Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Kevin Beilfuss Workshop Nuggets

Kevin Beilfuss Workshop Nuggets!

What a great week of instruction and inspiration! Kevin is a very warm, generous instructor with a sense of humor and great humility. I enjoyed the workshop so much. We had lovely models and did 2 to 3 poses a day, drawing with oil and a tortillon.  tortillon (The french name for /tɔrˈtjɒn/; or blending stump) is a cylindrical drawing tool, tapered at the ends and usually made of rolled paper, used by artists to smudge or blend marks made with charcoalConté crayonpencil or other drawing media.

 He uses some wonderful bright colors that I don't normally use, especially in a portrait, like Permanent Rose, Turquoise Blue and Permanent Green Light (chartreuse) 

A few shots of his head study of Brenna.

Some key lessons & reminders:  
  • Don't draw what you think you are seeing. Draw the shapes around the subject
  • Five darks of the face, all 'under' planes  1. Under brows 2. under eye 3. under nose    4. under upper lip   5. under lower lip (chin)
  • First stage drawing, create an envelope where your subject will fit in.
  • His instructor, Carolyn Anderson's advice, "Look for and create areas that act like fireflies, catching the eye and moving you around the canvas."
  • "Everyone has the will to succeed, but not everyone has the will to prepare, develop the skill and do the work to succeed."
  • "If you have an ego, park it at the door. If you don't have an ego, park that at the door too. We are all the same & will be learning something new. You will see the difference when you get home and apply what you are learning." Great workshop advice!!
  • Kevin admits to using 'bells & whistles' in his paintings, but cautions, "No amount of bells & whistles can save a bad drawing.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


I started a workshop series with Rebecca Neef on Chiaroscuro 
Wikipedia art is the use of strong contrasts between light and dark, usually bold contrasts affecting a whole composition. Chiaroscuro is also a technical term used by artists and art historians for using contrasts of light to achieve a sense of volume in modeling three-dimensional objects such as the human body. Similar effects in the lighting of cinema and photography are also often called chiaroscuro.

Here is the first step. Blocking in the composition. 
I will try to post my progression in the next few weeks.
 A classically trained artist and  such a wealth of information. 
One of the things she explained to us relates to the beauty of chiaroscuro being in the way the light hits a very ordinary object that is often lifted up to eye level or above. This elevates an otherwise ordinary and humble object, to a place of beauty and dignity.
Will keep you posted!!
Also heading to Kevin Beilfuss workshop next week!!! 
All the things I love so much. 
Will be sharing what I learn with you in the weeks to come!!