If you are not familiar with Kristy Gordon take a look at her website
Day One: Preparation of the substrate began with a liberal coating of gesso tinted with yellow ochre and mars black. Once our surface was coated we were instructed to smooth out all brush marks using the flat of our gloved hand. Set to dry - takes about 20 minutes. Once dry, lightly sand smooth being careful to avoid removing your ground where it is stressed by the stretcher bars. Clean off the dust and you have a porcelain-like smooth greenish surface.
Next we transferred our chosen subject to the painting surface. We prepared for the workshop by having a same size photograph printed onto standard stock paper. Using our gloved fingers we coated the back side of the photocopy with non-thinned burnt umber. Next we laid the copy painted side down onto our canvas, taped it in place and traced the image with a pencil. When the paper is removed we were left with a proportionally accurate (if your photo is) line drawing. Okay, I admit this process was counter intuitive for me after all the effort I've put into learning to paint directly but it certainly is a good way to get a beginning subject onto your canvas quickly which is an advantage in a short workshop. So ethical snobbery aside I pressed on. Selecting our values as we laid in a design with burnt umber. At the end of the first session you can see my painting taking shape.
A Jeremy Lipking inspired cool flesh colour consisting of Titanium White, Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin Permanent.
A JL inspired warm flesh tone consisting of Titanium White, Lemon Yellow, Cad Red Light, Alizarin Permanent and Lipking cool flesh colour.
White and Yellow Ochre
Cad Red Light
You can see which ones were partially mixed with a thread of white giving plenty of colour selection.
Armed with our full colour palette we laid in all skin areas that were lighted while trying to separate cool and warm, lighter and darker values all within these lit areas only. After that we laid in our shaded colours again attempting to create visual interest with different temperatures and values within our shaded areas.
My painting at the end of day two below.
There was good advice on describing different parts of the anatomy correctly (by correctly I mean classically representational as opposed to subjectively stylized). Kristy demonstrated methods of dealing with the eyes, nose and mouth. These short talks were personally quite benificial. In my solitude I do tend towards painting everything as a shape,a colour and a value without always understanding why things appear as they do, for example why the shaded side of the eye holds the most exciting colour. Great stuff! The whole process was worthwhile and I enjoyed painting on a smoothly prepped surface with, yes, even smaller brushes. I even had to pull out some reading glasses for a few passages. At the end of day three my painting looked like this.
Well, that's it for today's post. Do check out Kristy's website for future workshops.