Monday, 2 May 2011

Painting Flesh Tones

Sunningdale Art Society 
April Workshop 2011

 Life Study
Demonstration from Sunningdale Art Society Workshop

When I walk into an art society workshop I never really know where the day is going to lead. Everyone may expect cockerel or animal demonstrations when I give my presentations but there will always be the surprise element in my talksand  art sessions. This is because I paint absolutely everything.

 I see colour shapes rather than following set lines as carried out by artists who work from preliminary sketches.With no pencil lines to restrict my creativity I find I gain a sense of the freedom I am yearning for in my results. My brush will happily glide over the paper carrying pigment to the sections I wish it to lay in.

I always aim to try to please everyone and cover as many subjects as I can during a workshop. I will walk around the room looking at how I can help offer guidance or advise if any artists attending have chosen subjects to paint that are not similar to those I have already demonstrated. I was delighted to see one artist had brought in a life photograph in black and white. The shadows on the model were wonderful but as there was no colour my imagination immediately fell back on years of my painting figures in the past.

I have always adored painting skin tones. Travelling all over the world has given me the opportunity to study  wonderful differences in colour and shadow in the varying nationalities that I have met. It's been such a fabulous experience. 

I chose to make my nude a young woman with fair skin.


I wish I had the photograph of the initial wash that was purely an experiment as a warm up exercise at the beginning of the session.When I saw the photograph of the model I knew I could work on this wash as it led to the shape of the torso so easily. The subject was already there. I added a simple line for the shoulder and back. The model was leaning forward slightly in a pose that created a shadow across her waist which contrasted with the highlight on the curve of her upper breast. The face is unimportant  but the skin tone is.

A second small wash was on my desk so I repeated the process just to follow the lines minus the photograph as a wonderful warming up exercise this morning.

Life Study II

From these two studies I now have an idea for a very large piece and I cannot wait to try to capture what is in my mind on paper. Although it will look absolutely nothing like these two studies! By now  my creative spirit has moved to a far more interesting composition.


Karen if you are redaing my blog I do hope you continue with your style which is wonderful. You did so well on Saturday and I love your strentgh of colour and tone. Have fun painting and please try many more firgures and  flowers too. You were fantastic!

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