Saturday, 2 July 2011

Portrait painting masterclass

So, having spent most of the day gazing at the work of others I was lucky enough to have booked a place on a painting master class organised by the NPG, which was run in conjunction with the BP Portrait award, always interesting, if a little lacking in emotional interpretation it rewards skill rather than expressiveness, but that aside it's free and a must see.

Below is the artist who painted the above portrait of Maxi Jazz, his name is Joe Simpson and he was a real star, a lovely tutor very kind and generous. Thank you Joe, my nerves were frayed and torn but I came away with a better sense of self worth and my confidence was knitted back together a treat.

image above from here

Having learnt to paint at the Slade which follows the more contemporary route of painting on white, Joe taught us the more traditional way of under painting, he made it look effortless, clearly he is talented, and has worked very hard to become this good but I really enjoyed working this way too

This was his painting after just a few minutes, the difference between us is he has the patience of a saint, and he is able to build up thin layers of paint, slowly creating shape and form layer by layer. I on the other hand.......

tend to work wet on wet and so focus on textures as opposed to shape

But after and hour I began to create a very loose likeness, and although the placing of features needed more time (yes I KNOW the mouth is in the wrong place!!) the end result left me high with happiness. And the bad memories were back in their box.


Claire Cooper said...

I would so love to do a course like this - my portrait painting leaves much to be desired. Looks like you had a great day!

Patricia G said...

Well done. Was this just a one day session? How I wish I had better access to London and good stuff like this.

materfamilias said...

I'm so impressed that you find time for this in between working full-time and looking after family stuff. Tough as it is to find that time, though, it just feeds us, doesn't it! So happy for you that you got to do this. The perfect antidote to last week's silliness.

indigo16 said...

Claire, I promise you if you find one you will not regret it they are better than therapy, plus you get to leave with a masterpiece!!

Patricia It was 2 hours!! Yes I am that quick; I would struggle to paint slower, but need to learn to improve the quality.

Mater I need you to remind me of this, although the down side is an ever increasing stack of unread books.