Tuesday, January 25, 2011
"Painting the Person You Care About in Pastel"
We began our week long class together by learning how to photograph their chosen models so that after I am gone the students would know how to take their own photographs for more portrait work. It was interesting because all models were so varied. There was an older man, two older ladies, a young woman and a young granddaughter. The group would learn so much from such a variety of heads and faces.
I printed up 5 X 7 in photos of each model and on the first full day of class, they learned how to proportion out a 10 x 14 in. drawing of their loved one. I explained the difference between working from life (from the model in front of them) and from working from a photo. The way a camera interprets the model and the way in which our own eyes actually see the person modeling.
The first day I could feel the excitement, the anticipation and the pressure they put onto themselves to achieve the likeness.
The beginning drawing using the #253 is an estimate of what your eye sees and it is very structural in it's interpretation steering away from rounding off features in the work. It looks as if everything has corners to it, even a cheek!
The # 283 is almost the same value as the first nupastel but appears a slightly different temperature and that is when you start to really see what you have been studying. You begin to look at plum lines to check your angles, you check what changes of direction you long lines take within them and you start to look at not only the outlines of the head and it's features but also the shadows on each form as well as the shadows cast from each form or feature (cast shadows)
These were the issues and problem solving the students worked with on day one and day two. I remained on my feet to look at each students work and check each of their steps in the process as they worked and the days passed