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Monday, April 18, 2011

Workshop: Value and Color



Dot Courson Workshops - Pontotoc, MS
13-16 April 2011

Just returned from teaching a 4-day workshop in Pontotoc, MS. The well organized event, hosted by Dot and Jackie Courson, was a big success.
Jackie and Dot Courson

Here's the class. All names are listed L>R: Bottom Row: John Pototschnik, Marty Fath, Deborah Brasfield, Lisa Busby, Kay Watts. Second Row: Joan Weaver, Susan Patton, Judith Proctor, Linda Hall, Grace Buchanan. Third Row: Dru Jolly, Karen Gipson, Dot Courson, Alycia Stegall, Daphne Works. Top Row: Susan McNamara, Beth Dean, Judy Nocifora, Marilyn Dzielak, Jacque' Sligh, Linda Dees. Not pictured: Todd Wade, Sharon Works.
The focus of this workshop was Value and Color. There are many elements that go into the creation of a fine painting and I discussed each of these in the opening lecture...Concept, composition, drawing, values, color, technique, and even presentation. But, for this workshop, we spent considerable time on value and color. I wanted to show each participant that it is value (light to shadow) that actually establishes the mood of a painting.
To demonstrate this truth, I showed examples and created the painting (shown above) using just raw umber.
Later on in the workshop, color is applied to the raw umber monochromatic to complete the demo. For this painting I chose to use ultramarine blue, cadmium red, and cadmium yellow pale. These three primaries were used to mix the palette for this painting...a square quadratic consisting of orange, yellow green, blue, and red violet.
Beth Dean's plein air monochromatic using raw umber

After first working in the classroom creating a monochromatic, on the second day we spent the afternoon outdoors creating another one from life. This whole process was a big eye opener for many of the class members.
Back in the classroom, Kay Watts has just begun applying color to her monochromatic painting
After an afternoon of painting outdoors, we all enjoyed an evening meal at Dot and Jackie's lovely home...on their deck by the pool

After a thorough dose of value, we next moved to color. Illustrating my lecture with many examples of what can be achieved with a very limited palette, the class was eager to apply the principles taught. They did a great job. I was so proud to see them take the lessons taught seriously, and wholeheartedly attempt things they had never tried before.

Grace Buchanan"s completed painting

It was an honor teaching this wonderful group of enthusiastic folks. Thanks to Dot and Jackie Courson for organizing such a wonderful workshop.

If you would like to enjoy a similar workshop experience, I have only one more workshop scheduled for this year. It is 2-4 June in Wichita, KS
This link will provide all the information:


Hope to see you there

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2 Comments:

Blogger J Joy Nocifora said...

John, this is a wonderful review of our fabulous workshop. I just finished both of my monochromatic paintings. I will be posting them when we get a sunny day. Raining all week here in Memphis!
I am so excited and inspired with a that I learned from you. I am painting like crazy. Thanks again.

April 20, 2011 at 9:12 PM  
Blogger john pototschnik said...

It was a pleasure having you in the class, Judy. I'm pleased that you found it to be a positive and influencial experience. Here's wishing you nothing but good ideas, solid composition, sound and accurate drawing, clear values, and beautiful color.

April 23, 2011 at 11:13 AM  

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