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Spring portrait workshop in action.

Spring portrait workshop in action.

I recently finished running the Spring Oil Portrait short course for Charles Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy.  Trying to teach life-size oil portraiture properly within in two weeks is nearly impossible.  But this group did well and I am very proud of their results.

For those who want to know more below is brief explanation of what happens.

Vinicio, oil on linen, 40cm x 55cm

Vinicio, oil on linen, 40cm x 55cm.  One of the strengths of the of the course is that I work alongside the students, not just a brief demonstration.  Here is an example of one of the paintings that I did during a July course.

The short courses are essentially condensed versions of the regular training that occurs at Cecil Studios.  The basic didactic philosophy is to provide a historically valid training that addresses the major principals, methods and materials utilized by great artists from the past.  Projects are developed using the sight-size approach as it was originally intended: life-size portraiture.  Working exclusively under natural light, the student begins with drawing in charcoal from the model.  Over the first 3 days, two portrait drawings are created (morning and afternoon) for the transfer to canvas.  The remaining sessions are dedicated to painting with a limited palette and olio-resinous medium.  In addition to the discussion of the practical stages of picture making a museum visit to Palazzo Pitti and a lecture explore the evolution of Renaissance and Baroque portraiture, focusing on the Florentines, Titian, Rubens and Van Dyck.

James Jones, oil on linen, 50cm x 60cm.  A recent head I did during the portrait course I taught this summer in Florence

James Jones, oil on linen, 50cm x 60cm. A recent head I did during the portrait course I taught this summer in Florence

A portrait study of Anais that I started during the spring course and hope to finish off later.

A portrait study of Anais that I started during the spring course and hope to finish off later.