I recently hosted another portrait painting in oils workshop at the Yardley Arts Centre. This was another enjoyable experience in difficult times with the Covid pandemic. Social distancing was maintained throughout, and with some hard working and enthusiastic students some great portraits were produced.
The Cordell Garfield Portrait Painting Workshop
As with my other portrait workshops http://www.cordellgarfield.com/workshops/ the portrait painting in oils workshop set out to really help beginners and the more experienced. Above all portrait painting and its anatomy are difficult to master and I tried to simplify the process. We approached the portrait painting through understanding the landmarks of the face. This could be the position of the eyes, distances between the eyes, nose and mouth and so on. We also worked on the use of tone and value in a monochrome palette to produce portraits from a photograph. I gave a series of demonstrations to guide students through the process. Here are some examples of the work produced:
I also want to give a big shout out to Yardley Arts. Yardley Arts is a not-for-profit arts organisation that is really placing a focus on the arts in Northamptonshire. The spacious and light-filled centre is based at Yardley Hastings. Its range of courses covers drawing, painting, sculpture, jewellery and photography. There is even an animation workshop! Moreover, there is something for everybody with previous experience not necessary on many workshops. It’s not been easy in the current climate, but the centre has continued to keep running within the new pandemic guidelines.
I will be running another workshop at the centre again in 2021, but I would recommend checking out other courses. The courses are all run by experienced artists who will help improve your skills whatever your ability. Have a look at their web site https://www.yardleyarts.org/about
My latest oil painting portrait, and this time it’s Lou Reed, New York musician and founder member of the legendary Velvet Underground. Best known in the UK for ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KaWSOlASWcand the BBC charity single ‘Perfect Day’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYEC4TZsy-Y. Lou Reed was a big influence on Bowie as well as a few of the bands who came out of the 70s punk explosion. . He had a track record of drugs and alcohol abuse although cleaned himself up in later years. Irascible and an absolute pain for rock journalists, Lou sung a lot about New York and its misfits. His songs touched on no go subjects junkies, transvestites, rent boys, bisexuality and were often no holds barred and provocative.
I chose this image which was probably around 1974 as it sums up Reed at his peak. This was on the back of his success with ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ in 1972. This was the Glam Rock period and Lou was all shades and leathers. He didn’t quite fit in with his British contemporaries (think Sweet, Slade, Glitter Band etc), being more street and savvy. Bowie (obviously), Roxy Music and Iggy Pop http://www.cordellgarfield.com/2018/08/21/iggy-pop-and-the-stooges-raw-power-1972-acrylic-painting/ were the closest to him in spirit at this time.
I really enjoyed painting this one, and it’s only a small oil painting (12 x 10). The pose is great, not sure if the two fingers were a deliberate set up but it works and fits Reed’s punk image. It really is a picture of its time, not long before punk/new wave hit the streets. For the painting aficionados out there I worked quickly, alla prima with a fairly limited palette.
Top Lou Reed song? Difficult to choose but here are some links to a small selection of some more well known tracks: