Our two back-to-back workshops with the prolifically proficient painter and all around nice-guy Daniel Keys was attended by 16 students the first week and 12 the second. He placed brush-stroke limits on us and joked about how we would paint differently if he was charging $10 for each stroke. Smudging and blending and muddying the paint on the canvas was something that he showed would make weak images. Simple, bold, clean strokes that are made on purpose create paintings that are appealing.
Daniel, using a lighting source to illuminate his subjects that is clearly in the cool range (6000 kelvin), create a full spectrum still life to paint from. He went to the hardware store to get florescent bulbs that we used in the 6 nearly identical setups. With such a “cool” light source, many of us we were working on training ourselves to make a mental adjustment to consider how shadows would have less coolness as they receded from the light — therefore being warm. This is of course “relative” to the cool light source. If a green watermelon has cool light on it, lights will be cooler blue and the shadows will be less cool, or “warmer” than the cooler lit area.
Daniel Keys has a unique way of delivering instruction that is both encouraging and thoughtful. He is so successful in his young career that he is planning to only do workshops in the same location every-other-year. So… we look forward to his return in 2015.