Tuesday, October 30, 2012


We gave Chris a challenge for the final day's painting/demo - a snow scene.  Not that he couldn't do it and had several beautiful snow scenes to show us.  But he challenged himself even more by painting it on Arches 140# hotpress paper and using a photograph that had no lights in it!

Once again, Chris began with the warms, putting in the beautiful main tree with a variety of browns using ONLY:
Cobalt Blue
Hansa Yellow Light
Quinacridone Red with a touch of Quinacridone Rose mixed in

And yes, he made some great browns and ochres using just those colors with a touch of Ultramarine Blue in later so he could get more darks (Cobalt Blue won't go really dark when mixed with the other colors).

Leaving the snow for last, Chris put in the middle ground trees, the background indication of trees and foliage (pushing it back with some blues and violets and warm pinks), and the dark stream.  If you click on the painting, you will see the gorgeous way watercolor blends and flows in the hands of someone who truly knows what he's doing!!

Chris works with his board at a slight slant so the water and pigment can flow and run and he prefers working on Arches 300# rough because the 140# rough now doesn't have the texture he likes for landscapes and that sparkle of white as the brush skips over the paper, leaving whites. 

He never uses masking fluid, hating the hard lines it creates, and he doesn't use many earth tone colors, preferring to mix his own from a wide variety of primary colors in warm and cool temperatures.

Again, I highly recommend taking a workshop or studio lessons from Christopher Leeper - you will learn a lot about landscapes and color and value and how to make a beautiful painting without using 15 colors from the tube :)
Get on his mailing list and he'll send you his newsletter, once a month, full of great paintings and tips and instruction!

Sorry I didn't get this posted yesterday - the day got away with me and had to do errands with Mom (doctor appointment, pick up meds and some groceries), and then clean the house for today's beginner class.  I'll have a few more photos and things from the Leeper Workshop to finish up.  I really wish the workshop could be 2 weekends with a bit of a rest in between = 3 days with time to incorporate and play with the ideas during the weekdays and then another 3 days to continue!   But maybe I'm just being greedy?!? ha ha


Caroline Simmill said...

What an interesting post with demo, he has a delicate touch with the watercolours similar to your own. thank you for sharing Rhonda.

hw (hallie) farber said...

What a great workshop. I like your idea of break days between classes.

Mick Carney said...

Thanks for the insight you've shared with us. Some interesting process to think about.

jgr said...

It looks like a really great workshop, thank you for sharing so much info!

Studio at the Farm said...

Wonderful painting, Rhonda! Thank you so much for posting the steps.

CrimsonLeaves said...

Christopher's paintings are indeed beautiful and I've loved hearing of some of his methods, Rhonda. Thanks so much for the wonderful posts about the workshop.

Katherine Thomas said...

Your photos are so good! I always love coming away from a workshop all inspired. Do you ever find, though, that your own efforts when you get home aren't as great as you hoped, after the workshop? I do. I wondered if it was just me who felt that way. (you probably don't, your work is so beautiful!)

RH Carpenter said...

So glad you all have enjoyed the photos from the workshop and the info I shared :)

Katherine, I know what you mean - I think we come home and think we can paint a certain way but it takes time to practice and to incorporate all we've learned - I think after a month, you get it and it shows in your work (unless you're like a lot of people and you take a workshop and then just put all the info away and never look at it again! ha ha)