Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Lisa Daria Workshop - Awesome

This two day workshop was perfect in several ways - great host, great venue, fabulous food, fun crowd of artists and Lisa who gets my rave review!  

Here's the recap with a little about each challenge.  Lots of drills and trials like mixing grays, other ways to mix darker colors and the like.  The most powerful lesson we learned was to mix paint so that you never use the same color mix more than three times. It doesn’t take long to realize that you have to get creative while mixing!   It also helps you to focus on what you are actually doing – say a little more blue on the shadow side for example. 

Lisa is very up-front. She tells you there are rules and it is okay to break the rules, but her favorites to hang on to are:

  • No drawing! 
  • Squint so much that detail is eradicated!
  • Three strokes per color max!
  • Paint on a panel that’s toned in bright red to leverage the color energy! 

These four items keep the painting fresh, vibrant and interesting. I forget her exact words, but this is the list of takeaway gems if you ask me. 

Day 1 - Get in the Groove

First panel – no drawing, squint, get used to the bright red backbround.  Oops, vase got chopped off the bottom. . . . er, maybe a little drawing would be okay.

Second panel – Only 30 strokes for the whole painting; increases the fluid-factor and makes you really plan what’s happening.  

Can you belive the shadow was one stroke! Talk about planning ahead!
Third panel - Paint subject again with only the paint left on your palette – egads I only had a small dab of white, so focus was on what colors could be used while mixing to keep it interesting.  ahhhh . . . .darkness.

Day 2 - Work it Out
Paint all unlit areas in black with big blocky sections!  Without drawing - this is hard, but sets up drama and a new way to observe.  Shadow side of the orange really lucked out on this exercise.   BTW the green blobs are grapes :-)

Finally - Paint what you want keeping the rules in play – no drawing, squint, 3 strokes max and don't forget the red panel.  This photo is bigger because I absolutely love how it turned out!

Of course there had to be to one last twist. Paint setup again – but with your non-dominant hand! Not too  bad. I really enjoyed re-painting the same setup, getting more and more abstract.

So what do you think – should I keep doing a few more this way?

Lisa is high-energy, delightful, knowledgeable, fun and funny – she makes it exciting to be learning.  A lot of workshops are what I would call “passive” - where the artist gives out a list of “rules,” does a demo and then walks around making comments.  Helpful, but not my preference.  You never really know what type you’ll end up with, but I personally like what I would call “active” – constant stretching, short bursts of trying concepts, information on why, challenges, etc.  Workshops are expensive, so you always hope you have a good time and come away with a few gems of wisdom.  I got a ton in return and found more JOY in painting! Priceless.  

Lisa's facebook page is here

Enjoy - life is joy we make one moment at a time, 



  1. Awesome, Johnna!! Thanks for sharing this. I love your style in general, and the energy feeling in these pieces is fantastic. I love the red backgrounds to paint on, too...Sounds like Lisa's workshop is a great one to consider.

    1. thanks Laurie! It was two days very well spent. Blogging is so great for reminding us and using as a reference later.