I borrowed this phrase from the recently deceased Canadian painter Robert Genn who believed that there is only so much we can learn about how to paint from the many fine instructors and resources available today. The true learning comes from going off on our own and just doing it - Go to your room!

I have had the good fortune to take instruction from outstanding artists in Canada and the USA. I continue to work on my own development ( Going to MY room!) . I share, through this blog and workshops, what I have learned and what others have shared with me.

I created this blog primarily for those attending my workshops to keep in touch and to further share as we grow together. If others are interested in following that would be great.

Enjoy the journey.

Sunday 6 July 2014

Preparing for Susan Lyon and Scott Burdick Workshop

Practicing head studies - from Zorn
I decided a few weeks ago that I needed some time just painting for  myself. So I decided that I would focus on portraiture/ figurative learning for much of the summer. I have not worked with that subject for a few years. I like doing it and its' great discipline.

I was pleased to find that  David Goatley, one of Canada's most noted portrait painters,  had a five day workshop only a couple of hours drive from us and on a week that I had free. I was preparing myself and looking forward to it. Unfortunately it was cancelled.

One door closes and another opens. So I did a bit of homework and found that Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio was having a 6 day workshop for Susan Lyon and her husband Scott Burdick that same week. As expected it was full. But I sent an email inquiring just in case. Two days later I was in. They had  last minute cancellation and it was too late for others on the waiting list. Bingo!

I have followed their work for many years. I have their DVDs and videos. I was very pleased to get in. But this is a serious workshop and I had not done anything with face or figure for years.

So I started a few days ago  re watching their videos, those of Jeff Watts, Steve Huston, Robert Librace and others. I also reread the great Andrew Loomis  books Creative Illustration and Painting the Head and Hands. 

Then I spent a few hours each day working with planes of the head, shadow patterns and facial features, drawing and  in paint. I have a week to continue to practice before the workshop  hoping I will be well enough prepared in advance to take advantage of what those two amazing artists have to offer.

Homework examples. Playing with different brush and surface combinations.

For those working with WM oils, for the first time I used Cobras Paste Medium (in a tube). Works great and little solvent or water needed. Thick and juicy play.

Will keep you posted.

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