Sunday, April 5, 2009

Demo at Sedona Art Center

Today, we attended a demo at the SAC given by Jerome artist, Cody Delong I had seen him doing his "plein air" thing during the Plein Air Festival in October and met him the other night at the Sedona Art Center opening for the Arizona Plein Air Artists show. He won best in show, by the way.

Anyway, Cody was doing a 16x20 recreation of a study he had done recently. It was of a winding creek with a small waterfall. The scene had a lot in it. Underwater red rocks, bushes and small trees, bigger rocks on the shore and a background bank with a wooded area beyond that. For this type of work, Cody's approach is to tackle the focal point first. But, to begin with, he uses a charcoal to sketch in the drawing. He took an old paint brush and drilled out the ferrule (?) and inserted a piece of charcoal. That way he could draw as if he was painting. On location, he might use a pencil while in the studio he uses the charcoal.

After roughly sketching in the drawing, he started by laying in the color and value of what he was seeing beneath the water. He did not want to paint the top surface until he had the correct feeling for what was beneath the surface. This started with a warm green in the background, then a cooler green and then a warmer red-ish color for the foreground where one could see the rocks under water. He laid in a dark area which would be at the base of the little falls. He wiped out some of the red area with a paper towel to make the underwater rocks. He'd go back later to add more detail. He feels that by laying blues over the green water gives more interest to the creek instead of starting with blue and adding highlights. It definitely worked.

As he added the blue to the water, he used directional strokes in the foreground to indicate movement in the water. Some of these would be his final stokes. Economy of brushstokes?

He then went to the background and put in a mid-tone gray on top of which he added darks for tree trunks and lights for some of the foliage. He added the river bank in front of the trees and was able to drag wet into wet. He works top to bottom so that he can drag the new layer into what is already there. He is meticulous and takes his time with his painting. He wasn't going to finish the whole canvas, but we got the point. See the photo for how he was approaching his work.

Cody uses a pochade box from . Actually, it is the panel and pallette holder. This attaches to a normal camera tripod. For a panel, he uses a Pintura panel that he primes with liquin and light ochre. He also uses a light coat of liquin to varnish his work when it is dry.

He can fit everything he needs into his backpack as he hikes into the back woods of Arizona in search of something that stikes him that he can put to canvas.

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