Monday, April 6

Exercising at the Workshop

Janet Rogers offered a 4 day portrait workshop at Sandy Maudlins' Greentree studio in the beginning of April. This workshop proved to be very rewarding in several different ways. It reaffirmed to me the need for warming up before I sit down to paint. Not only do I now exercise to keep my bones strong, I have to do exercises to keep my artwork fresh and free looking.

Janet took us one step further and made it part of the painting process. Before we started any painting on our portraits, we did short exercises to reconnect our eye / hand coordination. This connection between the artist, material and the subject was reestablished every day. The warm-up exercises made such a difference in my paintings. I have done contour drawings, jester drawings and quick sketches in college but didn't carry that into my painting process.

I was just doing value studies and developing a good white shape (John Salminen idea) then I would begin to paint.

Janet had us doing several different exercises before we starting any painting. The first being contour drawing. It is a way of becoming intimately familiar with the subject. At first I was following all the minute details including the shadows but she mentioned following the plane

of the face which made more sense. I noticed as she painted her faces, her brush would follow the plane of the face too. The strokes seemed to reveal more emotion as she gestured with the brush. I am used to using a pencil for contour drawing so when we used the brush instead is when I noticed the difference in my work. I will probably continue to do my value studies and good white shape but add at least one of the 3 exercises before I paint alternating them to keep from getting bored with the planning process.

She was full of information that I will use for portraits as well as any other subject. There is a little more to do on my portraits before I will post them. Enjoy the process !!

1 comment:

Sandy Maudlin said...

Wonderful - fluid - spontaneous! The colors are vibrant and full of life! Glad you liked the workshop.