Friday, August 28, 2009

Jeff Hein Portrait Workshop Conclusion

After lunch on the second day, I came back and tried to apply this technique to the panel. The angle I had from where my easel stood was an almost profile. The beard gave me fits too. Because it dries faster, we used burnt umber instead of asphaltum.

On the third and last day, Jeff's demo consisted of finishing the direct portrait he started on the first day, plus painting on the second method until the lunch break at 1:00.

Jeff uses a fairly limited palette: Flake White hue or replacement, Ivory Black, Transparent Yellow Oxide, Transparent Red Oxide, Burnt Umber or asphaltum, Cerulean, Ultramarine Blue, Lemon Yellow, Transparent Orange, Cad Red Light, and Windsor Red Deep and sometimes, Alizarin Crimson. But basically, he says any three primaries will work. For flesh he started off with a mixture of Cerulean blue, Windsor Red and Yellow Oxide. and white. He says "the face is the palette, not the paint", which really makes sense. And of course, don't forget the ....

..."Magic Squint". Basically, this is how I see without my glasses on and I tried drawing without them on purpose to simplify the shapes and values. Also: Paint across the form not into it.

I didn't get very far on my piece once we got back. Curse you paint!! I figure I have miles of canvas to go before it becomes my friend and a tool in my hand like the pencil. Overall, what was most impressive to me, is Jeff's work ethic. He is so disciplined and his artistic approach is a combination of passion, drive and expression. He never paints for the market. Although he loves looking at other current artists' work, he cautioned us to limit that exposure otherwise you risk "losing yourself". I have to think on that more. Other than feeling a bit discouraged at my inept attempt at painting, I came away from the workshop with oodles of notes and more knowledge to help me in my journey. All in all, very worthwhile.


Blaze said...

What do you mean by paint across the form and not into it? This sounds wise, but I am not sure what it means.

The Art of Kim Kincaid said...

Hi Blaze...yeah, I had to ask for clarification too. In my first post on the workshop, I said that Jeff primarily uses transparent colors in the shadows and builds up opaques in the lights. In finishing his pieces, he takes his brush full of paint and strokes across the form for the lightest lights. For instance, on the forehead, the direction of the brush stroke would go across the skeletal form of the skull, creating depth with the highlights. I know it sounds confusing, but I thought of it in the way I apply lotion to my facial planes....I tend to blend it across and out across my bone structure, following the form underneath. Does that make sense?