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.

 

 

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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!

 

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Michael during one of his demonstrations on color mixing.

 

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

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