Anyway for the last two sessions at my group we have been doing portraits. The first class we took a full face portrait, folded in half and taped to their paper and they had to paint a mirror image of that half. It's an exercise I did as a student many years ago and I had forgotten about it but I remember it was a really good exercise in looking at skin tones and also it isn't too difficult to draw as they only have to do half an image which is a lot easier. There were some excellent results and I was so pleased with what they had achieved.
Last Thursday we did a full portrait so I took an image along to demonstrate. I found that a lot more difficult than anything else and I realise I work very instinctively with portraits and when I had to paint and try and get my thoughts in order for the class it was really tricky. I didn't get very far with mine but I did promise I would finish it for them and take it next time.
I do portraits to commission so it never crossed my mind to practice before I ran the workshop. As many of you will know I always practice my pieces before so that I know I can deliver so as I have done many portraits I thought it would be fine. I decided to do an Afro Caribbean child and I have only painted a couple a dark skin tones before so next time I would certainly practice beforehand as there was a lot a variation in her skin and I felt rushed trying to find the colours and tones. The sessions is only 2 hours and I wanted them to spend time on their own portraits while I was there to help them, rather than watch me so I maybe spent only 15 minutes on mine and a portrait will take me between 3 and 4 hours if I include drying time!
Here is the piece so far. I usually look at them for a day or two and maybe tweak a little but don't think I will be doing much more to this