I’ve been listening and putting together ideas for the upcoming workshop for a little while now, and it’s gradually begun to unfold itself in my head. I’d really like to get some idea from you of how you feel about these ideas (apologies if this is a little long – there’s some stuff I need to explain!)
Firstly, and most importantly, I’ve been thinking of ways that I can make the learning process more involving. That means more decision making for you, rather than following decisions that have already been made – because following along is one thing, and undoubtedly useful, but I believe we learn most when we’re fully engaged and creating ourselves.
So, for this workshop, I want to take you through the process of creating a composition of shapes, values and edges. These really are the building blocks of good composition I believe, and I want to show you a way that you can approach this by actually doing it yourself.
So, I want to supply you with reference options, probably three. Then I want to show you how to make a simplified value study of that reference that will emphasise shape, values and edges.
At this stage, I also want to touch on value balance and how you can *manipulate* the values to get the feeling you want.
The next is taking these studies and then deciding on crops of them – deciding how the subject will fit into the space – before going any further with colour or more detail.
In a way, this is like notan design. But what I think notan design and posterising in photoshop miss are:
1. The huge importance of edges in composition.
2. The expressive freedom we have with values to change the feeling and atmosphere of a piece.
I’m imagining that although everyone will work with the same reference to begin with, the designs and crops you choose will be your own.
And toward the end of the workshop, it’s likely that people will be working on different paintings as I guide you toward developing the composition into full colour and a finished painting.
In this way, I hope that you’ll be able to be much more personally involved in the creation of the pieces you make in the workshop, and learn significantly more through that.
My role will be to provide you with the reference, show you a process, and then try to guide you toward a finish. Many of the decisions that go into the final piece will be your own.
Obviously this is quite a change from the way most workshops work, and a change from how I usually teach.
So what do you think? Does this light you up? Does it sound exciting, and something you’d want to be involved in?
Here’s a quick 2 minute video I’m working on at the moment to explain the process. It doesn’t have a voice over yet, although it will, but I wanted to show you this now so that you have an idea of what I’m talking about:
Shape, edges, value composition and atmosphere will be at the heart of this workshop.