I’m super excited to be visiting this magical place of Morocco and to share the joy of painting and teaching in this place is going to be nothing less than life changing. My teaching approach is very encouraging. We’ll be showing several short demos throughout the day. As students struggle with a particular concept, we’ll have some short 5 -10-minute mini demo to show detailed specific techniques.
I also like to share mindfulness techniques to help artists get in that creative flow state.
For artists, designing light, and its effect on our subjects boils down to four main abilities; The ability to select wisely the shapes we want to capture, our ability to focus and choose the right shapes. Our ability to simplify the scenes for maximum effect. And our ability to embellish only the areas needed to complete our story. This workshop and demonstrations will focus on these four concepts to bring your art skills to a new level.
1. Selection – Focus: Composition and Design
Every scene is filled with multiple choice of possibilities, and from this selection set, our goal is to design a compelling composition. To sharpen this skill, ask yourself what’s important? What’s less important? Let these answers build your hierarchy of shapes.
2. Focus - Forms, Planes and Shapes in Lights and Shadows
We’ll study how the lights falls over, around and through these forms, planes, and shapes and how these shapes really define your forms. Sharpening this one “tool” will increase your shapes solidness creating a stronger painting.
We’ll learn also to grow our mindfulness and observing skills as we really look for the forms, planes and shapes the lights are defining. We’ll focus less on how well to copy the scene, and more in how real the planes, shapes and forms are depicting the lights.
3. Simplification –
Focus: The Power of Harmony
When asking, what do I want to paint? Also ask, what do I NOT need to paint? Eliminating unnecessary noise really does wonders to make a more captivating and harmonious painting. We’ll learn how to simplify your painting by unifying the sameness, relative to the overall whole. You’ll also learn how the economy of details will bring out the best of your art. It’s good to be an artist. It’s better to think of yourself as an intriguing shape finder. The more details you add, the less opportunities you are making for deeper connection.
Simplifying is ironically hard to do, but when you understand how to use this tool you are now seeing and painting by shapes, value, and temperature relationships. Seeing this way feels awkward at first, but once you get IT. Wow! The whole painting world opens to amazing possibilities.
4. Embellishment – Focus: The Power of Contrast
We’ll learn how to use the power of contrast to really make our paintings sing. This emphasis will do wonders to keep your center of interest the center of interest. The human eye is attracted to all forms of contrast. Knowing this, use contrast in your design to strengthen your centers of interest.
Final Thoughts: I am 100% convinced that the degree of imagination we have as artists is in direct proportion to our level of curiosity. I will challenge you daily to bring your best curiosity to your next painting. To ask more Why?, What if?, and “How come?” questions about your scenes, and soon you’ll be pushing the boundaries of what is truly important and what can, with a little simplification and embellishment, be an excellent piece. You’ll also be eliminating the noise, and increasing your focus in creating remarkably compelling and imaginative art in truly beautiful locations.
Most of all, we’ll have fun laying down color with confidence. Knowing it’s your courage that comes across in the paint, more so than anything else. I can’t wait for you to join us on this watercolor adventure of a lifetime.
Some students may already have some equipment, so feel free to bring whatever supplies you have.
Palette in which to squeeze out your colors and area to mix your paints. I recommend the John Pike palette.
Tripod and mast for holding your paper block
Paints: Watercolor: it’s worth it to buy
the highest quality you can afford. I recommend Danial Smith or Holbein. Please
bring at least a warm and cool of each primary color.
I recommend the following colors:
(YELLOWS) Permanent Yellow Light (cool), Yellow Ocher (warm)
(REDS) Scarlet Lake (warm), Quinacridone Violet (cool)
(BLUES) Cerulean Blue (cool), Cobalt Blue (Neutral), Ultramarine Blue (warm) Ultramarine Turquoise (cool)
(EARTH TONES) Transparent red, Quinacridone Gold (warm)
(GREENS) Green Gold (warm), Sap Green (warm), Shadow Green (cool)
(DARKS) Neutral Tint
(LIGHTS) Permanent white Gouache, Lavender (Holbein),
Brushes: You don't need a lot of brushes,
just a few good brushes.
Mop brushes are good for covering large areas in your paintings quickly and efficiently with a lot of paint. I have a #5 and a #10 Mop. Large Round brushes #10, #12. Medium size #6, #8. Smaller size #1, #2, #4 will be good for details. Flat brushes (1 inch, 3/4 inch, 1/2 inch) are useful for obtaining clean edges and strong strokes.
a good brush holder to store your brushes, such as a canvas or bamboo roll-up.
Paper, Plan on using 3-4 sheets per day of painting. Bring more than one block of good quality paper. Two blocks of 20 sheets 12” x 16” should be fine for the entire class. Blick’s Makes a good cold press block of paper. Arches makes a block of cold press or rough paper is amazing to paint on.
Pad of Gray toned Multi Media Paper 9” x 12”
Other: Water container, Sketchbook for working out your designs and compositions, Pencils (HB, 2B, 4B), kneaded eraser.
