A day with Art

One of my favourite painters is a lovely guy by the name of Art Cunanan. He's also one of the more dedicated instructors around, who never fails to both entertain and teach effectively.

Saturday saw me rise early to drive to Richmond Hill where I joined a small group of friends from the Bayview Watercolour Society for a day with Art. Typically Art will provide two demos during the workshop, on two different subjects. Today's opening demo was a streetscape from the Caledon area which Art had sketched on his way into Toronto from his home in Collingwood. He mentioned that he had been attracted to the mist softening the buildings which formed the background to the scene. This was quite a challenge for all of us and, in fact, only one or two of the more experienced (or more careful) painters got it right. I wasn't one of those this time around.

The afternoon demo was a country road scene that Art developed from two separate photographs. This was a useful lesson in working from photographs, selecting only the details that one wants to include in the finished piece.

The value sketch

For a change, Art did not create value sketches before starting his paintings, although this is a routine he follows when working in his studio. It is a practice that I have adopted and I find it really helps to give me an understanding of the subject. I now use thick markers rather than pencil, more for speed than anything else, although a side benefit is that the thicker marks help to keep the sketch loose - and, hopefully, that translates into the painting. It helps to use a pad made specifically for markers to prevent bleed-through. I use a 6" x 9" Centennial Marker Pad made by Borden & Riley - available from Curry's.
Section of completed painting
During the lunch break, I presented Art with a small button that I had acquired from the Art Gallery of Ontario. It reads: "Art Matters". It does, and so does he.