Friday, March 9, 2012

Greg Mortenson and Carla Crawford Portrait Painting Class at GCA

This was my first Saturday morning painting class with Carla Crawford and Gregory Mortenson, both GCA Alumni.  We are having four 6-hour sessions to complete this head study.  I spent the first 6 hours blocking in with graphite a head as close to her likeness and proportions as possible.  At about hour 5, Carla told me that the entire right side of the head was too far to the right, so I had to redraw the right eye, entire nose and mouth to get the foreshortening of the head turn.  At first I was frustrated by the set-back, but after measuring with my chopstick, I realized that she was right and that in my drawing I was trying to turn her tilting head more straight towards me.  This is apparently a mistake that a lot of artists make and a natural tendency to try and straighten up turns and odd angles.

After six hours, I was relieved when the woman next to me said, "Oh good you have a likeness now."  Before next week's class, I'll make a transfer of this drawing to some stretched linen and get ready to start painting!

This is another student's example of what a drawing should look like at the point of blocking in the form and either getting ready to do a transfer for a painting or begin adding tone.

I loved this tiny figure study which was hanging up on the wall in the studio.  It's really inspiring to see what all the other students are working on as you work also.

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