Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Baroque Portrait with Adam Miller

In this post I will give a brief account of a Baroque approach to painting a portrait. This is a much shortened explanation of the method I will be teaching in my upcoming workshop at Teaching Studios of Art- Oyster Bay, in December 2011.

The example used here is my painting, Self Portrait With a Cold.

The first consideration when painting in a layered technique is your ground and the color you apply to it. This painting is primed and underpainted in a mixture of Raw umber and ultramarine blue. The monochrome underpainting was applyed thinly over a finished drawing, slightly thicker in the lights to give a sense of texture.

Once the monchrome stage was dry color could be glazed over the under painting. Two considerations need to be remembered at this point.

One: You have already created a unifying color in the under painting and the more it can be left, the more harmony will be introduced to the finished painting.

Two: to take advantage of the layering technique of painting it is important to not add to much thick paint and hide your under layer completely.

The beautiful contrast of transparent glazes and opaque lights is the particular beauty of this approach to painting

Another very important consideration for this technique is your ground and canvas. as you will be leaving much of the painting in the first wash application and finishing only key ares of interest.The canvas or board must have a non absorbent ground so your washes will look attractive and float on top of the surface.

Of course, there is much more to this technique than I have posted here. If you are interested in learning more, please join us this December at Teaching Studios - Oyster Bay.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday

December 15, 16 and 17th.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Portrait bust of Cecily- Rob Zeller

Since I teach both the figure and portrait at our Oyster Bay location, I find myself often wanting to try something new, something other than the working method than I teach. Partly stemming from boredom, partly a hunger for the new, this desire can be healthy, if channeled the right way.

 So I have added charcoal to my repetiore. The figure to the left is a charcoal drawing on toned paper of Cecily, and was begun as a demo for our OB figure class. I try to work from the model in class, to constntly demonstrate how the act of painting for our students.

This piece has since turned into a singular mission for me, as I have hired her privately on several occasions to try new techniques of charcoal and in "massing in" of forms in oil paint.

In focusing on her face, I tried to capture the big wash of light on her skull, and then all of the minor sub-forms (eggs) of her face, as they turn into and away from the light source. This is the most fun I have as a draftsman. Cecily lends herself to a rather dream-like, ethereal expression, so I went for that aspect, as well.

In the image above, you can see that I am working from a color study and the drawing, and working on the face first.

Here is where we stand at present. Almost finished.