Tuesday, October 27, 2015


First, I will say that Kerry Dunn is a really good painter and a good enough teacher. I learned something in this three day workshop. Mostly what I learned was how to quickly establish the proper location of the various elements of the face when painting an alla prima portrait.

 The first day involved an exercise where we painted only with Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Orange and White.  I thought it was a useful thing to do to help establish the importance of value without any interference from color. It turns out that you can get some pretty good skin tones with just this limited palette. Certainly worth knowing about, but not where I particularly want to go. The picture above is what I did that day in a couple of hours.

 On the second day, the goal was completely different. Use as much extreme color as you can. I looked forward to this exercise and enjoyed it, except that we were expected to use only a palette knife instead of brushes. I hated that. I could not keep my colors clean, I could not keep them separate and I could not put them where I wanted to. Never the less, I made these two quick studies with a little brush work at the end to help me out.

On the third day, the goal was to work all day on one piece and to combine the two previous approaches.  I made this painting of a rather interesting looking character in about four hours. Over all, the workshop was OK. I have some criticism though. The main one is that Kerry had too many of his personal friends in the class, including his girlfriend.  They were all very nice people but in my opinion, there was a strong sense of nepotism.  And Kerry was so involved with his own little group (especially the girlfriend) that I felt him to be unapproachable and disinterested in the rest of us - at least disinterested in me.  I would hope that next time he would leave his cronies at home, and give more attention to the students who paid a lot of money to be there. Also, he could suggest the use of a palette knife rather than insisting upon it.