Winter Weekend Watercolor Intensive at RISD 2016

Amy was preparing to teach highschool students anatomy through art.

Tom worked on several landscapes. What lovely skies!

We had a lovely break between snowstorms at RISD for a Weekend Watercolor Intensive Workshop. I had my first class in the newly renovated ISB (Illustration Studies Building), and found the quarters to be quite nice.

Eleven students gathered for two full days to learn about and practice using watercolor paints. Their experience ranged from "haven't touched watercolors since 3rd grade" to an illustration major who graduated from Savannah College of Art.

On Saturday we did hands-on exercises to learn to handle different brushes, talked about properties of different colors and papers, watched presentations of step by step techniques for layering and laying washes, and more. On Sunday, each student brought in a personal project (or 2 or 3) to work on.

Rob pumped out THREE paintings, using layering, wet on wet, and more.

Rob pumped out THREE paintings, using layering, wet on wet, and more.

Louise worked on backlit sunsets and tropical fruit, employing washes and layering techniques. Add green to red, and you get those deep shadows in the fruit!

Louise worked on backlit sunsets and tropical fruit, employing washes and layering techniques. Add green to red, and you get those deep shadows in the fruit!

Mary pushed herself to add more contrasting values to create space.

Kay traveled from Block Island to do a weathered scene from Block Island!

Yanlin layered many washes for an impressive skyscape. A wooden window with a landscape and revisions on the drawing of the girl to come.

Yanlin layered many washes for an impressive skyscape. A wooden window with a landscape and revisions on the drawing of the girl to come.

Laurel used resists to save the whites in these two illustrations.

Laurel used resists to save the whites in these two illustrations.

Dede worked on mixing colors and dropping them to achieve a "glow" in her background.

Kristin began work on two illustrations, adding a dreaded background to one. More layering will add form and give the art punch.

Kristin began work on two illustrations, adding a dreaded background to one. More layering will add form and give the art punch.

MaryBeth brought some spectacular elements for a variety of still-life... she did a 4th piece after this that was everyone's favorite.

As always, it was an absolute pleasure to spend the weekend with these talented and motivated students!

A FINE finish to the Book Dummy class

The 2015 Book Dummy class on the final day

"The Book Dummy" is a RISD continuing education class where students prepare a rough mock-up for a picture book, known in the trade as a "book dummy."  They spend 12 weeks creating words and images that work together to tell stories. In order to do this, students:

Last Tuesday, we celebrated a semester of hard work with food, music, and readings, and guests. Each student read their book, which they had created and honed during the previous 12 weeks.

The process begins with the words. Texts are read, reviewed, edited and refined. This process continues throughout the entire class. Each word counts!

Storyboarding is a huge part of the process, with much work to be done on pacing, design, and text integration.

Anne read her inspiring story of Chester, an aspiring race horse with self-confidence issues.

several panels at an early stage of storyboarding by Rex

  • write and hone the text (some folks bring in texts written by other authors)
  • learn how to design the page and integrate text through a storyboard
  • do character development, color planning, more detailed sketches, and one finished illustration
  • compile their sketches and finished art into a book form

Rex illustrated a friend's counting story, using tiger characters for Gabriel and Gram.

same panels more developed by Rex

Cathy's storyboard in progress

Nicole's story started off dealing with "the sads" and ended up with "bummers"

They do full size sketches for one completed finish, and color studies. Marketing skills are covered as well.

Next, students spend time developing their characters.

Nicole worked on characters that release their bad feelings with breathing.

More color and character development from Nicole.

More color and character development from Nicole.

Sara's protagonist had to cope with the loss of his favorite sofa.

Sara's protagonist had to cope with the loss of his favorite sofa.

Sara's sketches for a finish, character development and color studies.

Bob's little girl has problems sleeping when she doesn't brush her teeth. Her eggs for breakfast, tuna for lunch, and an elephant ear pastry come back to haunt her that night. Bob shows his dummy and one double-page spread illustration with text in place.

Bob's snacks related to his story... tuna sushi, deviled eggs, and elephant's ear pastry!

Terri's "Mighty Macy" has to face life in a scary new house. This is a very complete color study.

Roya and her husband worked together on a traditional Asian folktale, "The Dragon's Daughter." Roya did almost all of the finished art, well beyond the requirements of the class. This piece, which she had completed before the class began, has already won several awards, including the Los Angeles Society of Illustrator's Gold Award.

Roya Ma and Luc Chen, illustrator and author team

© Rongyuan Ma, The Dragon's Daughter

© Rongyuan Ma, The Dragon's Daughter

Manette's watercolor illustration in progress, with stretched watercolor paper, underpainting, and masking.

Cheryl Wheeler with her ukulele, and Manette with a color copy of her finished illustration inserted into the dummy.

Cheryl Wheeler with her ukulele, and Manette with a color copy of her finished illustration inserted into the dummy.

Manette's book was based on a song by Cheryl Wheeler, a singer-songwriter of contemporary folk music who has recorded over 13 albums and tours extensively. We had quite the treat when Cheryl brought her ukulele and sang her song, "My Inflatable Plane." 

Thanks so much, Cheryl!!!!

And thanks to all of my students for working so hard, and bringing so much creative juice to class each week!

RISD Weekend Watercolor Intensive Workshop, June, 2015

Maria came with her mom. She worked on a street scene from Barcelona.

It's hard to think of something that's more fun than spending a weekend with motivated, talented students who want to learn new stuff!

Last weekend was one of those good times, with a roomful of folks ready to learn watercolor techniques, beginning on Saturday morning with simple exercises, like using a round or a flat brush, and spending the afternoon doing more complex techniques, such as laying washes and using frisket.

On Sunday, each participant put their new skills to use and did a painting or two of their own choice.

David is a children's book illustration certificate student. He worked on a monochromatic piece where he built up layers of color.

Trish came with her daughter, and worked on a Caribbean scene featuring cool blues and violets.

Satori is a doctor who enjoys art. He honed his skills by copying a Modigliani and Sargeant.

Marsha practices laying wet on wet washes in colors that were bolder than she was used to, as well as using masking techniques.

Sue worked on an illustration of animals in a classroom.

Nancy is a retired Providence teacher who focused on unifying her landscape painting.

Teri is a college instructor and a RISD children's book certificate student. She did the same illustration on both hot press and cold press papers to discover the differences between the two.

Thanks to all of you for making my weekend so much fun! (I invited student to send me jpegs of paintings that they finish up out of class, so maybe I'll have more to post later!)

Bill did two paintings, one of a ship on the waterfront, and another of a building in snow.

Heather did two beautiful paintings, experimenting with salt, masking, wet on wet and more.

Manette usually works with oils, so her foray into wet on wet and masking was new territory.

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June Parade of Roses

Once again it's the glorious month of June, and the roses in my garden are at their glorious best. Here are a few photos.

This tree is a styrzx obassia... and I have an old rosebush climbing through it, to give our chickadees pleasant surroundings.

This tree is a styrzx obassia... and I have an old rosebush climbing through it, to give our chickadees pleasant surroundings.

A mighty New Dawn climbing rose bush covers our garage roof. It is impenetrable and thorn-filled .

Here, the New Dawn climber watches over my garden.

Source: http://www.cherylkirknoll.blogspot.com/