Saturday, January 12, 2013

2013 workshop schedule

I am currently scheduled to give two workshops this year. The first one will be at  Pt. Reyes on May 17-19, and the website is here. In looking at the website, it says my class appears to be already full, but they have a wait list. I  apologize for not posting anything earlier. The website listed the class in early December, however  I've been in hibernation mode for a few weeks with regard to my personal work. It has been my experience that for a variety of reasons, a few people usually have to drop by the time the date arrives, so I encourage anyone to put their name on the list if they're interested. I hope to continue teaching in this venue, so don't worry, others will be forthcoming.

My second workshop of the year will be held at the Sierra Nevada Field Campus July 14-19th. I just checked the website and they haven't updated the class listings to 2013, but it will probably happen in the next week or so. If I do find out when, I promise to post it.

Below are a few demos from a mini-class I taught at work for a small group of story artists for a few days in November.

The above 2 images were painted from the deck of what's called 'Brooklyn', the new office building on our campus. In the top one, you can see the giant Luxo light on the plaza in front of the main building, now officially designated as 'The Steve Jobs Building', with the Oakland hills  exhibiting a modest atmospheric color shift in the bg. The palm tree shot is looking north towards Berkeley.


This was painted at the corner of 45th and Hollis probably around 3. The light level at that time of the year is so low angled and warm. When I teach at work, I usually take folks out here to paint, as it is convenient, and there are a lot of building surfaces with tree shadows cast on them, which is a good problem to explore shadow and light color and value relationships. I had already done that demo, so I just looked down the block, and tried this view.

This was done for a video shoot, as part of a program at work. I've been painting at this spot for over 15 years, and have dragged countless folks from work up here to paint morning and evening versions of the same scene to learn for themselves the dynamic range of natural light. This was a morning view, done last October. I met up with the video crew before sunrise, set up all our gear and just went at it. I thought it would be more intimidating, but I've painted this view so many times, and the video crew folks put me at ease with their energy and good humor. I was all keyed up from coffee, and  mistakenly started on the bumpy side of the Canson paper and had to flip it over and begin again.  It was fun to start knocking in all the shadowed areas while waiting for the light to come across the bay and start illuminating the ridge. The big challenge was to decide where to lay in the light and leave it alone, avoiding the temptation to chase it down the hillside. In retrospect, I think what needs fixing is the light colored tree in the lower fg. It doesn't sit in the mass of the shadow correctly, and knocks it out of balance. That difference did exist, but not in the way I painted it with respect to the light.....OR the darker trees. The dynamic range of light in nature is generally much greater than any contrast range we can achieve with pigment. One's eyes can mislead us regarding small value differences, and this image is a good example of what that mis-perception looks like. Here's a picture of the setup near the end of the shoot:

The image I painted runs roughly from the center of my figure towards the right, where the sunlight stops. You can see how that light colored tree groups with the rest of them to the right of the camera tripod. I made too big a deal out of it. Still plenty to learn!


Justin Owens said...

Hi Bill!

I had a question about your workshops. What level of experience is recommended for those attending?

I'm really fascinated by your work and would love to attend a workshop. I've never used Pastels before though.

What I do have is a love of light, and some experience with plein air painting in oils (though no formal training with oils).

Thanks for hosting this blog. I find your work very inspiring!


Tom Chambers said...

Hello Mr. Cone,

I stumbled onto your blog a couple of months ago, and really enjoy your work. I've poured over the archives and especially love your paintings of the eastern seirra. There's such a great freshness and directness to your work yet it's grounded with very skillful handling of color, value and draftsmanship.

I'm inspired by your passion and commitment to painting and simply how long you've been so dilligent about it. It's hard to get up early or go out painting after work sometimes!

Thanks for the example you set, and please keep more work coming!


Bill Cone said...

Hi Justin, Thanks for your interest in the workshop. While I don't require anyone to have prior experience in pastels, it certainly helps! But more importantly, I'd say that having the interest to pursue it, as well as any past experience in drawing and painting is a good pre-requisite. I encourage anyone who signs up for my workshop, to start practicing with the medium now. I emphasize learning to see and analyze value and color relationships, which is a skill transferable to any visual medium. Technique in pastels has a lot to do with touch (pressure), and the shape of the pastel itself. Like most endeavors, practice will get you further down the road. Start now, if you can.

Hi Tom, Thanks very much for your comments. During these colder and darker months, I am not getting out to paint much. That's where the figure group comes in! Gotta keep the motor running.

Sarah Bachhuber Peroutka said...

Bill, I want to enroll in your Pastels & Natural Light workshop and see that the website is not updated. When I reached the person in charge (credit card in hand) he said it would be a couple more weeks until he updates the website, and when I expressed concern about getting a spot, he laughingly said me "and hundreds of others"! Gosh! I guess I'll just have to be vigilant about checking back!

.. said...

Hi Bill,

Awesome work. I'm so inspired!

I love the texture and opacity you get.

May I ask what type of pastels you are using?

Thanks for your generosity and passion.