Saturday, November 24, 2012


Taylor Bush

Our program for November was on Portraits by Taylor Bush. Taylor has been painting for over 20 years and has made several DVD’s on Portrait painting and other subjects. These DVD can be found on Amazon.

She has over the years developed her own palette for Portrait painting, many of the paints are transparent stains. Taylor uses 300 lb. hot press paper for her portraits.

Her first step in painting portraits is photographing the subject. She makes sure that they sit by a window with only a single light source. Taylor has found that she likes her subject to have a somber pose that way their eyes remain very open. A smiling pose tends to make the eyes squint. After photographing the subject she puts the pictures on the computer so she can adjust the brightness and contrast of the picture. It makes it easier for her to see all the different shadows and angles of the face.
2 of Taylor's charming portraits.
Taylor showed us the different stages of the painting by having painted each different stage on a separate  paper.

Stage 1 - drawing the portrait. She uses strong lines for the important things that need to be seen through all the different layers of paints.
Stage 2  - paints the important structure, shadows, the bones.
Stage 3 - paints the softer shadows, the muscles.
Stage 4 - the flesh washes. Taylor will do several layers of these washes giving each layer time to dry before applying the next layer. 

She uses blue shadows around the eyes because it makes them recede. Then warmer shadows as you go down he nose and lips. The highlighted side of the face use warmer colors and the shadow side of the face in cooler colors.

When painting the eye, Taylor places a shadow across the top of the eye and puts more color in the top of the iris. The light on the eye creates a sun and moon effect as described by Taylor. She sometimes scratches the surface of the paper to create this light area. When painting the eyebrows, she puts a heavy color where it’s the darkest and then blends it out.

Taylor continued to amaze us with all her different techniques and information on painting a portrait. She put a lot of work into the demonstration with all the examples she painted of the different stages. It made it easy to understand her technique. I’m not sure how many of us will try this, but I’m sure we will use some of the information she gave us in other ways.

I wanted to thank Taylor for a wonderful program. Let’s face it, she does beautiful  portraits.

But wait - - - there's more!

Following the program 11 of our members stayed to paint!  We ordered in pizza, painted, talked, and generally had a great time.
11 of us hard at work!
This is a great way to get to know your fellow members better - and to learn something from each other, too!
Sally Wester with her portrait of Bill, her husband, painted utilizing some of the techniques Taylor just taught us.

Len Jacobs painting this landscape using techniques from the Christoper Leeper workshop he attended.

Kathy Kuyper paints a Christmas ornament for a friend.

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