Saturday, September 29, 2012

Zorn Palette

As mentioned in my previous post, I'll be teaching an oil painting class at the Watts Atelier next semester beginning Oct. 8. The class focuses on three limited color palettes: Burnt Umber, Zorn Palette and Warm/Cool. Here are a couple studies from models I did this week using the Zorn Palette, which consists of Titanium White, Ivory Black, Cad Red Light (traditionally Vermillion) and Yellow Ochre. It always amazes me how flexible this palette can be and what a wide range of color effects you can achieve. I was able to accurately capture two models with very different complexions and hair colors. And, of course, the effect of doing a limited palette painting is that the work ends up being more tonally strong along with a better sense of atmosphere unity since there are no strong vibrant colors that take over.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New 10 Week Oil Painting Class

I will be teaching a class next semester at the Watts Atelier, in Encinitas, CA, beginning Monday Oct. 8. It will be "Portrait in Oil: 3 Palettes". The class will run for 10 weeks from 7pm to 10pm. Here is the official course description:

The focus will be on a direct approach to painting the male and female portrait from life. We will work on application, indication and manipulation of edge, value and ultimately color to indicate the head in oil. This class will focus on three different palettes. Students will start with Burnt Umber Pickout, which is a monochromatic approach. We will then move into color using a four color limited palette know as the "Zorn" palette. For our third palette the students will then explore a full Warm and Cool Primary palette. Frequent instructor demonstrations and critiques are routine.

If you are a seasoned painter and want to start painting at a higher level, or if you are just starting out, working with very limited palettes is a great technique to learn to handle the complexities of oil paint while focusing your attention first on shape design, edges and values, rather than color. The first three weeks deal with burnt umber pickout, where there is only one pigment used along with turp/mineral spirits. Burnt umber pickout painting is a great bridge between drawing and painting, being more similar to charcoal drawing than alla prima painting.

Soon I will post some Zorn palette and Warm/Cool palette paintings. But for now, here are a couple recent burnt umber pickout studies I created from photos. Sign up today at the Watts Atelier website!

Monday, September 3, 2012

A couple new head studies

I recently joined the California Art Club and participated in a local paint out. We had a model named Briana who reclined on a cushioned table top as several of us set up our easels 360 degrees around her. I was toward the feet end of the table and wondered how I would do with my first greatly foreshortened head painting. I spent a good deal of time blocking in the head and features with a thin brush before starting to paint, and I'm glad I did. The pose was rather challenging, but I am pretty happy with the outcome. Even though I didn't have time to finish the hands and arms. This is on a New Traditions Panel with the L219 linen. The size is 12 x 16"

And here is a quick portrait study of a man from this year's Gaslight Gathering in San Diego, a local steampunk costume convention. I have several other photos from the Gathering which I hope to paint from. This is on a New Traditons Art Panel with the Claessen's 12 surface. 12 x 16".