Thursday, July 22, 2010

Raven Painting Demonstration

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.

Once John was happy with the values, he began to add thin washes of color.

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!?


Hilke Breder said...

Interesting demonstration! I love the final painting!

SKIZO said...

Fascinating work.
It has been delightful
to visit your gallery.
Good Creations

Ken Januski said...

Hi Gabriell,

I've been holding on commenting because I wanted to go back to look at some paintings by John Seerey-Lester in a book called 'Wildlife Painting' from the 80s. Once again I was struck by how he seems to create the sense of clear light on a brisk day in his paintings, sort of like a cold sunny day in October.

Who knows if his work still has that quality but the Raven looks like it might. This is really neither here nor there but when I saw you had taken this workshop I wanted to go back and look at the book.

Hope you're able to put the class to good use. It seems like it was a great opportunity.

Kelly said... cool!! You must have been in heaven during the workshop (I would have)! I just did a raven-painting jag the week before Halloween. Would love to have attended this...