Monday, April 13, 2009

Portait Oil Painting 101

I have always wanted to learn how to oil paint so I decided to take some classes. I have done some portrait sketches in charcoal but wanted to try my hand at painting. So I found a local artist that teaches painting classes in Webster and I gave her a call. Her name is Dana Schoppa and she is one wonderful lady. She is so enthusiastic, warm and encouraging.

When I got to my first lesson I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know what I would paint the first time. So I took with me some of my sketches and showed them to her. She told me that I really needed to be doing portraits. But what should I paint to start with? I asked her. "A portrait!" she said. You have got to be kidding me. My first attempt and she wanted me to dive head first into a portrait. Hmmm is this lady nuts or what? Well I set aside my fears and she stepped me through the process.

To start she has a bunch of calender art to use as subjects and I dug out the only portrait calender art there was. George Washington, of all people. I got to work. Step by step she guided me through the process of sketching my subject, mixing colors, and putting the paint on canvas. By the end of the first lesson I was thinking "Well maybe I can do this...we will have to see."

Well this past Saturday was my second lesson and I am really starting to get very excited about this. My portrait of is almost finished and it is starting to look like something. I still have to do the eyes, some detailing, some corrections and some shading and I still have to paint the clothing, but it is looking like I may finish at my next lesson this Saturday!

I can't wait to start on the next portrait. The second one will be of someone I love! Not sure who yet.

Here is a photos of the portrait in full swing. The three subjects are supposed to be George Washington as an old man, a middle age man and and a young man. You can see the subject photo at the left of the painting. It is far from perfect, but not too shabby for the first time.

What do you think....should I keep going at it? Be honest, be brutally honest. I can take it.
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Jenny B in Indy said...

Okay.. I'm being BRUTALLY honest here...

I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I wish I had your talent! And self-esteem!

Paisley Petals said...

Definitely keep going! The fact that you enjoy it is all that matters :)

Deanna said...

Hellllooo! You are amazing! What a fun class to take. The picture is looking just like the original. I stand by my previous comments - you are VERY talented!

P.S. Thank you for remembering me in your prayers :) It means a lot to me.

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