a.k.a Calvin Liang performed a looser demo today at Heisler Park in Laguna Beach. By the way, that "overseas" alias is the title of his published monography . A book worth having for sure but whose title is either badly translated or claims Calvin as a Chinese national a little too strongly or both. Was Picasso the "Overseas painter from Spain" ? or Chagall, the "Overseas painter from Russia?"...but I digress.
Besides hammering down "form, color, value and edges" today Calvin had an inspired moment. Pointing to the tip of his brush he said all four elements are contained in every brush stroke. Aha! So every brushstroke counts. I also realized today that what he means by "detail" is not what us westerners would consider as such per se, that is busy work, branches an pebbles. Rather, it is the just as precise and just as deliberate blending and enhancing of the initial masses.
Different today was the palette as well. Just because he demonstrated how he keeps three premixed piles of color, one cool, one warm (made of whatever is left he said) and a neutral grey one. Calvin winces when I say my colors are dirty. He believes it's all in the greys anyway. He also demonstrated the use of black ....in the sky nonetheless.
The use of covering a canvas quickly has become very apparent to me as light kept changing and shadows moving in the cliffs. I post here a bit of my evolution throughout the workshop in the shape of my three pieces. The first one looks quite tentative and confused, the second one of Crystal Cove looks a bit dirty but the basic methods are there, specially in my "Calvin cloud" in the upper corner right ha ha. My third piece -and may be- my most accomplished at this stage- took a lot less time and paint because I finally slowed down enough to become quicker, that is, less mistakes make a faster painting. Even Calvin liked it. He had some awesome suggestions I'll keep to myself.
I really focused on the "form" part today . And it made quite a difference When you think "form", and design, things start to slow down. You want to create forms in the most organic way possible, no parallel strokes or repetitive moves.
And that's that.