November 09, 2013

Abstract portrait painting workshop!

Good evening!
Tonight I would like to share thoughts about a workshop I attended today. The theme was abstract portrait painting, and it was so much fun! I have a hard time with abstract painting. To me, it is difficult and un-natural. I much rather paint in my own style, but I am a strong believer in the fact that we must work outside our own comfort zone in order to develop our creativity, so I keep trying. My teacher says that abstract painting is the most difficult style to paint, and I agree!

Here is some "rules" from my school:

  1. What do you want with your painting?
  2. Let all your colors stay "open" (Keep painting with thin layers, so that they blend and stay transparent).
  3. Cover everything you like with new paint.
  4. Don´t isolate your favorite places on the canvas. Be prepared to change everything!
Fun eh? If there is something you like, hurry up and ruin it! Stay open in the creativ process, and let every door remaine open untill the very end. Really, really hard!

Our task was to paint abstract portraits on rather large canvases. First we was asked to paint a background fast and without thinking too much. Just choose some nice colors and have fun. 
Then we had to find a good photo. Our teacher uses mostly newspaper portraits. Why? Because they are mostly not taken by professional photographers, and therfor look´s more natural. 

Here are a few photos of my teachers own paintings:

So, that look´s really easy, right? Let me tell you a secret: IT WAS NOT! IT WAS BLOODY DIFFICULT!!!

Before I share pictures of my painting and the process, I´d like to share a good idea:
Make a portrait practice journal. My teacher had this big thick journal full of cut out photos from newspapers, and her own studíes:

I decided on the spot to do the same! A study of faces and expressions. When ever I get bored, I have several photos to work with.

Now over to my painting. I remembered to take some shots through the day, so here they are:

Background: red, yellow, orange and white colors.

I start by painting all the darker places.  Then I add the highlights.  

More work, now a little green and blue as contrast to all the red and orange. 

It is not really all that abstract, but it´s very different from what I usually paint. I think I like it. The woman look´s very much like my inner spiritual guide, a warrior-priestess called Karla. I especially like her green eyes and fierce expression. She has a lot of stenght, wisdom and courage! 

Tomorrow I´ll share more work with my doll, the witch Hannah! 

Some pictures from the other participants:

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