Saturday, April 29, 2017

Painting demo: A Plein Air Picnic.

Painter, Harold Frontz gave a painting demo titled, "A Plein Air Picnic". I had high hopes of seeing a beautiful woman with a white parasol feeding grapes to her fashionable partner while a stocky lap dog sniffs in the grass. It was a gorgeous day at the Albin Polasek Museum, (633 Osceola Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789). The museum is on three acres overlooking Lake Osceola. I walked down to the water's edge to watch the water lilies as they bobbed on the water's surface. Rachael Frisby the museum curator wandered from artist to artist to check on their progress.

Inside, plein air paintings that were still wet leaned against the walls waiting to be hung. The paintings were freshly created by artists who were part of the Winter Park Paint Out happening April 23rd to the 29th. Free painting demos were available all week long. For me, it was a great opportunity to learn from other artists.

Harold Frontz was actually painting a still life that he set up on a white linen tablecloth. A red apple sat next to a bro me bowl holding some ferns, along with some yellow flowers described them, "happy grapes." He rubbed a warm ground onto the board and quickly roughed in a light drawing using a #2 bright brush and slightly darker pigment. a larger brush and showed it to the audience. "This is the secret of impressionistic painting" announced. He could use the flat edge for large brush strokes and then turn the brush to get a thinner stroke. He uses a Masterson sealed palette which is like Tupperware. He lined the bottom with brown paper and set a sheet of glass on top of that. I immediately want to adopt that idea.

Harold uses a separate brush for every color. He organized his wet brushes on the palette lid. He uses lots of paper towels. He adopted the practice from portraiture of placing the light side of the face against a dark background and placing the dark side of the face against a light background. Transparent darks we applied to his canvas first. Harold blocked in his painting he stressed the importance of using the brush strokes, define direction, shape, and form.

Harold stopped and sat in the front row. He gave an overview of the points he had covered in the demonstration. The funniest thing he said, was that he is soft spoken, because at home, he can't get a word in edgewise.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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