ALLA PRIMA WITH PHOTO REFERENCES
The method I will teach is classificed as "alla prima" or (wet on wet), also known as "direct painting." In this workshop, we will use reference photos of potraits. With these references, I will show you how I prepare my substrate and then how I create overall strokes to plan the face and then fill in details in a manner that captures the essence of the face, and not just the likeness.
SUPPLIES AND ORGANIZATION
I will share details of my supplies and my organizational methods, as well as tips on how to draw accurately, and the fundamentals of colormixing. I will also share finishing methods that I consider the final magical moments of portrait painting.
LESS ABOUT INTUITION, MORE ABOUT ACCURACY
Though intuition is an element that each of us will use in the class, this is not a typical "intuitive" painting class where anything goes. It is more of a technical class where we observe deeply, measure accurately, put on strokes of paint that are as true to the colors and values of our subjects. We will discuss concepts of realism, while aiming for magical reaism, where we look within to make adjustments to the paint that we transfer from our brushes to our substrates, to make real, the vision of what we are painting and how we want our painting to look.
With each of my painting workshops, I come to the class more evolved, with new insights gained from my continued painting journy. I come with a commitment to share all that I know, and to help each participant take that knowledge and use it to paint soon and often, if so desired. I usually try to convey everything in one packed day. Because the nature of this workshop is so dense and technical, taking both days may serve you well (if you want to) as you take the day in between to digest and then gear up the following day to do it again, to start getting in the habit of painting soon and often.
SUPPLY LIST to Bring:
Reference photos of people's faces. If you have the photo on your smart phone, please print that out on a standard sheet of paper. If you have an old family photo, take a photo of that photo and print it out. Photos with high contrast (lights and darks) is recommended. Also, if you are able to bring both a color version and a black&white version, that would be great. If you don't have a photo, I will have many photo references that you can use.
2 or 3 Ampersand Gessobord (cradled or flat): Some of the sizes that I like using are 6 x 6, and 6 x 8 inches. I also sometimes use 5 x 7, and 8 x 8 inches. Make sure the bords do not have canvas texture or any texture to them. Just the smooth ampersand gessobords.
1 small palette knife
Paintbrushes: DO NOT bring a bunch of brushes that you know are not good, hoping that somehow magically they will perform well for you. There is no such magic. If you look at the bristle on your brushes and they are fraying or if they have no firmness, or they emit little particles when using them, you will be fighting the brushes throughout the entire class session. Please do not bring them. Bring one good small and one good medium ... leave the rest of them at home. :-)
Robert Simmons Titanium, Bright size 1 or 2 (very small: I use these all the time)
Robert Simmons Titanium, Flat size 2 (a good small that I use all the time, especially to draw)
Robert Simmons Titanium, Bright size 4 or 6 (medium: you don't need both. I probably use the 4 more than the 6)
Robert Simmons Titanium, Bright size 10 (large: a good brush)
Larger (optional): I have these large brushes you can use at the very end of class for a specific effect that you may or may not want to try. However, if you are interested, these are the large ones that I use:
Blick Mega Flat and/or Filbert Natural Bristle Brush, size 30
Trekell Hog Bristle Bright 400B, size 12
Other optional brushes: I really also like the Shiraz short filbert brushes by Rosemary & Co. I use sizes 2, 3, and 4. These are not required but good brushes to add to your collection.
Palette or palette paper (I like to use this glass palette with a white piece of paper placed underneath. If I don't have this palette with me, I like to use white palette paper. I will have extra palette paper if you need to use mine.
Panel Holder (optional): Though it is possible to paint on gessobords without these holders, painting WITH these holders will make a world of difference in terms of ease. If your gessobord is 6x6 or 5x7, you can get the smaller size. If it is 6x8 or 8x8, you will want the larger size.
Paper towels, apron, two small jars with lids, and baby wipes
Kit Fee $15 payable to instructor at beginning of class: This fee will cover provision of walnut oil medium, mineral spirits, and paintbrush cleaner and all oil paints for each participant. Given that oil paints and mediums are expensive and challenging to travel with, this will allow participants the ease of just walking into class with a gessobord and brushes, ready to paint. It will also give participants the experience to use colors and make decisions on which ones to invest in, to start building a palette, for the lifelong oil painting journey.
Many of the required supplies may be pre-ordered from Blue Twig Studio. They will be ready and waiting for you to pick up when you arrive at the retreat. For further info and to place your order, contact:
Blue Twig Studio
Cottonwood Center for the Arts
427 E. Colorado Ave
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
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