We had a special guest in class Tuesday evening, David Montgomery, noted landscape painted who is based here in Alamosa.
David is known for his dramatic and epic scenes of the Western landscape and is currently showing work at 2 prestigious venues: the Colorado Govenor's Invitational Show in Loveland, and the Plein Air Painters New Mexico Juried Exhibition in Santa Fe.
There is so much to be learned by watching a master walk through his process. Dave brought a piece of photo scrap and a charcoal sketch already completed. Click on photos to enlarge them.
Dave and I paint together in the landscape a lot and tho' our styles differ dramatically, our process has many similarities; the sketch being one. The sketch is where we make decisions about what to say about said photo - or the view before us. Amazingly, this is a step most ignored by beginners.
Dave is a classically and academically trained painter with a refined sense of technical expertise. His unique style has developed from a bent to follow his own "voice" and not painting fad or fashion. His techniques and tools always stimulate lively discussion among my students.
WHAT was the size of that brush??????
In about 2 hours Dave touched on the history of impressionism and plein air painting technology, painting from reference, using a sketch, working out composition, color theory, edges - brushwork, and what fascinates me most about watching a pro, WHY they do what they do.
He did not consider this piece "done", but will take it home to his famous freezer. Later, after a short rest, he can look at it with fresh eyes to judge if the piece has become what he intended or if it needs some tuning. This might mean resolving edges, it might be adding detail to bring the important points out, or it might be simply adding the signature.
Thanks Dave for sharing your work and your process with so much generosity. Read more about David Montgomery and his work - just click here on his name.