View Full Version : Alicia Sotherland doing a workshop in Ireland

Mary Brigid
05-12-2010, 08:39 AM
Hi Everyone,
I just have to tell you all how excited I am. I am doing a workshop with Alicia Sotheland here in Ireland next August. I am worse than a child wainting for Father Christmas to come. I am even marking the days down on the Calendar... :)
I admire so many artists here that give workshops and have longed and dreamed to be able to attend some..... Now I am doing one with one of my fav portrait painters.... Alicia Sotherland. I am having a dream come true :)
Mary Brigid

05-12-2010, 10:08 AM
Good for you. I feel the same about workshops. james

Paula Ford
05-12-2010, 12:42 PM
That's wonderful!!

05-12-2010, 01:35 PM
I"m so happy for you Mary Brigid!! Workshops can be very inspiring, and certainly very instructive - here's hoping that this one is everything you want, and more!!


05-12-2010, 03:33 PM
I wish I could come too Mary Brigid, but it's not possible (I go away so much already and hubby and Mum are very tolerant). I hope you have a great time and learn loads. We will expect to see some of the results of course!

Mary Brigid
05-14-2010, 08:15 AM
Yes it is exciting. But I am also nervous as I have never done a portrait! Maybe I should start out and try one for practice.
I am also going to meet for the first time an artist I am friends with from WC and 2 from the Pastel Guild of Europe...
Ah Ruth it is only accross the water from you... hop on a boat.... please pretty please :)
Mary Brigid

05-18-2010, 03:20 AM
Mary you're going to have a blast!, Alicia is going to have a blast. You will learn so much from her. Just flow with the instruction. She paints very loosly, so it will be interesting seeing what you learn, and interesting to see how others take a subject and work it up with their pastels. She has a wonderful talent, and I'm sure you will learn a great deal from her.
How many days yet?


Mary Brigid
05-25-2010, 11:03 AM
Hi Carol.... 90 days and counting. Yes I am looking forward to the workshop with Alica. But I am also very nervous. She is such a fantastic artist and I think I will be overwhelmed. :) But Alicia is so lovely that I am sure I will be fine
Mary Brigid

05-25-2010, 11:18 AM
Lucky you MB!

06-01-2010, 02:30 PM
wo9nderful! I wish I could come too but I am away the early part of august and I dont want to be away too often in the same month, it is so difficult to organise things at home, but I am jealous.

to prepare and get rid of SOME of the bad nerves: Here is a tip

You have 90 days to do some reading about painting portraits. You will pick up SUCH a lot from reading what other artists talk about -anatomy ( SO useful to understand how an eye sits in the socket, how the eyelids overlap and where the highlight on the pupil might be and why, how a nose is constructed, how many muscles there are in a lip etc etc) proportions, skin colours, tones, how to achieve a sense of 3D form, all sorts. You will pick up loads of little tips. It is painless to spend a bit of time reading, and studying the pics they show, and I can promise you, some of it WILL STICK, and will come back to you when you sit to tackle a portrait. Even if it is just some little thing about how to line up features, for example, or how to measure (even tho Alicia doesn't measure, let me tell you that many of us HAVE to, it is nothing to be ashamed of) - there are so many little things you can learn, lots of light bulbs will go on as you read, and it will be MUCH better than doing nothing except get excited and nervous between now and then. YOu could do a lot worse than study eyes, lips, and noses independantly of each other, and practice them - great book is DRAWING THE HEAD by William L Maughan,. I got it from Amazon, you will learn LOADS from it, all the basic principles. I was absolutely fascinated by his chapters about eyes, nose and mouth, and then more sophisticated stuff about shadow shapes, and edge control. He works, in the book, mostly in one tone, but this is great, because you REALLY learn how to draw from his images, and then working in colour later becomes so much easier because you are struggling less with the drawing.

I have watched students produce THEIR WORST WORK on a workshop, because they are bags of nerves. They will still learn, and probably be able to use what they learn when they get home, but they get upset because the nerves have interfered with the workshop time. I really recommend you do something for yourself to make you feel a wee bit more comfortable, it will pay off in spades.

If you have time, after you have done a fair bit of reading, try a portrait from a photo, a good photo, with interesting lighting, not something taken with flash which flattens all features and bleaches out the colours.

Here are some interesting faces which you may use with my full permission, even if you dont, do look at the nice lighting particularly on the chap with the beard.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jun-2010/1805-P1030038.JPG for you:



Mary Brigid
06-07-2010, 06:33 PM
Oh yes Barb I do know How lucky I am.... And it is now just 77 days to go.

Jackie you are so kind and generous. I got the book you recommended and I am half way through it. It is easy to read and the sketches are fabulous. Since I started the book Jackie I am really looking at faces. My daughter says I am freaking her out :lol: I find that I am mentally measuring all the time and looking at shadows. I am facinated by cast shadows, and how on the face they have such an abrupt edge. As I am more familiar with painting landscapes, where the cast shadow softens and almost disapears towards its end, I found this detail very strange.
I love the photos you posted for me to try. Thank you again Jackie. I will finish the book first and then give one of them a shot..... I do hope the gentlemen will be forgiving as I expect that my first one will be quite hilarious. :lol:

Mary Brigid

Gerri Mc
06-09-2010, 05:48 PM
I'm attending too!:clap:

When I heard that Alicia was coming here I couldn't pass up the opportunity to attend the workshop. It's so exciting!

I'm delighted to be meeting Mary Brigid face to face at last.:wink2:

Thanks Jackie for the advice - I will definitely check out the book. I've taken a few portrait classes mainly in charcoal but Alicia's technique appears very different - can't wait to try it.

10-07-2010, 02:33 PM
How did you enjoy the workshop? Would love to see some of the paintings worked on there! Please share. . .

She did an awesome demo at our society last week. Very cool.

Mary Brigid
10-07-2010, 04:41 PM
I had a fantastic time at the work shop. Alicia Sotherland is a super teacher and a very beautiful person.
She manages to put everyone at their ease and her enthusiasm is contagious.
On the first day of the workshop we went into Kilarney town with Alicia. Alicia thought us how to take a good ref photo. This was such fun. Some of the locals were very amused! I found this a very valuble lesson.
Alicia did 2 demos during the workshop. It was amazing to watch her. She never hesitates, and it is magic to watch the face grow under hand. But, as you have seen her demonstrate you will know this already.
Alicia is a very generous teacher. She holds nothing back and makes time for every student in the class. I will be forever grateful to her for sharing her knowledge and talent.
Alicia is coming back in September and I am looking forward to seeing her agian.
And, I met WC member Gerri too. This was an added bonus. Perhaps Gerri will share her portraits here too? We both painted Tom. Tom was the husband of another of Alicia's students.

The first is my impression of Tom. And my second portrait form the workshop is Mike

10-07-2010, 04:43 PM
Mary Brigid.....no photos!! I know I've already seen them but the others would love to!

Mary Brigid
10-07-2010, 04:46 PM
HI Ruth,
I could not get the image uploader to work... but now I have added them in attachments
thank you ruth

10-07-2010, 05:31 PM
Beautiful!!! I especially love the one of Mike, the side view with the earring, glasses and ciggie is very cool. Alicia did mention in the demo that she loves to do glasses :)