New York City Portrait Artist Workshop-Demo Day #2

Today, August 9, I laid in the color over my wash-in underpainting during the second demo for my New York City Portrait Artist Workshop.

I love brushing in the color. Compared to removing the lights with a rag wrapped around my finger–during the wash-in phase–using the brush makes me feel like an eagle soaring in the clouds. Since the underpainting is very thin, the canvas texture remains intact and the paint grabs on beautifully.

During the course of my workshop demos I’m continuously explaining to my students what I am doing and why I’m doing it. Today there were many ah-has. It’s amazing how fearful people are when it comes to color mixing. Can’t really blame them–can we?–based on the confusing color mixing rhetoric that’s so liberally bandied about these days. Knowing that I’m giving my students an opportunity to rise above the frustration and obfuscation is so satisfying.

Here’s the demo:

First I made drawing adjustments using a pastel pencil over the wash-in underpainting. Once the drawing is set, I began to lay in the shapes, from large to small, least important to most and from shadow to light:

Lastly I connect the lights and shadows with my halftones. Now, all the shapes are laid in. If I wanted to be another Sargent wanna-be I would just stop here:

Here, I go back over everything. I begin to readjust the colors and modify the edges:

Here’s the painting at the end of the day. Starting to look pretty solid.

I’ll begin building up the translucency when I resume next Tuesday. Good stuff.

Until next time…