February 20, 2020:

Demo Artist Dan Mondloch – Landscape in Watercolor


DSCN3643Dan Mondloch is a third generation artist. In 2015 he wrote a grant which enabled him to attend the National Plein Air convention. It was there that he found himself as an artist, learned how to paint quickly, and where he “found his tribe.”

In his demo he showed how he paints en plein air, quickly and confidently.

Dan began by painting a value sketch of his subject, a night photo, using neutral tint. He painted the mid values, connecting shapes by “following the bead,” allowing gravity to move the wet color from top to bottom. Then he painted the dark values in his sketch.

He doesn’t always do a value sketch, only when he is “out of shape.” DSCN3639

Next, he pre-wet the 300 pound Arches rough paper and put in his first wash, covering everything except what he wanted to leave white. The wash included warm colors in some areas and cool colors in others. Then he mixed ultramarine blue and hooker’s green for a dark neutral night sky, increasing the intensity around light areas.

With thicker paint (neutral tint, Paynes grey and burnt sienna) he suggested details with bold, energetic strokes. “When it comes to trees, less is more,” he said as he painted branches by scumbling with the side of his brush.

DSCN3641The finished painting, done in less than two hours proved that plein air practice pays off (image before first paragraph of article).

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