Sunday, July 6, 2014

Federation of Canadian Artists portrait workshop

Tanned Man
18 x 14
Sometimes demos need a little tweaking and this painting is no exception.  I painted it in Kelowna last week for a workshop hosted by the Federation of Canadian Artists Central Okanagan Chapter.

I found the model challenging because, unlike the pale faces that I get in Calgary models, he had an even tan.  There were no obvious cool colours in the usual places and his skin was a darker value than I'm used to in a Caucasian. Luckily, the man's beard and mustache area could read as cool so I bumped them into an obvious green to act as foils for the generally warm composition.

I think the painting was successful given the time constraints of a demo, but, when I got home, I felt that the jaw on the right looked puffy and the ear too large. As well, the background - a black drape that I'd swathed across the shelving behind him - was too light in value, stopping the face from popping as it should.  Darkening the drape acted to lighten and enhance the face and to emphasize the models dark eyes.

The day after the demo, the class painted this same model.  We'd requested a higher chroma shirt for day 2 and there were some amazing portraits done on "tanned man in burnt orange shirt".  It was a great class.

Happy painting!


Sharon Knettell said...


Thought I's visit! You are a wonderful colorist ( and painter) , really subtle and gorgeous.

I noticed that you do not like to varnish- I hate the stuff. I use now 10% wax- the Rublev mentioned in my blog.

It is great- lovely soft luster.I almost ruined a painting with varnish. I had a talk about wax with a conservator at The National Gallery in Washington.

The advantage of wax is that there is no sinking in. Great stuff!

Here is my post on my blog.

If you have anymore questions email me

Ingrid Christensen said...

Thank you for the information, Sharon. I read your post with interest. I used wax years ago as a final layer and enjoyed the act of buffing it to a low sheen, but I haven't added it to the paint layer itself. I'll give that a try. It might be just the solution I'm after.

I'd also like to say what a treat it was for me to see your name on a comment to my blog. I've admired your work for years.


Sharon Knettell said...

Painting from a live model makes me nervous as a tic. Love it though.

The 'mistakes' you think you make in painting from life are what give a painting the persons stamp and keeps it away from the photographic.

I have seen some wildly 'incorrect' Botticellis and other old masters- it only make for art that has a less homogenized point of view- ie the camera.

Ingrid Christensen said...

You're a painter after my own heart!