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 https://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
Just a quick update on a very successful portrait drawing workshop at Alfred East Gallery https://www.kettering.gov.uk/artworkshops . This was a group of varying abilities who produced some great work. What was particularly satisfying was to see everybody’s work develop. Moreover, to see students with very little drawing experience really get to grips with developing a portrait was very rewarding.
In the same vein as my other portrait workshops https://www.cordellgarfield.com/workshops/ the portrait drawing workshop set out to really help beginners. Above all portrait drawing and its anatomy are difficult to master and I tried to simplify the process. We approached the drawing 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.
I wanted to give a big shout out to the Alfred East Gallery following the workshop. The Alfred East Gallery hosts a range of art based workshops over the year with something for everyone, and I would recommend keeping an eye on what’s available. I will be looking to run another workshop at Alfred East Gallery in the future, but I would recommend checking out other courses.
Even the most skilled artists are always learning, and continue to develop their art. I thought it might be interesting to share my experiences, particularly for those who already draw and paint or those who maybe want to start drawing.
With improving my drawing and painting in mind, I went looking for ways to do this with some focused tuition. Obviously constant practice is essential, but sometimes you want more advice and guidance. My answer was to go to an Atelier workshop.
What is an Atelier? Sounds highbrow and slightly daunting? Not really, an Atelier is a workshop and process where an artist acts as a tutor teaching by example and demonstration to a number of students. The idea behind this is that groups of artists learn a process together, and learn how to use this process utilising their own individual styles. Everybody is different and has a different way of working, but there is a straightforward process on how to learn to see and draw.
Now, for some of you, the above techniques might sound and seem totally alien but you probably use some of them already, and if you want to really develop your drawing I would seriously recommend just finding out more. Ateliers are centuries old, used by the Renaissance painters, Rubens, Van Dyke, Singer Sargent etc, and their methods are tried and tested. They also dispel the myth of the solitary artist struggling away and demonstrate a more inclusive way of learning to draw and paint.