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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Frank Francese demo

Last night I watched Frank Francese do a full-sheet watercolor similar to this one in an hour--without ever putting a pencil line on the paper. How does he do it? First, he paints from a detailed drawing in his sketchbook. He uses his drawings to resolve the composition and values before he starts to paint. He starts with wide, flat brushes for most of the painting and creamy, juicy paint with very little mixing. Eyeing his sketch as he paints, he cuts in the shapes of buildings with bold, unmodulated strokes of cobalt blue, then strokes in some turquoise blue. He adds a building and window shapes, developing the painting on one side from the top down before working across to the next section. Frank is clever at adding figures, vehicles, stairways and other shapes with just a few significant positive and negative marks. His final stage is to add shadows to the entire painting using the same shadow color and a pre-determined direction of light. Voila! A dazzling masterpiece. Frank is low key, but funny and fun to watch. If you love direct painting (no masks, no pouring!) check out his workshops.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nita, I saw him demonstrate in November in California - a sight to behold. Even though I'm not a huge fan of such intense colors, I was mesmerized by his process. I have tried unsuccessfully to find the sketchbooks with the plastic overlays that he uses - it seems ideal for doing value sketches.

1:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nita, I ttk a workshop with Frank in Ft. Lauderdale. It was an eye-opening 5 days. I have tried his process since then...getting gradually better. His patience, criticisms and humor helped immensely.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recollections of the workshop I took from Frank Francese at Cloudcroft, NM in 2007 are wonderful. I had never done watercolors. Frank's lighthearted instruction and encouragement were priceless. He makes the medium seem so easy. I have discovered that it IS easier than oils.
Ruby Bruns
Big Spring, TX

8:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frank stresses having the courage to "put it on the paper, don't try and control it, you'll only wind up frustrated" . Now I just paint and what I get, I get! Happiest I've been.

7:49 AM  

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