Sunday, December 1, 2013

Painting in a Blacksmith Shop

I produced this mini-doc about painting in a blacksmith shop at Old Sturbridge Village. (Direct link to video)

One of the reasons I'm playing around so much with video is that I'm developing a series of instructional DVDs about painting on location in various media: watercolor, gouache, casein, watercolor pencils, ink wash, and oil. Each full-length video will feature two or three plein-air paintings done right front of you in real time, plus a variety of informative short features.

In the two polls at left, please let me know which media and topics you're most interested in. You can select multiple answers. And in the comments, tell me what else you'd like to see in the long-form DVD/videos.

Garin Baker's painting is in oil, 14 x 27 inches. It was amazing to watch him do it, an impressive feat of concentration. He says: "From the moment you suggested going to Sturbridge Village to paint on the spot, a flood of memories came back to me. Year ago when my daughter was in grade school I was a parent chaperone on a class trip there. I remember the completely authentic feel of the place, so I knew we would find some interesting scenes to inspire a painting or two."

Garin continues: "A few years ago I also remember seeing the original of Norman Rockwell's blacksmith shop ("Horseshoe Forging Contest," above) and how amazing and lovingly every square inch of that painting was handled. So with those two points of interest in mind I set out."

I approached the two portraits separately, since the workers kept changing places and taking breaks. The man above was a retired police lieutenant who was just learning the trade.

I'll be writing in more detail about our blacksmith shop paintings in the next issue of International Artist magazine.

Materials: I was using casein paint, various flat and round brushes, and a Moleskine watercolor book  on a homemade pochade easel. Most of the video is shot with a Canon VIXIA HF R400 Camcorder. The opening shot was with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i with a Canon 50mm 1.8 prime lens.

Previously: Creamer in Casein
My first full length video: How I Paint Dinosaurs
Don't forget to vote at left.


Daniel New said...

I absolutely love these videos...

I wouldn't mind seeing more initial drawings, and tips and tricks for accuracy. You seem to be able to simplify everything so well, whereas if I looked at the same scene it would completely overwhelm me... I spend so much time learning about tone, perspective, color, proportion, and materials etc. that by the time I actually sit down and look at the scene I want to draw, what seemed so simple in theory, now feels too complex.

Karen Eade said...

I completely agree with everything Daniel has written. When I watch you do it, it seems perfectly straightforward. When I sit in front of a garden scene in particular - shrubbery, leafage etc - I become completely befuddled, cannot figure out where to start and also want to weep because there is so much green. In fact an entire DVD on coping with green would be good….

greenishthing said...

great video, one question: the big problem I have with gouache is it lift when you come back on it, you can't glaze for example, but can you do THAT with casein? if that is the case please make a dvd or vid about casein , i's a new one to me and look wonderful

cheers from france

P said...

Casein sounds great, but I have not been able to find a local supplier for tubes where I live in Denmark, so I would be more interested in gauche, which I have started to use. I come from watercolor. There is already a lot of material on how to use watercolor, gouache not so much.
But I would be interested in every medium. I think you should not leave out pen and ink wash, because it is a good place to start before going on to the other mediums.

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Sketching outdoors, there is a struggle between reality vs composition. If you can find a way to teach composition to win or a comfy balance, then I'd be deliriously grateful.
I'd like to see every video mention why the composition is what it is. Thank you. I look forward to the series being available.

Jeff Dillon said...

One of the joys of following your blog over the past year has been watching the evolution of your video presentations, from simple egg-timer enhancements to the practical effect intro. We come to you for your expertise, but it's also a joy to watch you put into practice what you are learning.