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Old 03-28-2006, 12:34 AM
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Paul Leveille's Scottsdale Workshop

I have not had a class in a long time but I got a scholarship and am very happy to be attending Paul Leveille's workshop at the Scottsdale Artist's School.

He has three portrait books that you can still find (although I am not sure they are all in print) and he has been featured at many of the Portrait Society events. So I am going to pass along the stuff I am doing and his demos as I go.

The workshop was for whatever media you wished and I really want more instruction on watercolor from life, but as I live here ( ) I decided I will do all three.

His first morning got us right into making pictures and loosened us way up (which means my arm hurts already!)
His first exercise was gesture. Those of you who have wondered what the heck is it with these scribbly things will see it is about getting the "gesture" or movement of the pose. It is the fastest way to train your eye to get the bigger picture as quickly as your eye can see it.
First we did two minutes... very stiff!!!


I got the hang and worked more on the whole body... really a great idea for me, as working from life, one tends to straighten things out. If the gesture is strong, you can hang the pose from it.


I let go of my eternally competitive need to do a likeness for the point of the exercise.


Then we did five minutes:




which doesn't always mean you get better! But I was learning a lot about looking at bigger shapes and movement.



Next we worked on placement of the features. People are very good at measuring straight on from the front, but it is much harder with turns and tips.



Then he began making us use tone in five minutes. I was going back into trying to make LIKENESS which is a great way to have island of lovely eyes but not a unified whole..... first effort:

Then simpler tonal studies... just light and dark





And then 20 minutes to put it all together. It was physically and intellectually really good exercise!




More from the boss after the lunch break!
dj*
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Old 03-28-2006, 12:48 AM
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Re: Paul Leveille's Scottsdale Workshop

The week will be paint in the morning and demo in the afternoon. This will be interesting doing all the work early and watching after digestion, but it is just fun and exciting.

First he notes the line and proportions of the figure and makes a sketch in oil.







THEN to kill all that white he paints in a scrub of color with a PAPER TOWEL!!! This is my kind of painting!


Goes right over the sketch very quickly and that is the shape he paints the base skin tone into:


The general color tend to yellow in the bottom with a scrub of a nice warm pink across the cheeks:


Then he begins laying in the darks, warm around the nose and cooler across the bottom of his face. There was a lot of green next to that red scarf:


I will just show some of the progress and you can see the result at the end...








This is a flash shot for the truest color I could.


Face all done, he put in the clothing in the last 20 minute pose, this is the signed finish!


So tomorrow we get pastel and you can see what I did with oil!!
dj*
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Old 03-28-2006, 02:41 AM
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Re: Paul Leveille's Scottsdale Workshop

This is a brilliant thread dj*, and thankyou so much for sharing it with us. It is so explanatory with all of your wonderful photos. Enjoy your pastels -- can't wait to see your Oils and the Pastels.

Val.
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Old 03-28-2006, 11:18 AM
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Re: Paul Leveille's Scottsdale Workshop

Thanks for letting us look over your shoulder for this class! I look forward to seeing the next installment.
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Old 03-28-2006, 12:41 PM
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Re: Paul Leveille's Scottsdale Workshop

DJ - thanks for this - looking forward to the next post! I think your sketches are great!
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Old 03-28-2006, 02:49 PM
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Re: Paul Leveille's Scottsdale Workshop

home at lunch and I am not sure if I was too focused or the camera didn't but here are MY five steps... It is really a stretch. It was leaping in on a model I almost have memorized and trying a really different approach. I worked hard at NOT doing what I normally do to show off, but to learn the lesson.



I will post now and explain later..








Heading back for the pastel demo.....
Catch you later.
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Old 03-28-2006, 06:54 PM
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Re: Paul Leveille's Scottsdale Workshop

Dj - Wow!
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Old 03-28-2006, 07:16 PM
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Re: Paul Leveille's Scottsdale Workshop

Thank you so much for sharing this with us! You did a fantastic job. Did the instructor make any comments on your work or the work of others or did he just demo? This is such a treat to see. Thank you, thank you!

Nancy
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Old 03-28-2006, 09:19 PM
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Re: Paul Leveille's Scottsdale Workshop

Well, as a matter of fact, that ELEGANT nose toward the end is his. Just had to save it. One bold stroke and a highlight. Said I was painting AROUND the highlight. The idea of big masses was pretty prohibitive of that sort of thing.

Okay, here is a 12 step of his pastel demo.
First, our favorite model and a gray plumb sort of sketch in, as he did with the oils:


Then he did the same thing again with a general skin tone, pinker on the cheeks, only this time a bit golden at the bottom:


Similar color blocks in the shadows, beginning violet and going a bit lighter plumb


Bouncing in suggested colors, and I like the mouth. He handled it as only the shadow below, not the actual lip. It helped make a more turned form when he drew if over but it starts like this:


Painting in the lighted form and crinkles:


Which makes a great base for just cutting in the darks and correct edges..


