Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Kline Academy hosts Portrait Workshop with Jan Saether

Dear Artists,
I am excited about the special Portrait Painting workshop this month. Another sold out workshop and a great buzz in the studio. It is especially special for me because this
month our guest artist is Jan Saether who was my teacher 20 years ago! Even more ironic is that Jan's old
school/studio is the very same location as Kline Academy! Full circles don't often happen but when they do it is magical. We will try to give you a weekly update of what we are learning and experiencing during this 5 session event.

First I want to tell you about the paints Jan asked us to add to our existing palettes:
Unbleached Titanium, Naples Yellow (but made with Chrome - Titanate), Nickel Titanium
Yellow, Mars Brown, Mars Violet, Chrome oxide Green and an earth red or English red.
Thickened lindseed oil or stand oil.

Day one: We were to arrive with a dry, toned canvas of brown ochre or any deep earth red and
not too light.
Step One: Jan next asked us to cover the entire canvas with mars brown, a thin layer but substantial coverage.

Step Two: We began drawing the model with pure mars brown -just an outline of the basics-no
Step Three: Jan demonstrated how to add light and begin to achieve a ciaro scuro effect. Bouncing around the image to add light and contrast using only naples yellow.

Step Four: We continued to work in the mid-tones and other values using only mars brown and naples yellow.
Next week we get to add a red to the palette.

Jan will be lecturing on "A Master's Notes... on Paint" regarding opaque and transparent qualities and how to mix skin tones. A 3 hour presentation with a live model. $50 per person and we still have some spaces available. February 20, Sunday 2pm to 5pm -call me with credit card to reserve your space.
All for now until next week...Cheryl Kline

Okay I am late in the update--but I have been working 7 days a week teaching, painting and I am exhausted!

Workshop Day Two:

We added Mars Red Light to our existing palette and working again with just Naples Yellow (Italian) by Williamsburg, we worked in the red tones but only around her cheek, lips and nose. Using the same mixture of Mars Brown and Naples for the midtones and pure naples for the highlights. The painting took on a mysterious golden glow.

The idea is to work the entire painting - building the form only with pure opaque pigments and absolutely staying away from white.

It is like a big mystery--Jan won't tell us what is next ... we just have to wait until next week.
Day 3:

Now the palette is taking shape. The colors are: Nickel Yellow, Naples Yellow, Yellow Ochre, French Vermillion or Cad red light, Mars Red Light, or English Red, Mars Brown, Mars Violet (aka Caput Mortum) Mars Black, Chrome Green, Permanent Green Light, and Lead White-(but try not to use it).
We continued to overpaint what we had done and strengthen our values, modify our subtle transitions and attend to our edges. Jan demoed on my painting and lost the likeness (he said he was more concerned with the process) but it bugged me so -I couldn't sleep and came in in the morning and fixed it. I need to see the person I am painting and for me the means does not justify the end.

It is an interesting approach and I will surely try it on another painting.

Day 4:
More color and continue to work on the model. This was our long day. A full 4 hours with the model. Jan discussed the palette more in depth and I will post his notes later. But as you can see, the more we work up the painting in opaque paint, the luminous it becomes.

Monday, Feb 21 is our last day and I will try to make head way on this painting and make it more human

Last Night: Finally, the dessert! So now we glaze. I love glazing. And on top of the opaque layers made a beautiful combination. At this point Jan recommended we use what ever colors we were familiar with for our glazing. This is my specialty and I love transparent colors. So, Red Oxide and Ultramarine blue was a perfect brown glaze for the hair. Later I added some alizarine crimson to this mixture and overlapped onto the neck and shadow areas. You have to plan on pretty much painting the entire canvas. After the glazing it is a repeat of the same opaque colors but staying only in the light areas, carefully painting into the glaze. I liked what I accomplished and I can see how I would adapt this palette to my own style and my own teaching. I am not a
big fan of green, I guess I am more of a blue kinda gal so I would probably tint the chrome green to be a bit bluer and try that.
Also, I tend to prefer transparent shadows. I love the Florentine method of saving the transparent nature of the shadow areas. That being said, I will give this method more practice before I make my final decision on whether I will change my palette.

I would say it was a very successful event. My students, who had only heard of Jan through me were in full attendance at the lecture we hosted for him on the first in a series of lectures entitled "A Master's Notes" -- this one was on paint and the nature of paint and the importance of setting up the beginning palette with the most opaque colors available. Also in an order much like a tic-tac-toe. Personally my brain could not get behind this positioning of colors and I used a more traditional setup of light to dark around the perimeter of the palette.

Walt Morton sent me his notes from the lecture on the palette setup that you might find
interesting which I will post again after Jan has made some changes. Give it a try and let us know how you liked it and what you discovered using this palette. It will be nice to hear from everyone.

1 comment:

Tanya Ragir said...

Great post Cheryl.Love the picture of the two of you!