Like all good things, the workshop has come to an end. The two weeks really flew by. It’s amazing how everybody bonded over the love we share for painting realistically. The rate of growth was truly astounding. I’ll try to share some of the student’s work in a future post. I know that my methods always produce great results, but it still never ceases to amaze me. It’s a great validation that the fruits of my life long search for answers is so universally effective. It’s always sad when it’s over.
Last Thursday I painted the final layer on my demonstration painting for my New York Portrait Artist Workshop. One of the main points I wanted to convey to my students was that the finishing is something that takes place at the end. That’s the biggest problem I see with so many working methodologies, too many try to finish from the get go rather than setting up the big relationships first, and play the smaller aspects off of those. I’m not saying that my approach is the only one that works, but it makes learning much less cumbersome. Trying to emulate the working methods of someone with great experience doesn’t necessarily make sense, because if an artist is good, it doesn’t mean their approach is universally applicable.
As my demo progressed the steps became much less discernible since I was constantly resolving smaller and smaller areas. My first step was to scumble over the larger areas to further unify everything:
Next I painted into the scumble trying to create greater variation of color and intensity and further develop the solidity the forms:
This is as far as I got. For the last poses I refined the eyes. I try to hold back on the important parts until everything else is in harmony. The worst thing is to have to repaint something you’ve spent a lot of time on because it just doesn’t work. Had this been a commissioned painting I would have spent several days more, but that’s the nature of demonstrations. I wanted to make the painting look as illusionistic as I could. When I finished, Myriam, the model, looked at the painting and said, “That’s me!” She had a great spirit and I wanted it to shine through.
If any of the participants are reading this, I’d love to have you share some thoughts.
Until next time…