Saturday, 28 January 2017

Have I deserted?

No I haven't deserted my blog but it is over 2 months since I posted which is a long time for me. I haven't been painting much but over the xmas period we were very busy with visitors from the far East arriving on the 16th Dec for 5 days and my son and new fiance for 5 days after xmas. Then all the usual entertaining, blah blah blah, we've been away for a few days, I've been running workshops and organising my new All Day Sessions and a new course at Sunshine House in Wigan so I have done some painting but not much to chat about or post.

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