Art & Design Magazine

Two-Part Portrait Workshop at the Calgary School of Art

By Ingrid Christensen

Two-Part Portrait Workshop at the Calgary School of ArtI'm trying a new format for teaching portraiture at the Calgary School of Art. It will be a two-part workshop on April 26 and 27. I've taught a lot of portrait workshops in the past few months, and decided that I'd address the two things that were the most problematic: photo references and time constraints. 
While I think it's possible to paint a convincing portrait from a photo, I think it's much harder than doing it from life. Photos flatten the dimensionality of the face, and don't allow you to see the myriad, complex colours that make up skin and hair. So this workshop will allow students the opportunity to paint from life - something that I know they'll fall in love with. They'll also pick up some skills that they can use when they go back to photo references: an understanding of the forms of the face, and the temperature and color changes that are possible within faces.
And time: there's never enough of it in a one-day workshop. A swift-but-decent demo takes at least 1 1/2 hours out of a 6 hour painting workshop and that doesn't leave much time for students to try out what they've seen, let alone finish a painting. The fix: do the demo the day before. 
On April 26th, I'll do a 3 hour demo in the afternoon, finishing a portrait from a model and still allowing time for explanations, questions, and breaks (who doesn't love a doughnut?) The demo is open to anyone who wants to register, whether they plan to attend the workshop or not. 
I think this will be a great opportunity to learn portraiture in a deep and meaningful way. I hope you'll join me for a great couple of days!
April 26: Demo 1 pm - 4 pm April 27: Workshop 10am - 4pm 
$150 for demo and workshop *there will be an additional $15 model fee, collected in cash on the day of the workshop* 
$50 for demo only

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