Saturday, July 10, 2010

Speed Painting

This week I taught a workshop in Kelowna, BC on figure painting from life.  The people who attended were all experienced painters, and members of the Federation of Canadian Artists, Central Okanagan Chapter. Their questions were keen and knowledgeable, and their skills sharp, which made the day a real pleasure for me.

When I teach a painting from life workshop, I have the students produce 4 works in one day.  It makes for some very tired painters!
There are 3 small paintings of 20 to 30 minutes and a longer, and larger piece done in about 2 hours.

The reason for such a prolific day is that I want students to have a chance to make several starts in the technique that I'm teaching in order to solidify it for themselves.  Practise is the best teacher.  But I also don't want them to have a chance to overwork and fiddle with a painting.  In such an accelerated day, there is no opportunity for fiddling, and the result is that everyone produces at least one focused, clear painting. 

I feel like I'm torturing the painters sometimes when they groan out loud at the announcement that their time is up, but I soldier on to the end each time because that's invariably the time when someone remarks that it was a good thing to be under such a strict schedule.  It forced them to concentrate on the essentials of the model's pose and not sweat the small details. 

Maybe I'll set the timer for myself in the studio tomorrow, and avoid fiddling for a change!

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