Saturday Class

Full Figure

Full Figure

I signed up for another class with artist Seth Heverkamp at his northern Virginia Studio.  The class was great as always.  We warmed up with one- minute poses and then had a very quick 15 minute demo by Seth.  Then he unleashed us.

The technique we used this time was establishing the figure using the same techniques as our one-minute sketches.  Initially,  we were supposed to make sure we captured her attitude and posture.  Period.  Once we nailed it we went into a more detailed figure ‘drawing’ using burnt umber.  When that was reviewed we could add color, insuring we only painted out darks and lights.

For this class we were only supposed to use cadmium orange mixed with titanium white and some of the burnt umber already on our pallets.  Sadly for me I had no cad orange and  like an idiot I used my transparent indian yellow from old holland (man I love that color).  Lesson learned, indian orange turns yellow when added to white.  I hated the results and wanted to cheat and paint the knee instead.  Seth discouraged me (rightly so).

Close up

Close up

One of my classmates was kind enough to lent me some cad orange and things immediately got a tad better.  I didn’t hate it so much.  I kept working on it-the finished study is okay.  Nothing great.  I had a hard time with her legs and I don’t think I ever got them right.

I really liked how her left arm, breast and chest came out.  In person you can see what it is and it’s painterly to my eyes.  By that I mean that I can see what it is but I can also really see how the paint rendered that area.

If you look close you will see that I put in some ultramarine blue with white for the area of her armpit and pubic mound when Seth wasn’t looking.

Lessons learned:

With less than 2 hours of actual painting time  you can not afford to work on the entire figure–pick a specific area and focus on it

If a part of the anatomy is in shadow but has reflected lights (from lighting our easels) don’t paint them with the light, leave it in shadow

Bring cadmium orange to all figure painting classes

Even if you hate the results while you  are in class, keep going.  You may end up liking the end result, if you quit you’ll never know how it really would have ended

Don’t eat paint (ok I didn’t try this but I thought I’d throw it in cads are heavy metals and toxic if ingested) don’t eat flake white either-it’s lead!!

Seth will be teaching another class at his studio on September 19th.  Contact him (seth.haverkamp AT if you’re interested in attending.


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