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What am I forgetting?

These are roughly 1.5 hour studies from sittings at The Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The flesh tones actually have more color than I am able to translate in these photos – but as advised, I was trying to be ‘subtle’ – and simplify.  Did I go to far?? What else am I forgetting my friends and ‘Feshin fellows’…??? We’ve learned so much, I stand there thinking “turns to non-color, now more intense color, edge continues – soften, hard line – the internal babble is endless. Gallery owner thought perhaps the shadow areas might be too dark?? I have three more days of these sketches – so speak up my friends.


11 Responses to What am I forgetting?

Hey Kelly !! These are great. Way to go ! Have you sold many of these ?

You have accomplished a lot in one hour. Wow. I have been doing portraits almost everyday from life since 2 weeks ago. Have done 7 so far. I usually get my friends sit for 3 hours and continued painting from photos.
Sometimes it took 2 hours just to get the drawing down right ( placement, proportion and shading…etc * I know we were told not to draw at the Fechin workshop and focus on painting the volume 🙂
Kelly you got great tonal contrast and therefore good sense of volume. Imagine what you can do with adjustment of shapes, edges,temperature and values from photo reference.
Have fun at your last portrait day at the gallery.
Keep in touch !
Enjoy the humor and honesty in your article.

Posted by Harvey · via web · 130 months ago

Hi Harvey, thanks for the feedback. Yes, I sold all three. I have three more a day, for the next three days. And tomorrow, one of them is the press – hope I don’t choke. I think we may be able to get more accuracy from a photo reference, but I swear, for me, it sucks all the joy out of it. I like the intensity of ‘having to get it’ in the moment. If I’m using a photo it moves from a human interaction and exchange to map making and it looses its juice. So I will likely stick to the juicy distortion, and work hard toward more accurate drawing skills as time and practice allows me to progress. It also helps to keep the sessions short because many people are willing to sit for 1.5 hours and chat – if they like what you’re doing – they’ll buy it. Currently, I ask people to sit. I explain that if they like the results, they can purchase it for $150 – if not – I wipe it out and use the canvas on the next sitter, and thank them for adding to my practice. It’s a very nice arrangement, and one I hope to build on.
When do you go to Hong Kong. I will go there and paint with you someday!

Posted by kelly · via · 130 months ago

Hi Kelly,

It is great to watch you work with such intensity and I think you are really going somewhere.
I don’t think the darks are too dark but I think they can be simpler. Sherrie once told me “you don’t really want anyone to look at or comment on the shadows, they should be an almost invisible foil for the lights. They should be flat, simple, with no variations of brushwork, color, or value. The only variation in the darks is the reflected light, which should be the same value as the darks but just warmer.”

I look forward to seeing the next batch. You are setting a standard for artistic work ethic that we all can envy. W

Posted by will klemm · via · 130 months ago

I don’t think your backgrounds are too dark. You have darker areas on the faces. I love the lady’s hair. I’d like to see more pure tones, but that is my preference. The faces are getting better. I see humor and eyes twinkling.

Posted by mimi · via · 130 months ago

Kelly, Kelly, Kelly, – You put us all to shame! I agree with Will, your work ethic is awesome. I’ve been enjoying your journey and most importantly your improvement. As I look at at your past portrait then to the present it is without a doubt that you are coming into your own. The last three portraits seem to have more of “you” in them – as if you were enjoying yourself more??? Just my thoughts anyway. GO FOR IT! KEEP IT UP, and use more of the darker background like in the first portrait, with the glasses – I realy like that one! It helps to ground your use of color….. Till next time, Lisa

Posted by Lisa Baurmeister · via · 130 months ago

Hey, thanks all. I will try to exercise all of that good advice today.
As for the shadows – I bought really $$$ linen panels for these sittings and the canvas seems to show every stroke. I think I may need a softer brush to apply the shadows with. Any of you remember the color combo that D and S used for their shadow areas??

Posted by kelly · via · 130 months ago

Remember the more comes forward and less goes back. Things like hair probably doesn’t want to have many value steps.
Also, the faces are basically “eggs”, maybe try to see where the strongest light is and other parts might appear as bright but there might be a subtle transitions of values from the closest plane(to the light source) to the areas that receive less light(and this is where colors become non-colors).
Lastly, the hues could be varied a tad more? Try to compare hues on the forehead with cheeks, nose or chin, whether they are leaned towards blue, red, green, yellow or gray?

Btw, just to update you with my new work.(I only did a couple paintings because my school academia gets in the way of painting :() Oh well, let me know what you think! 😀 This was a 4.5 hour long pose D:

All the best,

Posted by Keita · via · 130 months ago

I really love the one on the right. There are so many great things happening already 😀

Posted by Keita · via · 130 months ago

Wow – Keita – she’s breathtaking. I will study her over and over again. NICE WORK my friend.

Posted by kelly · via · 130 months ago

Shadow areas ”“ Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber – adjustments with Cad yellow med (I think)

Posted by lisa · via · 130 months ago

I am brain-dead when it comes to painting faces so…..I think these are awesome! I agree with one person’s comment – I see eyes twinkling also! I can feel your energy from here – keep it up and have a great summer! Save travels for sure! Love, Ginny

Posted by Ginny · via · 130 months ago


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