I recently taught a portrait painting workshop to a great group of students here in Ojai, California. This was a two-day workshop, graciously hosted by Bert Collins at her West Hills Ojai Gallery. Bert is a well-known pastel artist who has been working and promoting the arts in Ojai for many years and regularly teaches classes of her own in pastel. If you are at all interested in learning to paint with pastels, I highly recommend that you get yourself into one of her classes.
I was very excited to be able to share with my workshop students some supplies that I enjoy using myself.
• M. Graham & Co. supplied a free tube of Titanium White oil paint to each student.
• Raphael’s gave a free 9×12 Claessen’s #66 linen canvas panel to each student. (They also make the Miracle Muck glue that I’ve recommended before for making canvas panels.)
• Rosemary & Co. supplied a free #2 Series 279 brush to each student.
Everyone was excited to be able to try each product. I’m grateful to each of these companies for providing us with some supplies to sample.
Each workshop day I started by giving a lecture on the fundamentals of painting and showing examples. I also gave instructions on how to measure for the purpose of achieving accurate distances and shapes. Then I did a painting demonstration for the group. The first day I showed how to paint using a limited palette of colors: Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red and Ivory Black. The second day I added a few more colors to the mix.
The students all got the chance to try their hands at the challenge of portrait painting too. Nobody ran away screaming, so I think they all enjoyed the experience and will hopefully keep practicing. I’ll always remember what Scott Burdick once told me, “Just paint 1,000 more portraits and you’ll be doing ok!”
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