I have such a passion for realism and drawing/painting from life when possible, and as an art instructor, constantly stressing the importance of life drawing/painting. There is no substitute to understanding light and color than from life observation. Many times people are surprised that because I’m also an illustrator that I know how to draw and paint from life. Without this knowledge, I would not be able to create the work that I do.

My favorite contemporary painter, Michael Hussar, is a renown oil painter, and someone I greatly admire and respect. I saw he was holding his first East Coast painting workshop in NY last weekend at the Empire State Tattoo Expo in White Plains. I emailed the Expo before full details were released to book my spot for the class of 12.

I was so inspired to get back into portrait painting when I saw his alla prima portraits. So this seemed like an excellent opportunity to jump back in.

What a fantastic experience it was! It was great to have the tables turned and me be the ‘student’ again, and to be in a classroom environment where I’m not the one running it. It’s great to learn how other artists approach their work, and to be in a thriving, energetic environment.

Always good to get back to basics and to challenge yourself!

Here is my painting that I completed of the model, Sierra, below.

The painting is an Alla Prima painting, which is Italian for getting the painting complete in one sitting.



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This was the first stage of the painting. Light wash in the background followed by a rough linear drawing of the model.



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At this point, I have laid down a good amount of value in the face, starting with the darkest areas and moving towards the lightest. Michael also took the time to paint on each of our paintings.




Final Painting. You can see I built up the lights with thicker paint and really challenged myself to not blend on the canvas as I normally do. It was really fun and what great energy at this workshop! Thanks Michael for coming to the East Coast!




Michael during one of his demonstrations on color mixing.


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You can visit Michael’s website here: http://michaelhussar.biz/