Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Gesture Portrait, Jeff Watts Workshop

Monochrome Gesture Portrait

On the third day of the Jeff Watts workshop, we created quick gesture portraits of a model who sat all day for us.  I decided to concentrate on my lights/darks and edges (and besides, my knees were knocking from nervousness) so I stuck with the monochrome portrait.  I learned how to pick out abstract shapes in the face to make it more interesting to look at.  I also learned to make edges disappear so that the viewer has to fill in some information.

Gesture Portrait, Jeff Watts

And here is Jeff's fantastic full color portrait, painted in a single sitting.  He starts with transparent washes of color over most of the canvas, then goes in with smaller brushes to pick out the abstract shapes that he sees.  He constantly moves all around the canvas, laying in new color, then going back to paint shapes next to every brush stroke.  A very difficult technique to attempt, but I learned so much just watching him paint!


  1. Wowzers! Now if only we could remember all those things we learn in a workshop. Love your "knees knocking" description. Been there, done that, terrified that the teacher will somehow think we shouldn't be there. Wonderful monochrome portrait. Great job. Keep it up!

  2. Thanks, Ann for keeping us up with what you are learning. I am really enjoying the posts. I can see the difference in this one over your first head. More alive somehow.
    Wish I was there!