Another successful Portrait Course

Another couple of portrait courses done with Andrew James and smiles all around. Most importantly Andrew is looking forward to it again next year. If you’re interested register on the course page and I’ll let you know the timings when the venue schedule is available in the Spring.

This is now the fifth course I’ve attended (and organised) and I think progress is being made, portraiture is still the most maddening strand of art though.

Here’s a run through of what happened on the courses…

Course 1

We started off with some charcoal sketching followed by a quick demo by Andrew. Here’s his sketch.



Here’s my longer sketch, 1 hour I think.



Day 1 was completed with a monochrome oil painting. This was probably my least satisfying painting, I underpainted using a turpsy wash that didn’t dry before trying to apply the thicker paint on top.

Day 2 started with a demo oil painting by Andrew.



We spent some time sketching and working out compositions in charcoal before blocking in. 

Here’s my work at the end of day 2.



I found the 3rd day frustrating, battling with likeness but ended up with this at the end of the course.



The following week I tweaked the portrait, very little time was spent and very little paint was applied but the tweaks brought out the likeness more by modelling the chin more simply. Oh and I tried Joanna in a fancy frame! (Excuse the carpet).



Here’s a shot of other people’s work in progress on day 3.





Course 2

I (and another attendee) were lucky enough to do two back to back courses complete with new models.

Here are my sketches from the first day.



As I’d done the monochrome painting earlier in the week, I did a limited palette exercise using the zorn palette (only red, yell ochre, black and white).



Again day 2 started with a demo. This time Andrew tried a more conventional planned approach instead of his usual magic. The results was a more prosaic portrait but as a bonus we saw the pain he went to to complete an eye, it wasn’t just bravura brush marks. He doesn’t seem this bald usually, apologies for the angle Andrew.



Here’s some of the student work in progress.



Here’s mine after the 3rd day



I’d used large brushes for the initial block in and tried to work with them for as long as possible. Andrew made a good point that the machined finish of the board isn’t as pleasing as a canvas would have been.



When I got home. I did some further tweaking to the eyes and lips which I think brought out the likeness and removed the unflattering and untrue goggle eyed effect.



I hope you found this interesting and if you feel up to the challenge next year let me know.

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Sadly the Andrew James #oilpainting #portrait #course is over for another year. #bristol #portishead

I’ve just had a great week painting with the great Andrew James RP.
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He came to Portishead (just outside Bristol) again to teach portraiture on a three day course that I organise. Everyone had a great time once more, I survived consecutive courses and you can see some examples of the student’s work and register your interest for an anticipated 2015 course on the course page if I’ve not got your details yet.

Thanks to Andrew and all the students and models for making it such a great success and Helen for behind the scenes support including critical cake making. 

Here are slideshows of the demos from the two courses last week. I’ll be posting my own work from it in a later post.

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The Andrew James portrait course last weekend was a success. Relief! Now breathe…

Last weekend Andrew James R.P. to came to Portishead to tutor a portrait course that I’d organised and had been on my mind for about 8 months.

Why did I get involved? I met Andrew at his exhibition in London and queried why he taught portraiture in Umbria but not in Britain. He said if you organise it I’ll turn up so I picked up his gauntlet.

Thankfully eight other students also preferred Portishead to Umbria (was cost a factor? I’ll never know) and all enjoyed it, many thanks to you all for a great weekend.

I’ve included a slideshow of the Saturday demo by Andrew on the course page, I’ve put the fab student feedback on the page too. There was only fab feedback, (apart from not getting the heating on early enough! Lesson learned).

I’ve included my own output from the weekend below. I’m pleased with my first hour and a half portrait but you wouldn’t believe how frustrated I was with the second (in profile) which took two whole days, day two was almost entirely scraping off, repainting, swearing, scraping off, repainti… you get the picture.

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A chance to paint with Andrew James Vice Pres RP

I was lucky enough to get to see the London exhibition http://www.facebook.com/pages/Contemptible-Subjects-and-Other-Things-of-Interest/267994289951911 this week at the Menier Gallery. Sadly it’s now over. It was run by the three exhibiting artists and I was lucky enough to meet Simon Davis and Andrew James who were there at the time. I hadn’t realised I was so familiar with so much of Simon Davis’ work until I saw it in the gallery.

I was particularly happy to be able to talk to Andrew James as I’m in the middle of watching his Expressive Portraits DVD. I was lucky enough to have a long talk to him and he’d be happy to come to the Bristol area to run a weekend workshop if enough people are interested, so get in touch if you are.

Take a look at the incredibly powerful Ivy III portrait if you are in two minds.

ivyIIIhttp://www.andrewjamesartist.co.uk/