Recently had the opportunity to paint one of my favorite people – Hanah – from life. I love our little painting group. We hire a model virtually every week and paint from life. We paint for three hours – 20 minutes then hopefully a 5 minute break if we don’t get too chatty. It is probably one of the best things I’ve done for my learning in painting. Seeing those colors in people’s faces that you only see from real life. Photos just don’t do it! And I know I’m prejudiced, but to me there is something magical about capturing someone on canvas. Someone described it as “capturing their soul”. Don’t know if I’d go that far, but I still think it’s special.
In addition to the wondrous opportunity to paint from life, there is a wonderful camaraderie between our little group of painters. We share our latest tricks, gadgets and ideas. We critique each other’s paintings — always with kind intentions — because we are there to grow and learn. And sometimes we just can’t see where we’re off. It’s so helpful to get that feedback. It seems we all have areas that we are blind to. For instance, I invariably make everyone’s chins too short.
Sometimes I’ll take these back and complete them with the photo I take. In Hanah’s case, I have not done anything additional. Haven’t decided yet whether I will. Sometimes I like the freshness of the painting, even if everything is not perfect.
The last few sessions, I’ve been experimenting with the Zorn palette: yellow ochre, cadmium red medium and Mars black – and white of course. I love it! With this piece of Hanah, I did add a little Ultramarine Blue to get that color in her shirt. I recently completed a much large painting – 30×40- completely with the Zorn palette — I will show you that soon.
Should any of you be so inclined, please let me know if you’d like to model. We’re always looking for new faces! We provide chocolate, coffee and friendly conversation — as well as payment of course!
Thank you Hanah for allowing us to paint you from life!!! It was an honor and a privilege!