Sunday, October 3, 2010
Portrait workshop with William Kalwick
Yesterday I attended a workshop in portrait painting at the Coppini Institute. This is my study of the model. At the end of the day, I was feeling discouraged, but later I looked at it and I can see some positive things. I drew the sketch with everything in the right place. And you can tell it's a girl! I can "see" things I couldn't see before--like the reflected light under her chin and under her ear. I'm not happy with the eyes, but I know that I can learn to do better. So all in all it was a good day.
Bill is a wonderful teacher. He broke up portrait painting into manageable steps, "just like painting an apple", he said. That made me happy!
He did a thirty minute demo for us. First he did a sketch using burn sienna and viridian green.
Then he laid in the darkest darks in the painting. This helps you establish a value scale.
He lays in what he calls the "local color", the main colors of the skin. He stressed adding shapes, not painting a face.
Then he adds the lights of the skin and connects the values together with darker lights. This is his painting when he was about half way through.
This was his finished study. It was amazing that he could do this in thirty minutes!
He broke up our classes into twenty minutes intervals to give the model a break. We all worked on the same task together. For example, the first 20 minutes he had us make our sketches. That was all we were supposed to work on. He would go around and offer suggestions and corrections to each individual student. The next session, we worked on laying in the darks, and so on. That way we all stayed more or less together, and he could discuss what we were supposed to be doing, how to do it, etc.
I really liked his teaching method, and I think the whole class agreed.
His website is www.kalwick.com.