November is such a beautiful month; the weather cools down, the light becomes more mellow, and northern birds migrate to our warm islands to feed in our lush gardens, filling them with song. No better place to enjoy the season than in Niki Delicious’s hillside home in Montego Bay, where we were invited to return and conduct the third Young at Art On the Road Painting workshop.
This workshop differed from the first two (which covered the basics of color mixing and painting a simple face), as we moved on to the beautiful but challenging Fayum portraits. A fascinating juxtaposition of Greco-Roman painting and Egyptian sarcophagi from 2000 years ago resulted in hundreds of sophisticated portraits, and we began our workshop looking at a slide show of some of my favorites.
A demonstration of the importance of TONES in a portrait was explored by selecting a color photocopy of a Fayum portrait, analyzing it for the predominant colors, and choosing only two colors which we could mix with white to create tones. We spent the rest of the morning exploring endless tones by painting Tonal Targets:
After lunch we continued with drawing our chosen Fayum portrait, most of which were painted in a slight 3/4 pose, which we observed, and we also looked closely to identify tonal subtleties:
It was a day of concentration and focus, so at the end of it the group relaxed,gathering beside the pool, surrounded by orchids, and quietly watched a demonstration aimed at connecting the tonal subtleties on the Fayum portraits with the tones explored with the Tonal Targets earlier in the day.
The next morning this demonstration was repeated, with a different portrait as a guide, and then the whole day was spent painting. The results are beautiful:
At the end of this long day we gathered poolside once again, in front of an amazing display of re-interpreted Fayum portraits.
It is extraordinary to me that the vast majority of workshop participants had only ever painted at the previous workshop, or in school many decades ago – the work is so brilliant! There is so much talent and ability waiting to be tapped, so much individuality hungry to be expressed, so much appreciation for the world of art ready to be expanded, and so much enjoyment and delight in the learning!
It is truly an honor and a privilege to be in a position to share my own passion with so many others – give thanks!