Demo by Fred Dingler

Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018


thumbnail_DSCN3247Fred Dingler began his demo by saying, “I don’t use any tricks – no spray, no mask.” Admitting to being a “control freak” he said he just can’t be a loose painter, but he admires all styles of art. “No paint on my hands, clean paper, neatness,” are important to him. As an illustrator and painter, he uses a ruler, T square and triangle.

thumbnail_DSCN3245“Drawing is number one,” Dingler emphasized. “You need to have a solid drawing. Then you can deviate.” He stresses tone value, and is known as “Doctor Dark.” Although he worked on Arches paper for many years, he is now fond of Crescent cold press watercolor board.

In choosing a photo reference, he asks himself what he likes about the photo (even if it is mediocre) and what he can change, move, or eliminate. Then, “Draw the best you can.” Using a John Pike palette, he requires fresh paint and uses a lot of it, learning this from his mentor, Irving Shapiro. “Dried up paint drives me crazy,” he tells his students. He limits his colors to a few favorites: cadmium red light, alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, a warm and cool yellow, burnt sienna. Before he begins, he tests his colors and takes his time, never being in a hurry.

thumbnail_DSCN3249He began the demo brushing in the sky with a variety of blues, saying “It doesn’t have to be perfect.” Then he painted the red barn using his ruler for the straight edges

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. He demonstrated exactly how he was trained to use a ruler as a professional illustrator and showed us the callous that developed from this practice! He quickly put in some dark values including a very dark shadow to establish the darkest values in the painting. He usually mixes his darks using ultramarine blue and burnt sienna or some combination of red and green. He showed how reflected light bounces from the ground and affects the shadow. “Whatever you paint, it’s just shapes,” he emphasized, “even when you are doing a portrait. The face is just a bunch of shapes.”

thumbnail_DSCN3251thumbnail_DSCN3250Dingler closed his demo by saying that he just wanted to demonstrate his process. “It’s my style. It doesn’t have to be yours. Whatever you do, just do art!” he encouraged.