Friday, August 3, 2012
I've long been an admirer of Mark Taro Holmes' watercolors, so the first workshop I took was his, Tea, Milk and Honey Watercolor Workshop. The fifteen or so students hiked to the Ruins de San Francisco. The first order of business was to find a shady spot from which to paint the ruins. We couldn't go inside the structure since it was unsafe. We all sat on some stone steps across the street from the building. Marc wanted us to all follow along as he went through the steps, doing a study of a stone window on the ruins. I admired his set up which consisted of a camera tripod on which he mounted a flat board and an arm which held his large palette.
As we all worked, a lively basketball game began on the court behind us. Sometimes the ball would go out of bounds, bouncing into an artist who would then toss it back.
I lost interest in the ruins and turned around to sketch the animated game. There was plenty of arguing, all in Spanish of course. Players became aware that I was sketching them and they stopped on occasion to see my progress. One little boy obviously wanted to be in the sketch and I pointed to the player shooting the basketball. It was a little white lie, but it made him happy. A little girl would pick up my brush or pencil anytime I dropped it. She was very attentive.
After we were all done, we assembled on the steps for a group photo. The workshop forced me away from using line to define shapes. For me a light bulb turned on as the sketch became more about painting.