Sean Cheetham Day Two – Portrait Painting Tips from K.L. Britton

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The finished painting!

 

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Here is step one.  Day two was almost completely painting, with Sean walking around to help individual students with their issues, instead of simply demonstrating.  This is great for most people, because it gets from general, to what am I doing right?  I know I wrote this about yesterday, but it was VERY tough for me to work from dark to light and paint as I put down, I usually block in my lights and darks and then work into them, so it was a struggle!

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Here is with the shadow side of the cheek, not even completed.  I probably could have ended up spending 10 hours on this, frankly, because it was such a challenge.

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One of the main takeaways I got from the workshop was to create huge piles of your lights, darks, and for each area.  I did a huge background tone, and worked all my paint into it.  I did a huge pile of shadow face, and I worked into it.  Awesomely, I could have worked even further into it after I was done, simply because I’d mixed so much.  Same goes with lights, and this was invaluable for me to learn.  I usually paint very thin and end up spending a lot of time re-mixing a colour instead of painting.

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The finished product with some thumb shadow 😀  I am pleased.  It’s quite small, only 9×12, but it took the whole time to finish AND with a migraine the second day.

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Here is my set up as I tried to see what issues I had.  There is Natalia Fabia’s setup next to mine.

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Me and Natalia’s work in progress

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My awesome new friend Marian made this gorgeous painting on the right in such a short amount of time!  It was a very large canvas and so exciting to see her progress as we went along.

I’m glad to answer any questions you might have about the workshop, feel free to leave a comment! Thanks for reading!

Sketching in Pen

I have, in fact, been around and drawing lately, getting supplies and references together, as well as learning from books and other references.  Particularly, I am looking at a method of sketching called Dynamic Sketching, and so far, this is my result page.  Other than starting list after list of reference for my studio, this is what I’ve been doing with my life.

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Each sketch is really, really fast.  Like 5-10 minutes tops.  That may sound long, but it’s not, not to get a semi-accurate, instantly readable sketch.  This has been really great to learn.  Here is a look at some of the steps it took to get here.

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^ Yes, that’s a pasted T rex.  There is also an Aurora Optima Sole Mio pasted somewhere in my sketchbook to remind me of what I want 😀

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Thanks for reading!

Tattoo Shop Special – K.L. Britton +Drawing Tips

In case you missed it, I spent six months apprenticing with Isaac Newman, now of La Cosa Nostra Ink, formerly at Art District Tattoo in North Hollywood.  I learned how to tattoo, starting with the basics, setting up, taking down, and hygiene.  There’s nothing more important than being meticulous about avoiding cross contamination.  I did lots of tattoos, some bad, some great, some took hours, some took minutes.  I loved it.  It’s a new medium I am very interested in.  Added bonus: Painting and drawing when the customers are light is completely expected.  I had a great time, experienced a really wild life, and can’t thank the incredibly talented Isaac enough for the opportunity.  I’m sure there’s some wild stories to tell, they’ll have to wait til later.

K.L. Britton floral painting Modern Art

Peony, Digital study (when I first got my ipad pro!)

Digital Drawing tip #1

My focus on this piece was to really think about broad, loose shapes that would still slightly indicate my subject.  I tend to get pretty interested in details and this occasionally leads me to miss those larger, more important shapes.  One advantage of using the ipad and Procreate is that I can “click out” of the picture – the digital version of stepping back.  When I click out it’s easy to see if the thumbnail makes sense.  If there is a huge drawing error, I can correct it.  We always say it’s very important to use a mirror to see your drawing errors, or to walk away and look at your painting from afar, and I can’t emphasize this enough.  With digital, it’s even easier.  Just check your thumbnail.

Another advantage of this method is that you can do several quick sketches and see them together.  When you see them, it’s easy to understand where you went wrong (or right) in the drawings time and time again, so when you’re putting your pen, pencil, or paint down, you can be ready to avoid or correct those errors in advance.  It makes you a better artist over all when you know what your problems are.

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I was challenged to do a very good portrait in under an hour 😀  This is one that I have painted before, if you recognize it 😉

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I liked to keep this one at my station 😉

Thanks for reading!

Philadelphia Gallery of Art – Now playing.

ImageCheck out PhiladelphiaGalleryofArt.com to find some great artwork from Philadelphia artists!  They also have a facebook and a twitter, although I think as just starting there aren’t too many posts right now.  If you’re in Philadelphia, they’re accepting applications for representation, it’s on the contact on their website.

On an equally awesome note, check out my still life.  I bet you thought I would never paint one (again.)  But I did, and in fact ENJOYED it.  That’s right, the mandarins stood completely still while you move your head around and talk a lot.  The mandarins had very little to say, and honestly putting these on the wall will be cheaper in the long run than buying new oranges every week to replace the dried ones.  I mean, these are like $5 for 3 lbs!  You don’t want that kind of recurring tax on your plate, but if you buy this painting (available at the previous link) you are basically getting an ikea bowl, three everlasting oranges, and a partially opened orange included in the price.  Granted, you can’t do anything with them but look, but imagine how they will brighten up your fancy foyer table, and you’ll never have to change the water.

Since I’m in school now, as well as teaching, I have been busy.  Btw if you want to learn, I have proof that my teaching method is good, and in four weeks I promise your portraits will improve (unless you are David Kassan, then I can’t help you.)

Here is some inspiration (for you to go to AFTER you visit philadelphiagalleryofart.com) www.jefflegg.com  It has music, but if you mute it you will find some beauty.  Maybe you will be inspired to buy a still life as well.