The other day I got up and started checking a somewhat neglected and far too long queue of email when I noticed a new one from my friend, Holly, whom I'd seen a few days before at lunch. "There's a painting workshop in Boyne City on Monday. Interested?" Well, yeah!
So, off I went for a day that included not only a delightful workshop but -- in the hours after -- a walk through this charming northern Michigan city, about 45 minutes from the cottage.
It might be overstating it to call Boyne City a "city." It's more like a charming town than a small city and that's what makes it so nice. It's located right on Lake Charlevoix, one of northern Michigan's loveliest lakes.
Like many up-north towns, there is plenty of sprawl but the downtown is small and charming with some cute shops. And, there were more than a few scarecrows decorating the streets.
But more on that later. First, we gathered at a retreat center on a bluff above the lake with areas for camping and several outbuildings. This looks like it might have been a small church with its cute windows.
The workshop focused on painting values (meaning the gradation between light and dark). Our instructor, Dawn, started by showing us how to mix black from burnt sienna and ultramarine blue. (This seemed to work better in oil than watercolor but it did work!)
Then we were given this lovely color handout of an autumn scene. We were told how to create a grid to help us with perspective. Here's a good tip if you are using the grid plan. Use a sharpie and a page protector to make a permanent grid. Then you can just slide the image you want to sketch into the grid. When done, just take it out and add your new project!
Our first task, after making a value chart for our newly mixed "black" was to draw a sketch of the project picture. After we got it right, we labeled the darkest bits 5, the lightest 1 and all in between.
Then, painting it! Let me tell you, it's hard to paint black and white when you are looking at a beautiful color image! But that was the whole point -- learning how to value the colors for your shading. I was pretty pleased with how mine worked out.
After, Holly and I walked down to the beach.
It was a gorgeous day, finally kind of warm. And the water was so blue!
I think we were both sorry we had on jackets! It was so good to see Holly twice in one week after about two years of not seeing her at all! I'm so glad she let me know about the class!
After we parted, I went into town, noticing lots of cute scarecrows.
I think this display was by the garden club. You can always count on a garden club to do a great display!
At a consignment store I scored a first edition of E.B. White's "Stuart Little," which seems fitting this summer. I also got a great working blender for $7.50. This means I can make pesto before my basil dies off in what was an unseasonably cold week last week.
After a couple more purchases here and there (a bottle of wine and cheese crisps, new socks!) it was home to enjoy a good book.
And, to plan out my next painting project! But, it will probably be in color!