Tuesday, December 21, 2010, 09:14 PM - Portraits
Posted by Administrator
I just finished yet another semester at the Watts Atelier. I only took one class this time around-a long portrait painting class. We had the model for three class sessions each, or about 9 hours. The last model we had was Fred, who dressed as Father Christmas for us.
This is on a Claessens linen mounted on a 14 x 18 inch panel
During the final class, I took the last 60 minutes of pose to do a small gestural study from another position. This next one is on a gessoed hardboard panel. 8 x 10 inches
As usual, I think I like my quick study more. Most people usually say they like my quicker studies more than my finished portraits as well. One of the most difficult things for me when doing a longer pose, or more formal portrait is to preserve the spontaneity and gestural strokes. The thing is...spontaneity is great. But it can often result in distortions and inaccuracies. The drawing of the features on this 60 minute Santa is a bit off in places. That's why your skills have to be up to snuff if you want to be a really good alla prima portrait (or any kind of) painter. You need to have a lot of training under your belt and must rely on your fundamental drawing skills to work quickly and accurately. And I'm definitely not always happy with my gestural work. But I am pretty happy with how this little painting turned out, despite the flaws here and there.
Here's a detailed closeup to get a better sense of how I handled the forms with the brush.