Last weekend I attended a fabulous Portrait Painting in Oils Course with Mike Skidmore in the Cotswolds and would thoroughly recommend it! Mike's teaching style is fun, informal and instructive with bags of tips and encouragement for artists of all levels. He has loads of his work around the place to inspire and tells jokes that make you want to expire but everyone went home with a portrait they were proud of. The process began with choosing a photograph and drawing it onto a Belle Arte canvas. Then the pencil was sealed in place with an acrylic wash of Payne's gray which was left to dry. Next a grisaille or monotone underpainting was created using Payne's grey and white acrylic paints mixed with slow drying medium to describe the form. The following day we mixed up a dark flesh tone, added a wet medium to thin it down, and painted it all over the face. Then, while it was wet we could work into it with colour, working from dark to light. I added flecks to the beard and viridian green to the shadows in the cloth before running out of steam. However, I signed up for an extra day so I could paint some more on both this portrait and some others I had brought with me. It meant suffering more of Mike's jokes but it was jolly worth it! His wife, Cathy, kept us fed and watered throughout the weekend, serving up scrumptious lunches in the house and running over to the studio with cuppas and pastries. They are an amazing team and I can't wait to go back!
Merry Christmas (again)
10 months ago