Copy of Dan Gerhartz Portrait
I'm jumping ahead to the last day of the Jeff Watts workshop to spare you my growing pains and frustrations with myself. I always tell myself that if a workshop seems easy and I produce really good work with each project, I'm probably not pushing myself enough. Suffice to say that all my work during my week with Jeff was not beautiful. But I did have many "Aha" moments. Here are a few of them:
SLOW DOWN. Loose painterly paintings just look as if they were created quickly. In fact, it takes a lot of time and thought to interpret a painting rather than just copy what's in front of you.
THINK ABOUT WHAT'S BENEATH THE SURFACE. In figurative and portrait work, understanding the anatomy under the skin solves many problems.
USE MORE PAINT. Skimpy paint makes wimpy paintings (OK, that's my quote, but I learned it with Jeff). Illumination happens with generous thick paint.
PAINT ABSTRACTIONS. Look for abstract shapes everywhere and paint them. The end result is a painting that is interesting to look at.
USE SMALLER BRUSHES. Loose paintings can look as if they were created with large swaths of paint applied with large brushes. Often, they are not. Paint small abstractions and meld them together in the last phase of painting. This will give you a controlled approach which will be more successful.
I hope that you enjoyed my workshop notes with Jeff Watts. He certainly inspired me to push myself and my painting in new directions. I would certainly recommend his workshops to you!