Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Follow me through Level 3

by Wendy Wagner
Level Three

Welcome to Tuesday in Level Three.

Figure Painting One is a two-day class. On Tuesdays, we study under Lea Colie Wight. On Thursdays, we work on the same pose under Jafang Lu.

Tuesdays are a bit groggy because I have the portrait marathon on Mondays but I'll do my best.  
Tip: Do not volunteer to monitor a class the day after you take an evening class.

7:50 am I walk in to see the coffee pot started and am glad it is not my morning to set up the model stands. Instead I chat with fellow students as we lament about needing caffeine.
Coffee brewing

8:30 am Set up palette for the day ahead.

9 am We are finishing a 6 day exercise. We spent two days on a value study, one on a color study and three on full color. To make it "simpler," the instructors decided to have us crop a small area. Sounds easy enough, right? We start the first 20 minutes of the day with gestures to warm up.

9:30 am After speaking to a student, Lea decides to demo on his painting. Since this is the last day, we are to turn form by paying close attention to the colors between light and shadow.
I took two and a half pages of notes. One of the things I like about Lea is that, besides giving great technical advice, she also gives tips on how to deal with learning the process.
Lea giving advice

11am  We start back on our own canvases with a fresh perspective.

Noon 
Lunchtime. Level Three's are discussing our progress with "Mentorship Fridays." Some of us are at the Philadelphia Museum of Art making a master copy (as am I during this cycle), some us are in the studio painting alongside an artist, and some of us are copying a Nelson Shanks painting. This rotates periodically and we have just received our assignments for the next round. All in different directions, we share tips.

12:30 pm A few of us are still tired so we make a latte run
Works in progress

12:45 pm The final three hours of the pose. It feels like we make one step forward, two back. Lea assures us that this is normal.
This is the pinnacle of combining all the aspects we have been learning these past two years - there are no specific rules because each pose and set up is different, with it's own unique light conditions. It IS hard.

3:45 pm Whew! Day is over.

Here are shots of our final pieces.
Close-up exercise
Close-up exercise