Saturday, May 12, 2012

Back to class

During my absence, I've not painted a great deal, but I have taken two painting workshops. I find that I have to take workshops to reinvigorate my attitude from time to time.

The first of these workshops, in mid-April was with my mentor, Jane Paul Angelhart. I've now taken three workshops from her, and I would never have attempted portraiture without her influence.

The little girl above is one of the class exercises Jane distributes to her classes. She provides photo references and 7x11 pieces of watercolor paper with the basic outlines of the subject already in place. The reason she does this is to expedite the instruction process. This is not a drawing class. The workshop's goal is to teach people how to use her particular palette of "circus colors" in depicting a child's face. So the focus is on mixing and glazing pigments.

That said, it's always amazing to see how a group of nine participants, all starting from the same point, with the same photo reference, end up with nine very different interpretations of the subject.

I have worked on this project for a few hours since the workshop. My goal has been to try to push the rounded shapes of her face, and to more accurately depict the darker side of her face. In my portrait of A., I don't think I went far enough in creating a sense of distance and shadow on the far side. So far, I've been more successful here. But then, I also find it so much easier to work on the portraits of subjects when I don't know them personally. For me, it's much more stressful when you know the subject.

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