A roll of 2” Masking or Drafting tape, Green Frog Tape
Spray bottles and a small spritz spray bottles,
Sea sponge, roll of paper towels. Plastic trash bag, Sun hat,Chair to sit on during demos
After breakfast, we will hit the road toward Marrakech, an imperial capital, and the heartbeat of Morocco. Some say it is the city where entertainment and history are combined. With the help of a private guide, today we’ll begin our tour with a visit to the Koutoubia Mosque. The mosque was founded in 1147 by the Almohad caliph right after he conquered Marrakesh from the Almoravids. After viewing Koutoubia Mosque, visit the nearby El-Bahia Palace. Means “Brilliance,” named after one of the four prettiest wives of Ba Ahmed, the son of the Grand Vizier Si Moussa. He was from a family of black slaves which served the Moroccan Makhzen. Then after that, a small peak over archeological sites in the Saadian Tombs. Opened to the public in 1917, they date to the time of the Saadyin dynasty. Lunch will be inside the heart of the red city
The departure will take place towards Ouarzazate(about 200 km from Marrakech). taking the road which passes through the High Atlas Mountain range. On our way, we will drive through the Tizin’Tichka pass, at an altitude of more than 2200 m and which links the valley of the Tensiftwadi in the north, to the Asif Ounila valley a semi-arid region in the southeast. We will stop for the night in Aït-ben-Haddou, located in the Ounila valley and which is the traditional crossing point for caravans connecting Marrakech to the south of the Sahara.
"The Ksar": Here we will draw Aït Ben Haddou from the panoramic terrace of our luxurious guest house. In the afternoon, we shall visit the historic city and sketch in the shaded alleys and along the wadi (river). At the end of the day, we will leave Ait-ben-Haddou to arrive at one of the largest palm groves in Morocco where we will spend the night.
Skoura "The Palm Grove": In the morning, we will discover the splendor of the date palms and the sheltered fruit and olive trees that cover over 27km square. The local population will warmly welcome you, adding to your feeling of well-being, all this under the heat from the Moroccan sun. The palm grove... with its flora and its kasbahs, will provide many subjects for your watercolor art or your travel journal.
The drive from Skoura to Merzouga, (renowned for the world’s highest dunes) towards the Dades Gorges which carve their way through the mountains creating impressive cliffs. In Todgha, you will be facing two cliffs of 300 meters high, separated by a narrow corridor of around twenty meters.This is an unforgettable spectacle to draw, paint or photographand it is where we will have our lunch. After lunch, we will pass by a succession of ksour and oasis. This region was one of the compulsory crossing points for caravans of slaves and gold traffic from Sudan and Guinea. Your caravan awaits you for a one-hour trip on the back of a camel to watch the sunset from the top of a dune.
Departure from Merzouga to take the direction of our lodging in Skoura, via Tafilalet and Rissani the region of Jewish and Muslim Saints. The whole day would be on the road full of surprises and adventures.
The Kasbahs of Skoura ": Amridil ". We’ll be painting and sketching the Kasbahs of Skoura and Amridil. This day we’ll focus on the traditional architecture and Moroccan lifestyle which you’ll capture in your artwork. One of Morocco’s grandest kasbahs, this 17th-century marvel, once appeared on the 50 dirhams banknote. Signposted just a few hundred meters from the main road, this living museum showcases traditional kasbah life over the centuries.
After breakfast, we will hit the road going back to Marrakech. Visiting and drawing the Glaoui Kasbah of Telouat, one of the most extraordinary sights of The High Atlas Mountains.
Free Morning to do whatever you want. After lunch, we’ll hit the road back to Casablanca.
It is hard to say goodbye. But this is the farewell day...Transfer to Casablanca Mohamed 5 International Airport.
The Art and Design of Light
Morocco Plein Air Watercolor Workshop
Cell and Text – +1.312.339.9178
Testimonies and Reviews:
Artistic Style: Classical and Representational
Puttrich started his studies at the American Academy of Art and the Art
Institute of Chicago. He received his degrees in architectural illustration,
graphic design and fine art. Steve studied watercolor painting under the
Academy’s Director, Irving Shapiro, and Oil Painting under Eugene Hall. After a
35-year career as an artist, designer, and creative director for Parsons
Corporations, Steve is now teaching various workshops at Chicago’s Palette and
Chisel Academy of Fine Art. Steve is the “Artists in Residents” for the second
year in a row for the Plein Air Painters of Chicago.
Steve enjoys demonstrating his craft and judging various local venues and has won several awards in Plein Air painting events as well as quick painting competitions in both watercolor and oil paint.
Steve is a member of the Illinois Watercolor Society, the Plein Air Painters of Chicago, and the National Watercolor Society.
“Art for me is a way of connecting shapes to tell a story. My intent with each piece of art is to capture and connect to the moment, connecting people in shared experiences, to this place and time. I’m partial toward painting landscapes, seascapes, and cityscapes. These beautiful scenes provide amazing contrasts of light, shadow, color, and grays all offering great metaphors of life’s own journey. As elements of light and time displays shapes and movement, these same elements often mirroring our own storyline.”
Each country has its own history: historical facts, events and important milestones that gave the country its true historical value. The history of a country is one of the events considered worthy of remembrance, which perfectly applies to Morocco. With several dynasties that have succeeded one another over the years: the Idrisside dynasty, the Almoravid dynasty, the Almohad dynasty, the Merinid dynasty, the Saadian dynasty and the Alaouite dynasty, Morocco has gained international consideration as a multicultural country, with several types of heritage recognized as World Heritage by UNESCO. Morocco is one of the go-to destinations for discovery lovers, the most fascinated by nature, history, the art of living and Moroccan hospitality. The experience gained during their journeys in Morocco leave them pleasantly satisfied with their stay.
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