I just finished up a pastel/oil workshop with Barbara Jaenicke at Carrie Moore Studios in Oregon City, Or. Inspiring, lots of new info and a great group of artists!
Day 1 emphasized taking a photo down to no more than 5 spaces-trying for one especially large dominant one. Then we did a value sketch of it and used this to draw our sketch on our painting surface. Great way to simplify and keep to it.
Process:Next came the underpainting. Using Uart 400 paper, I applied colors on the big shapes and soaked them into the paper using isopropyl alcohol applied with a bristle brush. Some areas I literally blotted the alcohol on, some I streaked, and I allowed some dripping In certain areas ( like the water reflections). What was new for me was to be very deliberate in the application-. The more 'finished' you make the underpainting, the less work you have in making your top strokes. Here's the result in a small singing called Otter Pond.