Mass Your Shadows First

Back from a three-day painting workshop with Peggi Kroll-Roberts. Six hours a day of painting. First still lifes, then clothed figure. And she makes you do value studies…no color…just light-and-dark…first, always! After she reminds you to “mass your shadows first,” she’ll say she believes in constantly experimenting with one’s art. So these pieces are about process, not product:

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My big take-aways:

1. Mass your shadows first…..mass your shadows first….
2. You can learn a lot and experiment more if you work small and use boards instead of canvases. It frees you from worrying about results.
3. Contour drawings are a good way to warm up and to start a figure painting…a completely different point of view from my figure drawing teacher, a “gesture drawing” partisan.
4. Last, and certainly not least: Marcy’s often-recommended idea of starting with a value study, then painting, really works. Duh!

I’m going to try working in this vein a bit more, until I can extract the “Joanne” parts and integrate them into my style.

Meanwhile, check out Peggi’s website: http://www.krollroberts.com/Gallery%20Peggi%20Kroll-Roberts.htm

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By Joanne

Joanne Taeuffer is an expressive painter. She lives in the Berkeley Hills and Healdsburg, CA, with her husband and their black cats, Oscar Wild and Percy.

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