Day 4 started with a discussion on color. Susan suggests to consider value first, then color/color temperature and then, increase or decrease its intensity. The goal is to make a logical approach to color selection instead of simply guessing. She started a demo using an acrylic underpainting. I didn't have gatorboards left, nor had any fluid acrylics in the primary colors so I just observed and took detailed notes so I can use the technique some other time.
I started my painting #6, which was finished the next day. It might not be a very interesting or appealing painting but I learned some very important things about color and how I work from this piece. One is that I need to be more daring with color. Originally the mountain in the distance was a paler blue. At Susan's suggestion the color was intensified but it still reads as a cool, cloudy day. The same happened with the sky. Instead of lavenders, some peaches and pinks were added which had the effect of warming up the scene just a little bit without changing the overall feeling of an overcast day. I also became aware that I tend to add whites or very light colors when I need to warm up an area. Susan selected some warm browns for me to demonstrate how to warm up the dirt in the foreground.
Day 5 was business talk in the morning. One important thing Susan mentioned is that 50% of art time is really business. This is something to think about...
She continued with the pastel application on the acrylic underpainting. The key is to simplify, develop value slowly, and unify with color. She stresses not to use white. The only reason she carries it in her box is to demonstrate how glaring a streak of while looks on a painting that has a wide range of values and reads well. We continued with our own work and she did several rounds of critique. All of a sudden, it was time to pack and go home.
I feel enriched by this workshop, and also very energized. Now I'm figuring out what to do next.
Going with friends made the trip even more enjoyable as 4 of us from the area decided to lodge at the same place and were able to prepare breakfasts and dinners together, and play cards at night. It was "me" time I really needed.