View Full Version : John English Landscape Class
February 17th, 2010, 09:44 PM
Thanks to John for that informative class on landscape painting. His explanation was equal to actually watching him work. Hearing what he was thinking about and how he approached his thinking process was valuable.
I really enjoyed listening to him describing his thoughts as he worked from photographic images he took while on trips to "the field" for inspiration while preparing for gallery shows. The concept of what he was painting and why was good information. It goes to show just how much can go into the making of a landscape.
A lot of mental involvement not only in picture making, but "WHY" you are making the picture. Moving things around, re-arranging nature, adjusting values, adjusting colors, and constantly being aware of the "emerging" image before you. He really uses his "reference" only to "refer" to in the form of inspiration and a jumping-off place for his image. His paintings don't really portray a true location anywhere... they are simply the end result of seeing an interesting play of light, or group of shapes. The "reference" photos are just the beginning.
Here is the demo after the glaze has been applied. If you watch the demo again in a week or two, the glaze portion will be added to section number three.
What did you think about the class? What did you glean from the information and the explanation? A lot to think about and digest, but I would love to hear your comments. Also, here is the link to the survey if you missed it during class, or have not completed one for any of the classes previous to this one. http://discoveryclasses.questionpro.com
Let's hear what you thought about the landscape class!!
February 17th, 2010, 10:08 PM
It was a great experience today both seeing his work as well as hearing him talk about his process of dominance in composition and temperature.
Loved seeing his work and how strange some of them looked with augmented reflections or colours. "paint what the you can't photograph". great advice.
Thanks John. Looking forward to the next class.
February 17th, 2010, 10:36 PM
Love the painting in this thread. Thanks to everyone for participating too. This has been a lot of work and has been worth it for everyone. Kudos.
February 18th, 2010, 12:30 AM
This might be off point, but the work that Mr. Dobsky and Mr. English showed were both different (obviously) but both also were similar. They both knew what they were going to do at each stage and had mentally planned most of it out before even laying down a stroke.
There was also the good mix of the deceptively simple river paintings, and the sunsets we viewed. A question I thought from those was that when or even the reason why some paintings have a lot more going on than others.
February 18th, 2010, 04:13 AM
I have to agree with Reymus. It's great to see how different the instructors approach their work and show various ways of reaching a certain goal. We as students are now able to choose which way fits us best and have a good idea how to start.
The demonstration was really inspiring and I can't wait to try it all out! Beautiful work and I almost regret selling my car now. No traffic jams because I decide on a spontaneous photo shooting :D
Thanks Mr. English for the thought-provoking lesson!
February 18th, 2010, 10:16 AM
This was a fantastic demo. Hearing John's approach- seeing the world, photographing it and then re-composing it - made me excited about painting landscapes for the first time. All my previous experience with landscape drawing and painting has been plein-air (at the command of teachers past) and I found myself constricted by what was in front of me, much like John talked bout last night. I don't know why, but the simple act of thumbnailing a landscape like you would when you're working on any other illustration is all the difference in making it a satisfying process.
February 18th, 2010, 11:06 AM
definitely....great work...I really enjoyed the tips on the business side of art that John gave as well. They were scattered throughout the presentation but very helpful.
February 18th, 2010, 12:17 PM
This class was top notch. John did an awesome job of articulating numerous concepts that i had vague ideas about, but couldn't quite translate to the canvas. Major eye opener.
I've got a couple photos picked out, and i'm gearing up to start a piece.
February 18th, 2010, 02:51 PM
Loved the class. Very different approach to landscape than what I've been taught before.
I'm curious, John, what are some of your influences? You mentioned Monet, but I'd love to hear who your other favorite landscape painters are.
