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Taking Risks = strong dividends

Day 3 of art workshop

Patrick Saunders has done many great portraits and I was so excited to learn he welcomed peoples suggestions on what they would like to paint. I have never painted a portrait before, or even painted using a live model before me. Thinking back in high school, I don't think I ever had the opportunity to even have a model to draw from. If I had, not sure I even would have had an interest then. Having a live model does require a larger amount of concentration.

During the workshop I really did push myself to learn as much as I can while having Patrick there to point me in the right direction. Why pay for a workshop if you aren't going to take risks?

From a past reading of Alla Prima by Richard Schmid, he says, "For growth, you must step out of your comfort zone and explore new techniques without thinking you are going to ruin the may ruin the painting anyways...but happy accidents may still happen."

For the workshop, the art director, Anita Elder, asked a friends daughter to come in and sit for the group. We all chipped in and tipped the girl (I never wrote down her name - I must do better) for her giving us the opportunity to learn.

Model Rules for Painters:

1. Must break it down into 20 minute sessions with 10 minute breaks in between.

2. During the breaks, DO NOT PAINT. If the model isn't there you can't paint.

3. Maximum number of sessions should not be more than 4. If you need more than for you need to figure out what steps you need to improve on.

4. Get the background in quickly around the head so you have some value to compare to the flesh tones. Resist the urge to paint it all in. Let it just happen, don't force it...

5. Measure and compare everything to one another. Make sure the ends of the eye match up with the nose, and edges of the mouth. Where do the lips end? Is the mouth measured correctly between the nose and chin? Make sure to draw out your subject.

5. Make sure to step back often while the model is still in position.

6. Have fun!

Having never done a portrait before I had no clue where to begin. So these are my key learning points:

- Measure, Measure, Measure - If you stop measuring you stop moving forward with the painting.

- Requires a large amount of concentration, so don't force yourself to paint if you are tired. You will get lazy and just paint, blindly.

- Always focus on the more important aspects first (i.e. eye, nose, lips) as the model isn't going to be there forever. Get the drawing down quick and move onto skin tones. Focus on the hair and the shirt last.

Model for our group - I never wrote down her name

Workshop set up - warm lighting be used to create interesting shadows.

What did I learn? A ton, it does take practice and I know that I have come a long way from where I was in high school in how I interpret color and value. So here is to continued learning!


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