"Hemal", 12x16", Ann Feldman
I'm just back from Encinitas, California, where I spent a week in a portrait/figurative workshop with Jeff Watts. First of all, I'd like to say that being a serious student in Encinitas over Labor Day is nearly impossible. Constant parades of surfers on their way to the beach and the sound of clinking Margarita glasses on neighboring decks were quite a distraction! I decided to be good during the day and enjoy Encinitas in the evenings. My mom and sister-in-law breezed through and enjoyed the good life with me, too. A good balance, I think...
The first day, we watched Jeff demo a monochrome pick-out (below), then we tried our hand at it with a wonderful model/student named Hemal. The drawing is laid down on a white panel and sprayed with fixative. Washes of Burnt Umber are painted over the entire surface, and the darks are laid in with smaller brushes and the light areas are "picked out" with cotton swabs, cotton cloths, and paper towel.
"Demo Head Study", 12x16", Jeff Watts
Don't let Jeff's painterly style fool you-- he works slowly and methodically throughout the painting process. He constantly looks for anatomical abstractions and paints them in one by one, connecting them as he goes along. Artist Note: He told us not to forget that edges and value are non-tolerant. They must be rendered correctly. Composition and color are where the creativity and fun happen.
I'll be posting more from this very enlightening workshop. Stay tuned!