In last month's Outdoor Market Challenge I asked you to paint a market on location using just three colors of gouache plus white.
We had many inspiring responses from artists around the world, ranging from seasoned professionals to people just starting out on the adventure of painting. In this post I want to spotlight a few of the results that I thought made the most of the opportunity, but I was impressed with everyone's effort, and grateful to all who participated.
Jesse painted the main piece in over four sessions, but he also produced more than a dozen preliminary sketches and paintings to help him warm up to the challenge.
Jesse is a senior instructor from the Vancouver Film School. I hope his students see what an impressive example he is setting.
Next up is Finalist Jared Cullum of Richmond, Virginia, who painted Virginia's Historic 17th Street Farmer's Market. He used Cadmium Red, Yellow Ochre, Cobalt Blue & White. The perspective is very carefully drawn, the colors are muted, and the values are well grouped, making the piece look like it was done by a 19th century master.
He said his rig blew over four times because of that big wind-catching umbrella. Jared also said, "This is posted with a little bit of melancholy. As I was painting someone working the market came and sat with me and asked, "Trying to get it down before they tear it down?" Then he proceeded to tell me about how tomorrow they will be tearing this down to build a "shopping square" in it's place. No idea what that means for the farmers working but it's sad to see a historic thing go." (Link to new story about demolition.)
The next Finalist is Clay Brooks of Denver, Colorado. He used Venetian Red, Oxide of Chromium, and Cadmium Yellow Pale, plus white. Those colors led to a harmonious and unified color statement, with the darks related to the tints.
I also like the way he handled the figures with just a few color planes stated very directly, since the figures must not have stood there long.
Clay said, "I was a little upset with my color choices in the beginning because it was impossible to get darker than 2 or 3 on the value scale. Also, subbing green for blue was interesting."
Architectural illustrator Jeff Simutis is another Finalist. He painted the Marin Farmers Market in San Rafael, California using Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Yellow, and white. I love the way he echoes the colors and shapes throughout the picture and captures the bustle and energy of the whole scene.
This photo captures the busy scene that Jeff was facing on his standing tripod easel. You just know he must have had a million people coming up to him and offering comments, or saying "Paint me in! Har har!"
First up in the Honorable Mention category is Christian Schlierkamp of Berlin, Germany. He used Cyan, Magenta and White on a yellow priming and watersoluble pencils in a Moleskine Watercolour book. I like the light and airy feeling that he achieved, letting the yellow color come through here and there, and allowing the line work to show.
Here's the view back toward Christian from the stand. Christian says, "The market stand shown is of my friend Horst Siegeris where I buy all of our fruits and veggies."
The next Honorable Mention is Michael Mrak, painting the Ort Family Farmstead Near Chester, New Jersey. He chose an interesting view looking in the corner doorway and up under the eaves.
David Auden Nash painted this study using Vermilion, Sepia, and Ultramarine with an acrylic underpainting. The color statement is very exciting indeed.
Here's David Auden Nash in front of De Streekmarkt at Mariaplaats in Utrecht, Netherlands.
Charley Parker painted the Swarthmore Farmer's Market in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.
The painting is 5"x7" and is painted in W&N gouache (Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow Pale, Perylene Maroon, Permanent White) on a Stillman & Birn Zeta Series sketchbook.
Charley says, "I frequently use a limited palette, but one that includes at least four colors — usually Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow Pale, Alazarin Crimson and a "helper color" like Burnt Sienna or Viridian. I didn't realize how much I depend on that helper color, which for a subject like this would have been Burnt Sienna. I would use it primarily to combine with Ultramarine to make grays and browns and to dull the bright yellow into ochre-like tones."
He continues, "I usually paint more natural landscape forms as opposed to cityscapes and artificial structures, and I'm not a particularly fast painter. I soon realized I'd taken on more than I could paint in a single session. Fortunately the weather cooperated and I was able to return to the same location under similar light conditions."
Sherry Schmidt painted the South Pasadena farmer's market in California with W&N Ultramarine, Alizarin Crimson, Lemon Yellow, and white, on cold press watercolor paper.
She says, "I taped over the other colors in my gouache palette so I wouldn't make a mistake! I enjoyed trying this and finally felt more comfortable as I got used to mixing with the three colors."
Finally, I'd like to spotlight the work of Matt Sterbenz of Arizona. I like the way he focused on a smaller detail of the scene, and did a nice job capturing the flickering light and shadows. He used lemon yellow, burnt sienna, ivory black, and white.
Matt says, "A couple friends and I went to a Scottsdale nursery this morning. They have lots of benches and tables set up throughout the garden. The shelving there was made from old pallets and cinder blocks. Hiding from the sun in the shade, I painted this display of small bushes with Holbein gouache."
Finally, check out Dietmar Stiller's video of his painting experience. Link to YouTube
Have a look at the Facebook Event page where all the entries are posted. My compliments to everyone who joined in, and hats off to those of you who bravely painted outside for the first time, or painted in gouache for the first time.
Jesse, Jared, Jeff, and Clay, please contact me to let me know where to send your official "Department of Art" patch as your prize.
Original blog post about the Outdoor Market Challenge.
Facebook page for the Outdoor Market Challenge