Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ron Donahue workshop

I took a painting workshop this past weekend in Wellsboro, PA with Pittsburgh artist Ron Donahue.  Ron is a friend from the Daily Painters of Pennsylvania and he paints amazing plein air works from  the Pittsburgh area.  I have always loved his strong compositions and use of light as well as his ability to make a successful painting out of simple and often overlooked subjects.  Check out his website

I did 5 paintings during the workshop.  I don't feel any of them are necessarily finished pieces, but rather learning exercises.  I was trying some new things and just taking in the knowledge which  Ron so generously shared. We only had about 90 minutes to work on each exercise.   So the 2 pieces below are just studies and will remain just that - hanging in my studio to remind me of the lessons learned.

 This study of the tractor was done on the first day when it was raining and the class was pretty much confined to the Art Barn.  I chose this spot because I felt the strong values applied to the lesson Ron had just given and would be a good challenge, plus I could stay nice and dry inside the tool area of the barn. Ron helped me to keep the oranges of the tractor in shadow and to contrast the warm light inside the barn with the cool outside light.


This second study was painted in the town of Wellsboro.  The lesson that morning was on separating light and dark values, warm and cool colors, and simplifying shapes.  There was good strong sunlight that day which define the light and shadow families.  With a limited amount of time to work on this, I edited out a tree and several windows.  Ron also helped me to see and paint shapes rather than drawing details.

Overall it was a fantastic workshop.  We had great fun, explored a beautiful area of PA, and learned so so much.  It has inspired me even more to paint and to keep learning.  Thank you Ron !

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