|Lee's Ranch - Sunny Day by Camille Przewodek, 9 x 12, oil on canvas.
Even now it sounds like a beautiful, incredible, impossible
thing to accomplish. I mean, paint light
It seemed like magic to me at first. And I didn't understand what it all
entailed. That changed after I heard Camille Przewodek
discuss her career and
approach to painting at the 2010 Weekend with the Masters.
Przewodek is a plein air painter and was a student of Henry
Hensche, who in turn was an assistant to the American Impressionist Charles
Hawthorne. As an artist, Przewodek's main focus is painting the effects of
light in nature through color relationships—using color and not tone to capture
the effect of light in the landscape and in the studio. When I heard that, it
made such an immediate impression on me that I was suddenly able to envision
how light effects everything it touches—through color.
||The Green Vase by Camille Przewodek,
12 x 16, oil on canvas.
Hawthorne, and by extension Przewodek, believed in the
importance of color masses—that if you get the color notes in accurate
relationships to one another, everything else in a painting will fall into
place from there. In practice, Przewodek teaches that an oil painting's success
is based on how well it shows form through color changes, which means, at its
most essential, using six basic colors—a warm and cool version of each primary
color—and mixing them correctly. From there, secondary colors come into play.
I've gained even more insight from Przewodek's new DVD, Painting Light: The Cape School Method,
which references the seminal academy founded by Hawthorne in Provincetown,
Massachusetts almost a century ago. Przewodek discusses how to build a palette
that can be used to capture all the effects of light, whether you are indoors
or out; how using color comparisons in block studies pays
off in a heightened ability to see color; and what colors are in shadows and in
light. My eyes were opened a bit wider after Painting Light, and I wish that kind of illumination (I couldn't
resist) on all of you, too. Enjoy!