Monday, October 22, 2012

Kevin Bielfuss Workshop, Day 1

Oil Sketch of Christie, Ann Feldman 9x11"

How lucky am I?  A workshop with Jeff Watts in August, and now Kevin Bielfuss here at Mainstreet in Illinois!  These last few months have been a time of study, practice, and hopefully of growth for me.  

If you've seen Kevin's work before, you may have been struck by the the beautiful abstract quality of his paintings which are also based solidly on reality.  My goal in studying with Kevin was to learn how to make my paintings more interesting by "abstracting" my compositions.  In other words, I wanted to learn how to design my paintings with geometric forms, rather than just the subject of my painting.  The sketch I attempted above was done on the first day of the workshop, and I'm inching closer to my goal. I tried to break up the space behind the model into interesting abstracted shapes.

Kevin painted a demo for us on the first day (below).  He starts his paintings very loosely, using a paper drawing stump dipped in mineral spirits and raw sienna.  This gives him the ability to compose without going too dark too quickly.  He then switches to a tiny brush with raw sienna to nail down his drawing.   He then dips his brush into different colors (pink and blue) to give him a road map of his most recent strokes.

He spent a good deal of his time working on the head of the model in the painting.  Using a thicker flat brush, he moved quickly around the painting to fill in and connect the forms around the model.

I'll share more with you from the workshop in the next few days.  Thanks so much for visiting!


  1. Thanks for sharing what you are learning. I really like your painting, and would be interested in hearing anything else you want to share about your workshop.

  2. I love your sketch! Beautiful work! It was interesting to hear about your workshop.