I’ve been thinking about the fall, October, when I’ll participate in Philadelphia’s OPEN STUDIO PROGRAM. I’ve got some great artists, friends, who will join me in a show here in my building. To make a bigger event out of it, I/we could do some quick oil portraits of visitors, say 20-min paintings. Maybe call them Quick Oil Sketches. It would give us something to advertise, and a way to keep visitors in our show longer – and it would be fun. and scary. and challenging. and it would force me to overcome my reluctance to actually approach somebody and say “Can I paint your portrait?” I don’t know why that is so scary to say, but it is. It means putting yourself out there, risking failurem in public.
So I need practice making 20-minute portraits. Can I really do it? What do you emphasize, what do you leave out in 20 minutes? If not a likeness, can I at least get a resemblance? Here is one of my first attempts, of another artist at a Sketch Club workshop:
|At the Sketch Club. 9 x12, oil on Canva-Paper|
In addition, during a Plein-air Group Paintout at Atlantic City, I asked a cute 9-yr old girl if I could paint her. She was surprised and pleased, and that resulted in:
|Ariane. 12 x16″, oil on Canva-Paper|
Her favorite color was red, so that became the dominant color. I would have liked to spend more time, correcting adjusting and improving, but that wasn’t the point of this exercise. In any case, she did like it, and her parents were impressed enough to buy it, on the spot. That was a surprise, it felt great (!).
From these first attempts, I do see the obvious ways that I need to change my technique to take advantage of what you can and cannot do in a Quick Oil Sketch. Now – bravery and practice!
The other painting to come out of that plein-air session was of a couple of boats in the marina. Here too, I have a lot to learn. Water! Reflections! Loose diagonals! the Mid-Field! Oh my!
|Gardner’s Basin Mooring. 12 x16″, Oil on Canva-Paper|