Membership Meeting 11/1 with Frank Eber

Frank Eber Demo
Membership Meeting
Sunday, November 1, 2020

Another ZOOM members meeting took place with Frank Eber, AWS, AIS, NWS, from his home studio in northern California. We had over 50 members signed in to ZOOM for our monthly meeting! …Everyone showed up although there was no promise of our famous hospitality spread at Altamonte Chapel….We hope we’ll be back one day to break bread and share together, and in person.

In the meantime, we were mesmerized by Frank Eber’s gentle style, wry humor and bits and pieces of advice sprinkled throughout his demo. A consummate painter, student of famed Italian poster illustrator, Renato Casaro, and distinguished teacher, Frank first took us through his set up, equipment and paint selections.

Because of the dry conditions in California, he keeps a humidifier above his painting surface to keep his wet in wet compositions from drying too soon. It was a lovely effect to see him painting while a slight fog was wisping over his paper….he compared it to, “English Watercolor Artists painting in the foggy atmosphere of the British Isles.”

Frank Eber uses his own daVinci Brushes

He also showed us his brushes, which zoom allowed for screen shots to keep for our records. The big hack was his $5 Chinese brushes from Amazon, which we promptly ordered. He also has his own brand of da Vinci Squirrel mop brushes, and completes his tool set with old rounds, which he uses to scruff up his atmospheric compositions.

Hake brush

Frank uses a block to manipulate the angle of his Arches CP paper. His ZOOM camera enabled us to see him stand and paint, while we could see his palette and paper on his new overhead phone camera. (Was that the new iphone Frank?)

Starts with primaries and colors for a sky wash.

As he began his demo Frank shared stories about his European childhood, and his classic training in oil painting. He was lucky in that his teacher, Renato Casaro, worked with gouache and so he had an early introduction to water base media in addition to oil. Frank uses Holbein and Daniel Smith paints, and has a pretty simple palette of primary colors in addition to neutral tint, horizon blue (Holbein) and some of the cobalt turquoise colors. He prefers to mix his own green.

Daniel Smith – German Greenish Raw Umber

The actual painting began, wet into wet, as Frank threw his body, mind and soul into his art. This observer really saw a complete, fully engaged artist using all of his senses to create his work. His posture, breathing, relaxed mood added so much to his technical abilities. This artist also has a great sense of humor, which was brave as everyone was muted and so he could not hear us chuckle!!!

The composition began wet into wet, a landscape with sky, river and trees. It is a scene very familiar to the artist, but he still sketched it out in pencil and had a photo reference to check back to.

After completing the wet into wet first layer, we waited for it to dry (so fast in California!) so he could go in again, wet into wet, and work the areas he wanted to intensify. He also mentioned that for every cool blue (or green or red, etc) you have to alternate a warm blue within the same subject. This keeps it natural and the eye welcomes this warmth vs cool content.

Close up of the texture created by flicking water and pigments.

Frank then went in with his Chinese brushes to add texture, trees, and additional accent and color to his composition. Of course, pictures tell a thousand words. See for yourself, how beautiful this painting turned out, all in front of our eyes.

The final beautiful painting!

After another great CFWS member meeting, we were saying our goodbyes to Frank in hopes that we can have him for a workshop, in person, in the next few years!

We’re happy to see so many members joining us for these valuable demonstrations by renowned artists. Please join us for the next demo on December 6.

Members watch Frank paint the sky and river.