Saturday, November 23, 2013

Workshop with Adam

Tina Garret and I took a mini workshop with Adam Clague this week.  Tina's daughter modeled while Adam made portrait painting look easy! Grace is only 12, but modeled like a pro! A child's beauty really throws me in the attempt to capture that essence.  I have started a painting from my photos of the session using Adams technique. I will post those photos next time.

Adams method is different for me, so I was frantic taking written notes and photos.  He spent four hours with us, giving Grace about 15-20 minute sittings then short breaks. I wish I has the whole thing on video. But hopefully my photos and notes will be sufficient.

Andrea had a pot of coffee and a wonderful veggie plate to snack on. She also took some photos and video while Adam painted and taught! They are quite the team. I would really love to just sit and watch her paint. She is amazing. I would give my eye teeth for a painting she did of her sister in a hammock! It was sent to a gallery last week. I am sure it will sell immediately.

Adam's palette.

After 'toning' with a grey he felt was 'harmonious' with the average color, he applied a blue grey with a towel and turp.

With the toned canvas panel, Adam began to wipe out areas (drawing with a paper towel to remove the grey), to decide his composition.  He also used a light application of vine charcoal to demo drawing on the canvas also.  

Adam mixed the lightest skin color using Cad Lemon (cool), Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue deep and white.  Later he added Transparent Red Oxide and Cad Yellow light to warm the mix.  

At this stage he is locating the lightest lights and darkest darks.  He is keeping the darkest areas thin and transparent.

He began to define the face with only flat color.

The darker side of the face was mixed warmer and grayer, adding Transparent Oxide or Burnt Sienna.  He also added a little Viridian green. 

He began to connect 'like' value areas.  I do that in landscape painting, but hadn't  thought of  doing that in portraits!  Duh….

Noting the 5 shadows on the face: eye sockets, under the nose, upper lip, lower lip, and chin.

Adam stressed to keep the mouth really 'soft'.

Still keeping soft edges he began to paint the eyes.  I was waiting rather impatiently for this step!

Grace began to come alive.

Nearly 4 1/2 hours later, Adam stopped at this stage and took photos for reference so he can finish it.

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