February 18th, 2010, 05:35 PM
I don't even know where to start! Seeing how John took liberties with what he was looking at vs. what he wanted to show was such an inspiration. One of my issues with painting is getting past the rigidity of trying to just paint what what's in front of me. In seeing his process and the decisions that he makes (and hearing why those decisions were made), it was like a giant whoosh of freedom and knowledge smacked me right in the face. The limited color palette is something I'm eager to try. I either need to get some retardant for my acrylics or figure out a way to make this nasty cold weather go away so I can bust out my oils because I'm dying to paint!
I especially loved the Florida sunset. Absolutely loved it. I lived in Florida for 15 years, but my family moved to WA when I was 18. I hated that state! Too cold and dry and no thunderstorms. Back on the east coast now, but not in Florida. That painting was awesome, made me really miss my hometown. I swear I could feel the humidity from looking at it. I'm still in nostalgia mode.
I'm going to have to go back and watch it again. And again. And probably again.
February 19th, 2010, 12:50 AM
Thank you for starting this thread!
I enjoyed the class on Wednesday, especially the opportunity to explain my process and the possibilities that can come from exploring beyond the camera.
It has been a real pleasure sharing information with the students that are attending the Discovery program. The students are getting a very broad view of picture making with many different approaches and esthetics. I have enjoyed the teaching and being associated with so many talented people.
I always feel I am the largest beneficiary, the students are not the only ones learning in an environment like this.
It has been great so far, I can't wait to see what comes next!
February 19th, 2010, 01:09 AM
knoxie, Jason, Reymus, Onisan, Brinkman, Saurus, Adam, Noah and LexieSue-
Thank you all for the very kind words!
I have really enjoyed this format and everyone involved in the program. The process of giving back what has been so generously given to me is a very gratifying experience. I hope you all have an opportunity to do the same!
February 22nd, 2010, 12:51 PM
i had to watch this on demand, but it was a great lecture and demo. it answered a few questions i had and gave me a an alternative to plein air, something i don't like doing much myself. it stayed on topic and inspired me to pick up that filbert once again (i had a pretty bad oil painting class last semester).
February 23rd, 2010, 04:00 AM
John English landscape demo was awesome. A true palette knife samurai. It was great to see how he builds his landscapes to convey mood.
Trying one myself. Boy that palette knife handling is tricky to get right. Still trying to build my canvas up, guessed a couple under layers tones incorrectly. Great learning experience, I will post when I get further.
February 23rd, 2010, 04:16 PM
I really enjoyed this class, thank you John!
I had only ever used oils before as a glaze over acrylics so this was completely new to me. I have tried it out based on this photo I took in Kauai where there was a really interesting arrangement of hills, still working on it :D
I don't think I'll be selling it for millions or anything but I can see where it all went horribly wrong in places and I know how I would approach it differently in the future - which for me is the point of doing this.
Definitely a lot less forgiving than acrylics!
One question tho, I'm having trouble photographing the piece, it's just a mass of canvas texture and reflections, is that just because it's still wet, or are there any tips?
February 26th, 2010, 07:26 PM
finally got this one finished to mild satisfaction. I wanted to represent the hills in the mt. as waves. A Mountain can sometimes seem flat until just the right light hits them. I wanted to capture this.
18x24 on gessoed plywood. (Note: There is no aqua blue in the sky, got to figure out how to take better pics of wet paintings.)
February 27th, 2010, 07:48 PM
I took a couple of minutes and very crudely painted over your painting to show you how to re-compose the shapes. You had to many shapes that were the same, so I changed a couple and pulled several together to make one and added a few warmer mountains in the distance.
I also took some of the white out of the sky and added more fog in the foreground. The combinations are endless, I was just try to show you how to many shapes that are the same, become bad design. Difference is what makes composition interesting.
I hope this helps!
February 27th, 2010, 11:57 PM
Thank you for the visual critique John. :)
It helped to clearly understand your point about shape repetition. Repetitive shape can cause too much repetitive rhythm.When using flow I need to be mindful to create variety to make more visual interest. Breaks in the flow create spots for the eye to rest and run through the layers in the painting. Very nice edits, this will definitely help. :)