Abstract rocks — Tina Stallard workshop


This week I took a fun and really informative workshop with Tina Stallard, a fabulous watercolor painter from Albuquerque.  The class was structured to teach us design elements to make stronger work to submit to juried shows.  It was intensive and I learned so much.

She brought two black and white photos for us to choose from to use as a basis for creating a value sketch that really works, including strong design scenarios such as the cruciform shape of darks/lights in a intersection shape around the focal area, a radial arrangement that radiates out from the focal area, and another common one, a horizontal/vertical arrangement.  She strongly recommend buying this book Seven Keys to Great Paintings. If you are unsure what I am referring to, browse some of her pages.  I can’t wait to get my book in the mail.

This is an abstract based on a black and white photo she took of the rock pattern in a dry river bed, and some of us really made it abstract with wild fun colors.  I chose more earth tones but added pops of dark color near the focal point which made me uncomfortable initially, but now I see the value of it.  I think I will eventually crop this smaller but I’m happy with all I learned.  I’m hoping to have the time in the next couple of days to work on value studies for future paintings to really “bake in” what I learned.


As a wind down activity on the last day we did a wet in wet wash with colors and let it dry during lunch.  Then we came in and sketched a design lightly on the top and used negative painting, or putting darks in to define shapes, to create a painting.  I like how this one turned out!

And now the rest of the workweek will be focused on getting ready for my booth at the Queen of  Peace bazaar.    I can’t wait to see how that all plays out!

Thanks for visiting and thanks in advance for your comments.   I enjoy hearing from you!


One thought on “Abstract rocks — Tina Stallard workshop

  1. Pingback: Early Journey Show | Rachel Murphree Watercolors

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