Pet Portrait Workshop 2020 at Art Center Sarasota
The pet portrait workshop may have been small this year but we were mighty! We had such a good time and the paintings were just fantabulous! Everyone is coming back next year and I for one can not wait.
Everyone's artistic style (and medium) was completely different. We had oil, heavy and thin body acrylic. We had a more realistic approach with Bonnie's poodle, so we focused on brushwork, texture and values.
He was the perfect dog to study how to do texture! Every animal is different which is what makes a pet portrait course challenging. I can never just teach one thing to everyone in this workshop. It's an individual course for everyone, always.
Bonnie's challenge was how not to cover up all those wonderful dark and mid values she just laid down when she went to put in her super light curly highlights on top of them. Mission accomplished I'd say! Perfection!
I absolutely loved how Eileen pushed her cat toward a Pop Art sensibility with her bright turquoise background and bright synthetic color choices with the hot pink nose and dramatic eyes. Very intentional choices and I think they work perfectly. She showed me her past work which has an illustrative quality.
She wanted to keep this but add just a touch more depth, a bit more realism without getting carried away. That's a challenge as a teacher, to recognize a students style and let them be them and not push them to be you. You have to wrestle your own ego and see the beauty in every person's individual style and then ask yourself what you can bring to it but then more importantly ask them what they want you to bring to it. Eileen and I had the same ideas here, adding some dimensionality to her forms. Done and done Eileen. Great job!
Ron, (the ex-Secretary of Agriculture of Vermont) paints in a style that made me think of some of the abstract expressionist realism painters.
I love how he decided to treat the rug as an abstract element grounding the painting at the bottom. I suggested a blue to counter the yellowy orange and even thought that it might be too much with "his girl's" coat - but I came by later and told him, "Nope, I was wrong. I really love the colors you chose."
"Well, as far as I know I've only been wrong once. A friend of mine took me to this ice cream parlor where these two hippie guys had just opened this place where they were putting snacks into their ice cream cones. I told him this is never going to fly. People don't want cookies in their ice cream."
Ron may have been a teeny bit wrong about Ben & Jerry but he wasn't wrong about a thing with this painting in my book. He plans to go back to Vermont this summer and paint himself some cows and chickens. I can't wait to see them.
This was a great group and I couldn't have had more fun. Keep an eye on my social media for announcements if you'd like to join us next year.