Sunday, September 19, 2010


I spent a delightful day observing Master Plein Air painter, David Savellano, teaching a group of eager students.  He graciously let me join them, at my request, so I could hone my skills at outdoor painting.  I have much to learn but I picked up some great tips and techniques watching David paint.  He is such an open, friendly person with a great sense of humor, so it was a fun time for everyone.  He even charmed the weather into cooperating.  The weather reports predicted rain put we lucked out.  It was balmy, but overcast and gray.  He showed how to make up the shadows if none were there.  One of David's greatest tips is to have a portfolio of figures and animals in different actions (walking, jogging, bike riding, etc.)  He uses this reference material to add figures to his compositions without having to worry about the actual figures that are present at the time but moving!  We set up near the  Lake Chalet Restaurant at Lake Merritt in Oakland.  It is a former boathouse and and interesting view.   I was able to add to my reference portfolio people rowing sculls and a fabulous white pelican that had settled on the water.  I see lots of brown pelicans in my area, but not white ones.  There were some ducks waddling by, so I took some photos of them as well.  There were 5 and each one was distictly different.  

No, you can't see what I produced because it was a pathtic mess.  I forgot and didn't use a permanent ink pen, so the whole thing bled badly when I put the washes on.  I have provided you with David's initial thumbnail sketch and the finished painting.  If you would like to see more of his beautiful work, you can go to his website. Just click on his name in blue for a direct link.   He even has a section with tips and techniques that you will find very helpful.

David was featured in the June issue of Watercolor Artist Magazine and has a painting in the National Watercolor Society 2010 international exhibit.  David is also a dedicated, hardworking Signature Member of the California Watercolor Association.  I am so happy to call him a good friend.


Joan said...

Sounds like you had a fun time. I like his idea of using reference material to add figures, since they always move out of range so fast.

Anonymous said...

Hi Myrna,
Thanks for showing the thumbnail and for the describing how David Savellano works. Darn, it would have been fun to see what you produced! Oh, and I liked your yearbook drawings too.

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