"Julie - Study"
Oil on Canvas Paper - 11" x 14"
So if you had asked me which is my favorite painting I had done up to this time, this one would be it. Why? It's because I actually completed this one from life and it has some of the expressiveness of brushwork that I've been striving for. It's not a masterpiece, but for me it means a lot, because it tells me that there is hope towards actually completing a future, more ambitious (and yes, even salable) composition in one or more settings from life. What has been the key for me? Probably like most things, it's practice and more practice. In this way you become more comfortable with the medium and your tools.
Other people have helped too. I'm not an island. I run things past people whose opinions I respect and who will give me straightforward input. Also, I find that nowadays, if you can't make it to an actual workshop, instructional DVD's can be a good way to go. I have a few that have really helped me. They are as follows:
• The Alla Prima Portrait and
Both by Rob Liberace
• Gesture Portraits by Geoffrey Watts
• Her Mother's Locket by Dan Gerhartz
• Nuts and Bolts by Quang Ho.
That last one has really helped me out a lot. Plus Ho is very philosophical and I tend to be as well so a lot of his anecdotes and analogies make a great deal of sense to me. He does a lot of talking in it and that might bother some who just want to see straight-forward instruction, but to me his concepts help to make clear what painting and art in general is all about.