Several weeks ago I took a one day class with artist Seth Haverkamp at his studio in Northern Virginia. Seth is a talented student in Robert Liberace’s evening course. I always look at how quickly he works and am amazed.
Seth had us set up and did a quick demo. What he asked us to do was a very quick and minimal initial drawing of the model. By minimal I mean some lines to show the shoulders relative to head and neck and a quick line to place nose, eyes, and mouth. That was it.
His point was that for the class we would be painting the shapes we saw in the models face, instead of taking the time to create a detailed initial drawing, we were to concentrate on matching the color and color temperatures as well as getting the exact shape we saw down on canvas.
Color, bright colors were our friend. This of course immediately made me rather nervous since color application to a grisaille is something I struggle with. I joked about it in class and Seth did his best to reassure me.
I worked really had during this class to see and accurately paint the colors I saw on the model’s skin. One of the great things about painting this way is that you have plenty of paint on the panel/linen and it really allows you to manipulate the edges and shapes of the painting.
I really liked the final results of the portrait I painted in this class and used what I learned to play with paint in the final session of Rob’s class. Robert wasn’t there (they were all in Ireland painting) and I loved the painting that I had worked on for the previous four weeks. I decided to leave my painting along and to try Seth’s techniques.