Francese Watercolor Workshops
The first session in a Francese Workshop will focus on nature scenes. Images of large natural features such as mountains, large bodies of water, sky/land interfaces introduces the students to working with brilliant colors and rapid value changes. It also introduces the students to the use of light to create shadows and reflections associated with many nature scenes By employing large shapes, students are encouraged not to get too wrapped around ‘details’ and concentrate on the techniques listed above.
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Storms and Moods
That short period time before and after the storm, or the rapidly changing colors associated with sunrise and sunset can change the complexion of a scene in unimaginable ways. Those events provide the artist with an opportunity to explore color, shadows and silhouettes. Detail can be added to these images but is not a necessary component of this type of scene. The ‘moods’ created during this lesson very often are the most surprising events in the workshop.
As you can see from the two examples above, the fundamental difference between the nature scene and the country scene is the introduction of additional detail. Small, simple shapes are inserted to form images of buildings, country features such as a fence line and basic shapes of animals that are common to country scenes.
Francese watercolor workshops are sponsored by watercolor societies, artist’s guilds and fine art galleries across America and outside of the United States. While the format for each can be tailored to the size and skill levels of the students, the workshops are generally three or five day events. On many occasions the workshop will coincide with an art show or other special event being held by the sponsor.
Images created by the artist generally fall into one of five basic genres. Each is the subject of a specific lesson making up the overall curriculum for the workshop. Generally, each lesson will start off with the artist creating a demonstration which emphasizes the techniques he uses to paint an image associated with the day's subject matter.
Beach scenes are very similar to city scenes in the level of detail required to make an image. When imagining a beach scene, people, watercraft and the bright colors associated with a trip to the shore provide additional opportunity for further work with colors. Beaches and waterfront scenes also introduce a unique shape which is an excellent source of inspiration… that being the ‘boat’. Beaches also provide an opportunity to create the land/water interface wherein clouds can become an integral part of the painting.
City scenes are much more complex and detailed. Instead of a mountain in the distance, the major shape in a city scene may be a single building, requiring insertion of windows, doors and architectural features such a stone or brick edifices. Street scenes may include a market with several kiosks, various modes of transportation and of course, people. The city scene is where an imagination is required to produce the detail using combination of various shapes to form the desired, detailed image.
About the Artist - "Style "
In addition to using brilliant colors to create scenes, Frank's technique is referred to as that of 'shape painting'. His shapes are large and loose, often disregarding fine detail. When detail is required or desired, additional smaller shapes are combined on the paper to bring to life the various features such as small buildings, automobiles, boats and of course, people. His workshops include a progression of techniques beginning with basic landscapes created using large shapes to which additional ones are added, producing more detailed images of country, city and beach scenes.