I found Rich Gallego’s demonstration to be very interesting. I always like it when an artist breaks down his or her techniques and inspirations. Rich is mainly a plein air painter. When on location he looks for 4-5 basic asymmetrical shapes and starts blocking in those shapes. Rich said when observing paintings, it is the picture with one dominant shape that the viewer admires the most. He may do a sketch on location and do a finished painting in his studio. He often takes off time from painting to read diverse subjects as he finds it stimulates or challenges the mind. Rich recommended John Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Paintings as a good art reference book.
Among other things Rich talked about balance in a painting. Often an artist is careful about balance top to bottom but not left to right. He said you need at least 3 values to create volume. He demonstrated that in his painting of trees. Rich is always thinking of value and temperature as he paints. He talked about the 4 planes of light in a painting and how light hits objects to create values from light to dark. He sticks to a limited palette. Rich said an artist has to decide when starting a painting the purpose of the painting. His goal is for the viewer is to see beauty in the common. His landscapes meet his goal.