Great portraits have more than a good likeness. They have beauty. Their light effects are stunning, the flesh tones are beautiful and the compositions are dynamic and interesting. In this workshop we will study the forms of the head and the disciplines that achieve a good likeness. And we will learn to develop the color of the skin tones. All this is necessary to paint a good likeness. But we will also push further to find the beauty of great light effects that are possible when working from natural light. And we will discuss the elements of composition that will allow the student to set up a strong and dynamic design for each portrait.
The course will begin with a small value study on brown paper with vine charcoal and white chalk. We may also do a small color study which is valuable in understanding the composition of the whole painting. It is also a valuable tool in presenting ideas to clients. The rest of the workshop will be devoted to starting and developing one painting which can be a head and shoulders for newer students or a three quarters composition for more advanced students. There will also be times when I will do some demos for the painting technique.
Mary Minifie was educated at Wellesley College and earned an M.F.A. from Boston University School of Fine Arts. For the next ten years she lived and worked abroad in Cairo, Egypt, Oxford, England, and Vienna, Austria, exhibiting widely. In 1985 when she returned to the U.S., she began her study of portrait and the figure with portrait painter, Paul Ingbretson.
Materials List for Mary Minifie
Brown paper drawing:
Several sheets of brown paper 12”x12” on a drawing board Vine charcoal, hard and soft
Cheap chalkboard white chalk
Oil Paint (please no acrylics)
cadmium lemon yellow
any other colors in addition
either filberts or rounds, bristle, at least one of each size: 4,6,8,10 long handle oil sable round brush for detail. Recommended size #12 small bottle of refined linseed oil
small oil panel, 6×8
16×20 canvas, primed but white, no ground color
larger canvas for anyone wanting to do a larger composition