I JUST LOVE his thinking pose...



This is where he gives the bigger shapes working up the face so we can see how he handlse specific features. The eyes will be next but I thought you might like to see an artist-eye view:



when the colors and position of the eyes are right, he put a stroke of black for the shadow on the iris and this and the pupil were the definate first darks we see:


And with the lights and balance and blend, he looks out at us like this:

I wanted to show the lower corner with all his test colors. This is a bit before the last of the white and a signature:


And this is the final




I came home and messed with mine a little. I was proud for keeping so much in the halftones, but I just couldn't help fiddle. Now that I fixed it, I want to do more, but luckily Les is gone...


dj*
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Old 03-29-2006, 08:29 PM
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Re: Paul Leveille's Scottsdale Workshop

I will start with me again, because I have to edit the demo. I got a bit trigger happy and had 200 photos, sort of a stroke by stroke on the watercolor so it will be a while.

BUT I really think I got the hang on the pastels.

I did a good sketch and then scribbled the heck out of it for the skin...
(this may look a bit pumpkin, between the very low light and incandescant the colors are a LOT hotter, but I tried to fix the final)

And then masses of shapes with color temperatures... stuff like pink across the nose and made a general middle value into which I started to put in the darks:


I worked very hard to think in turning shapes which helped a lot more in making the masses. These are the planes, not the details.


Finally the teacher said to start with the darks! So I was beginning to work out details.


With a few good darks, I was looking good and sculpting features.. but I got an emergency call from home and missed nearly all of the second to last pose.


I came back and rushed JUST a little. I do wish I had just 20 more minutes! I took photos, but there was so much color to see and it just doesn't hack it in photos:


Give me a while, I will have the 12 or so step demo, when I edit the best stuff down..
dj*
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Old 03-29-2006, 09:51 PM
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Re: Paul Leveille's Scottsdale Workshop

This is just fabulous to see! To know its possible to do something in less than three months it usually takes me!
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Old 03-29-2006, 11:44 PM
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Re: Paul Leveille's Scottsdale Workshop

Well kids, this is ..... sparce but amazing.

I got it to 16, so lets do 8 and 8.

First he does a nice sharp study, with edges and shadow shapes all marked in...


Then he grabs his kneaded eraser and scrubs most of it of....(well you know he IS really nice and we all just let him go...... ) and then he grabbed my favorite brush... a paper towel and scrubbed another one of those swaths of color in yellow and blue!!



After we all recovered, he started filling in a nice skin tone for the face:


Then the shadows:

Now I let you in on the magic secret to these three hour watercolor demos... that hair drier was working as hard as my camera ( I think I have about 15 of the dryer in between nearly each area!) and this deep was is dry and lighter by the next stroke. Some of the shots are before which are the dark wet ones and some may be after and lighter. That lets the strokes be laid quickly on dry and allows, with SPEED to soften edges and minimizes blossoms!

He turned the edge with a rich red, you will see it lighten and blend after the drier.

Artist's eye view with the start of the hair..



Close up of a wet area that he daubed with a towel to bring up color. Adding wet COLOR to a dry area and lifting, there is no white hollow spot!


You see he put in the shapes of the eyes and form of the head before he began the greater massing of the costume.


Moving on to the features, he layed a full color area of the lips in red then lifted back the highlight, blending and turning the shape.


Dark in the corners and in the shadow beneath gave the first round of sharp edges to the mouth. He will come back later and reinforce the darks.



So I will be back on the second half...
dj*
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Old 03-29-2006, 11:56 PM
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Re: Paul Leveille's Scottsdale Workshop

Moving right along....

He begins to reinforce his shadow shapes which always are scary wet!






By painting and drying you see the subtlties of how these edges turn!


Then he located the eyeballs, which he moved a little but just kept working in deeper and deeper values. This is NOT as dark as it gets, but it is a step darker than most of the other stuff.


With a bit of darkest dark under the lashes and the pupil he makes them deep and round.


Staying dark he adds hair and blends up at the hairline.


This shows how all that flat color of the face was made lighter by lifting out with a clear clean brush, an area that you wish to lighten. He turned the flat end of her nose and the highlight up the side.


The glint in the eye is a well aimed razor blade just nipped in quickly and precisely!


Sad news! We were enjoying ourselves so much, I had to go to work and missed the last few minutes but I promise I will take a good shot of the finish for you all when I start my own watercolor tomorrow!
dj*
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Old 03-30-2006, 08:47 AM
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Re: Paul Leveille's Scottsdale Workshop

oops
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Last edited by *Violet* : 03-30-2006 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 03-30-2006, 01:57 PM
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Re: Paul Leveille's Scottsdale Workshop

What fabulous exercises and demos! Thank you so much DJ for sharing them here!
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