Monday, January 25, 2010

Not Just a Pretty Face

Chris begins her painting based on a Greek encaustic portrait

Today I was host to a wonderful group for my class, "Not Just a Pretty Face." The students had not created paintings of faces before and I'm so delighted to share what they did today!

We practiced using layers of acrylic paint with water and various mediums. Chris began her first painting with a green undertone to the skin. She chose a face from a Greek encaustic burial portrait. The emphasis on the class was on seeing: lights and shadows, shapes, and color, and also on feeling: who is this person, what is her/his mood?

Here's Chris much farther along on her version of the Greek woman.

A hauntingly beautiful portrait

Carrie starts a portrait after Berthe Morisot

Here's the finished portrait.
Carrie caught the subject's pensive mood perfectly

(Carrie I am likely spelling your name wrong. I think there are more spellings possible for this name than any I can think of. Carrie, Kerry, Kari, Keri, Carey, ... let me know what's correct :)

You can see in the above and the following examples how the undertone color of the face adds richness to the portrait, and shows through a bit in the shadows.

Chris' finished Greek lady.

Ruby starts her version of Manet's Olympia

Here she is, finished. Note the rich unblended brushstrokes.
This was Ruby's first painting ever!

Chris wanted to really let loose with her second piece. She used a painting knife and gel medium to build up layers on this fascinating character.

Chris' Renaissance man. He is such a character that
I kept laughing with delight whenever I looked at him!

Ruby's ethereal portrait after Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun.
She began this piece with a purple undertone.

Carrie's wonderful woman after Van Gogh.
Carrie captured Van Gogh's style really well, which
is not easy to do.

Carrie's last piece is a soulful madonna. Carrie's
brushstrokes and shading made this painting
even more interesting and lovely than the original!

Chris painted a modern take on a smiling young man
from a Renaissance portrait. She saw him as a jester,
which really came through here.

Here's Ruby's last piece in progress. It's off to a great start
and I can't wait to see it finished!

I got such a kick out of seeing the lively work this group produced, and also out of seeing how they surprised themselves by what they could do. Keep painting, ladies--you have what it takes!

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