Have I kept you waiting long enough?
As I had mentioned in a previous post, the Seerey-Lesters were incredibly generous with their time and knowledge at the painting workshop I attended a few weeks ago now. They encouraged us to take pictures as John demonstrated the concepts, so that we could reference these photos later and refresh our memories. And they very kindly gave me permission to share these photos on my blog.
John is working on a masonite panel with a coat of mid-value gray. He uses this technique so that darks and lights are immediately apparent. In this first picture, he is painting in the main dark and light areas of a raven, after using vine charcoal to sketch the basic shape of the bird onto the panel. The model was a taxidermy specimen.
The following sequence of photos show how he develops the scene. He uses very thin washes of acrylic, building up the details and textures with each wash. Almost all of this painting was done using a rake brush (like a flat brush, but with the tips of the hairs clipped in an almost sawtooth pattern to provide a great brush for textures and very thin lines.) They are amazingly versatile brushes, but rather hard to find. I ended up having to buy my Loew-Cornell rake brushes online for the workshop, but now I'm hooked on them.
Here is John Seerey-Lester's finished painting with the model. John completed this in about 4 hours, while talking us through what he was doing and answering questions along the way. Some lucky person attending the workshop bought this painting. How cool is that to have a painting hanging in your house that you actually watched the artist paint!?