Thursday, August 07, 2008

Mini Maine

NO MINIS in Maine.  Do I hear a sigh of relief?
This is about doing thumbnails - mini sketches as preparation for your BIG painting.

Here is David Dewey's subject matter for the workshop's first day demo.(HELL. Bridges - bah) 
DD paints. We watch and listen.

The end results. The painting is first on our palette, so he places his next to the finished watercolor

 Here are some "thumbnails" studies David did from Winslow Homer compositions.
This set of 4 thumbnail studies are from Dewey's watercolor book. I decide I'm going in this direction.

I pick a view to the left. Notice - NO BRIDGES to mess me up.

 First I start with pencil sketches and then move on to my little watercolor Moleskine ( only 5 1/2" x 3 1/2"). This is FUN! and the fear melts away
The more thumbnails I do

...the looser I get.Owl's Head Rocks, original watercolor

Finally I feel comfortable doing a "big" painting. 
  The next morning I took a look at a Winslow Homer book for rock painting reference. WHOA! Much more rock practice is needed obviously. I even did a few practice thumbnails yesterday. I'm doing my homework.


  1. Carol, these are wonderful! Just inspiring. I love them. And David's bridge is so beautiful! You know someone's good when they can paint just anything and it looks that lovely. I always love seeing these.

  2. ps
    I also totally love that you tied in your "minis" with the minis here. ;)) Very creative, cutie.

  3. Scrumdiddlyumptious !!!

    I'm loving these postings.
    Your thumbnails were yum.

    Barbara in the Mojave

  4. Oh these are great. I cant believe he has you do bridges first thing off. Wow. I would do what you did too. :)
    I love Homer too. I used to have a small book on him. Now that you mention it I havent seen it. probably left it behind when moving. :(
    Thanks for sharing Maine with us. Mini's included. :)

  5. That's just it!
    We don't HAVE to paint what David paints.
    And anyway it isn't about the subject matter.
    It's about the paint, the color, the visual spaces and positive/negative and compliments.
    It's NEVER about the subject matter.
    DD always reminds us "to LOSE the subject"
    But a bridge is hard to lose for some of us :)

  6. Anonymous11:21 AM

    I LOVE IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Anonymous11:26 AM

    That's a GOOD thing that you're still at the workshop this week - well at least in your head, for sure!
    It means you're really processing it all.


  8. YOU'RE right Suzanne!
    I'm almost processing it more now than I did up there a week ago!?
    Funny isn't it...
    You're always so perceptive :)

  9. Anonymous11:29 AM

    your rock landscape is just beautiful, Carol. That foliage on the right is to die for and the simplicity of the swooping landscape and the suggestions of rocks...ahhhh!
    What was DD's critique on this one?
    I'm quite sure he'd have liked it.

  10. You are always so inspiring....I need to get myself to a workshop soon! I'm really loving the things you turned out up there - you captured the essence and spirit of the place...i can almost smell the sea :)

  11. B-E-A-U-T-F-U-L.

    Just beautiful. Lovely and yes, loosing the subject but getting its essence....absolutely luscious.

    Eating it up. :)

  12. I , I forgot the I in beautiful. : O

  13. these are great , i especially like the first in your moleskine (under the photo)

  14. Anonymous1:16 PM

    thank you for creating such an inspiring and enjoyable blog. I look
    forward to it.

  15. Anonymous1:19 PM

    I've really been enjoying your posts on Maine (I must add that I enjoy all your posts!).
    This morning your enjoyment of your experience moved me to join your class.
    I hope you don't mind.
    I too skipped the bridge because it looked too hard.
    I took out my Moleskine watercolor sketchbook and attempted the same scene you were painting so beautifully.
    Again thank you for your posts. They engage and please me so much!

  16. Anonymous1:20 PM

    I love the simplicity of this and the way you painted the trees. Lovely.

  17. Anonymous3:08 PM

    I love your new watercolors(even without bridges)and you using a Moleskine(you know,I´ve seen Picasso´s moleskine notebooks plenty of sketches and drawings in one expo this year in Madrid)Well,Sorolla used to make his St.Francisco´s sketches on Hotel´s cards and Coffee´s napkins but a Moleskine is more fancy ;D
    Sorry for answering you late,but I´m on the beach and I spend the whole day sunbathing and swiming...
    What a hard life to live ;D!!!!!

  18. Anonymous6:10 PM

    It's funny about painting, I feel more comfortable working on a large canvas.

  19. Anonymous9:20 PM

    So, it was A Bridge Too Far? That's OK, I'm with you there....this is a whole different approach. I've never pre-mixed all the colors. I've never done many thumbnails. And I most certainly have never turned out anything half so beautiful as yours! Is there a lesson here? Youbetcha! I am quite sure, however that I have often lost the subject...:-)

  20. I need to take my moleskin out more. I get daunted by it's tiny size - hard to balance and paint on (I usually pull it out spur of the moment and only have my knee has a surface for it..)

  21. Geri, NJ1:41 PM

    I really enjoy your daily emails and have been an "anonymous" fan for a long time now. I just want to tell you that you have inspired me in my humble painting endeavors so many times, you have no idea! I'm pretty sure I speak for others when I say that as a successful artist, you have much to teach yourself, yet you continue to grow and learn from others. Who knows, I may even summon the courage to attend a workshop some day! Love your work.


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