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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Workshop Day Three

Today we were allowed to paint, but not until we had taken our subject through all of the design analysis steps we did with the newspaper clipping. That part took most of the day, with Donna circulating throughout the room guiding students toward the best design for their subject. She's very good with artists at all skill levels. Some remarkable things happened. One of my students did an extraordinary piece--her first use of white paint as gouache. Another did her painting upside down and turned a ho-hum painting of Canada geese into an energetic, colorful picture that just happened to have geese as the subject. A third artist was doing excellent studies, so Donna challenged her to see how many ways she could find to design the value pattern. The results were amazing. I'm working from a small photo of an elderly woman sitting on a bus-stop bench under a protective umbrella, clutching her sweater and purse. I did a dozen or so preliminary same-size design studies, about 5" x 5", starting with a contour drawing, then an outline drawing, followed by the delineation of positive and negative shapes. As per Donna's instruction, I did additional line drawings followed by analysis of value relationships. As the day wore on, I finally copied my design to watercolor paper and painted it, using white paint for the first time in my watercolor life. Guess what? I didn't die. Tomorrow Donna has promised us a demo using white to make gouache, as opposed to using the more opaque pigments in transparent watercolor. Sounds exciting to me. See you tomorrow!

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3 Comments:

Blogger Michelle Himes said...

This is sounding like a great workshop. I wish I were there with you.

Michelle

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Mike Bailey said...

Nita . . .It's an extreme compliment to Donna Zagotta for you to have taken her workshop. I am familiar with Donna's work and her workshops . . . .she produces major breakthroughs for most participants. Her methods of teaching and design are
extraordinary! Her methods of designing a painting have the air of elegant simplicity with incredible boldness and power !

11:55 AM  
Blogger Nita said...

I couldn't agree more. One of my students was in the workshop, too, and I think she is taking great strides since the workshop.

9:28 PM  

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