Works from our Idyllwild Plein Air Workshop

Happy moments creating art, appreciating nature’s beauty, laughter and fun conversations with dear friends, and learning the art of seeing as an artist sees with a true master, these times bring a deep sense of joy and satisfaction!

Dan Zimmerman, Idyllwild, 8/15/2020

Our workshop was Aug 10-14, 2020 in beautiful Idyllwild. It was 4 days of authentic plein air painting, about an hour per work each day from life. Except for the 3rd day in which we did edits using the pastel color studies and reference photos. On the last day we took the paintings back to location for finishing touches. I am afraid I was a bit of slave driver until the last day: they got to mostly just look at their work in the setting, work on their signatures, and put just a few touches here and there. Extremely proud how hard Susan, Luxman, and Dan worked. One of the artists is colorblind so he only did monochromes.

The pastel technique is using dark paper, and start with dark pastels that are just a tone lighter than the paper and gradually step up a tone at a time, driving towards the light. The last bit of light might have 10 layers of pastel.

The oil technique of under painting was to bath the canvas panel, 9×12″s, in a dark color, brown/black, then use a lot of paper towels (blue shop towels), to wipe off the painting in progressive layers, likewise with the pastels, to gently lift the light, one tone at a time until the final that being the lightest tone.

Thank you for a very amazing week! I learned
a tremendous amount and now have more confidence in trying new
projects on my own. You care so much about your students, your
knowledge and dedication really shine through.

Susan Surber, Idyllwild, 8/15/2020

After that and being pressed for time, there was only a total of 3 hours for each oil painting, we concentrated on only adding detail and color in the areas touched by the sun’s light. No fiddling around with the shadows. Shadows have about 8% of the information that the light areas have, so if they over work the shadows it kills any possibility of for the feeling of light. The students probably still hear my voice in their heads warning them to stay off the shadows.

The main theme of the workshop was to create light within light, not to brightly light edges, but reserve the brightest for inside. It creates a billowing feeling to the forms and a glow, really key when doing the clusters of vegetation.

I hope you enjoyed this vicariously.

Join us for our next workshop in Palm Desert, November 15 – 20th, 2020

Michael Newberry, Idyllwild, 8/15/2020

6 Replies to “Works from our Idyllwild Plein Air Workshop”

  1. Fantastic! Wish I could have been there! Great work Michael,
    All the best,

  2. Michael,
    This warmed my heart so much, made me think of our workshop in Wyoming and how much fun I had there. I’m so glad you had a small, intimate group in Idyllwild. Luxman has come a long way but I can pick his work out in a heart beat! Please send him my love! I miss you both. Maybe if this crazy virus ever goes away I can get out for that visit I keep saying I’m going to make. You and Frida are always welcome here. North Carolina has some beautiful places to paint. XO

    1. Kathy, oh you would have loved it, the synergy was awesome. I will let Luxman know. hahah, they were already arranging two more workshops for the fall and spring! Come!. Love, Michael

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