Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tom Jones Workshop

Tom Jones Workshop
Originally uploaded by linfrye
It still amazes me the extent of the variety of approaches to watercolor painting.

I took a 3 hour class Friday night from Tom Jones (, who wore his signature Panama Hat and was absolutely delightful! I chose his workshop to learn more about darks and lights and to find more ways to loosen up my tight paintings.

Like Karlyn, Tom had the sketch on paper for us so that we could spend our time focusing on methods.

Tom said the same thing most folks do about 'loosening up' - larger brushes, larger palette, fewer brush strokes, less detailed drawing to begin with. But more than anything else, he emphasized the need for DARK DARKS so that the LIGHT really popped. He rarely glazed, but went in with good strong paint and values right away (we were using 300# cp paper), so that we wouldn't overdo the brush strokes. I didn't save as much of the lights as I wish I had! We did 'spatter' a bit and use a lift-out method with water and rubbing.

My painting (rarely decent when I'm at a workshop) has more yellow in it than my scanner can show. It, like Karlyn's, is a half sheet of wc paper -- but my scanner is far smaller and it's too dark to photograph in the hours I'm returning home -- but this is the focal area.

His methods are loose and playful with a 'don't futz' attitude I so wish I could adopt! And while my 'style' is very different, but what I hope to retain from this workshop is that my 'dark' is rarely DARK enough .... and a bit darker probably is what I need to add! LOL

Funny thing, too -- painting from a drawing that someone else did is harder than it might seem -- somehow when we are the ones doing the drawing, we use that time to evaluate the scene, getting familiar with nooks and crannies, light direction, much better (naturally enough) -- so there's a leap, I think, or a period of time, of getting 'into the scene someone else has drawn,' SEEING all those particulars that one seems to become familiar with when one draws the scene him or herself. Still, it's a great way to 'dive right in' to the paint!

More coming ...


shirley said...

WOW! Those drks are amazing! I need to work on getting any dark into my paintings, something I realized yet again when I was at the Hopper exhibit in Washington.

Patti G. said...

Just is just beautiful sweetie!!!!
Not only are you getting so very skilled in what you are doing, you are creating pieces that are amazing and loving it!!!!!
That is so super!

Lorraine said...

Oh Lin, that painting is just lovely -- something I could never get right either. Your yellows show up great on the larger view on the Flicker site. Looks like the sun is hitting at just that spot! What a good class!

Teri C said...

Wow, these darks and lights are amazing!!! I NEED to take that class. It sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing the info.

Linda said...

So Lin, this is something I'm trying to work on, too -- getting the darks right the first time around. Can you share which pigments he used, and any other recommendations about getting it DARK? This is awesome!!!

mARTa said...

I think it time we all get our our big brushes and palettes! This is amazing. I am enjoying all your beautiful paintings.

Tami said...

Holy Cow, Lin!!!! This just POPS!!! This I love the lights and darks in this! I can see that this is an area I need to develop more also! The post form your first workshop is absolutely beautiful too!

Karen at Pen in Hand said...

Thanks for sharing what you learned, Lin. The painting came out beautifully and that dark blue is fantastic. I can really see what he means.

Jana Bouc said...

I'm so thrilled seeing you stretching out and running with these classes. The results are fabulous. It's so true about the drawing. I was starting an oil painting an hour ago (set the timer and it just rang--didn't quite finish) and almost skipped sketching it first, then did the drawing in my sketchbook and was so glad I did. You're exactly right--you learn so much from the drawing of the thing first.

Marie-Dom said...


Wendy said...

I love this painting. It has DRAMA (light and dark - dark against light - my mantra from 2nd year art school)