Ok so I’m back home now and can give you my final thoughts about the workshop I took at BACAA under painter, Sean Cheetham. Here is where I started:

initial sketch


And here is my “finished” piece:


When I look at this I have a few thoughts. I can see things that I could’ve done better, mostly with the drawing and some of the darker colors. I couldn’t quite get the “black” that I wanted to get, at least, not until much later in the painting and by then I couldn’t really get it to “stick”. I definitely don’t think that I captured a great likeness of the model either. My painting of her looks rough, but the model was actually very pretty. I don’t see a pretty woman in my painting! There are also a few edges that are too harsh that I just couldn’t get to soften up like I wanted. And so on.

However, I also see a few things that I do think are successful. I think my colors make sense, for the most part. I was able to control my urges to be more expressive with brushstrokes and paint, so basically this is a more subdued approach than I’m used to as of late. I’ll call that a success! Even though the likeness was way off, I think what is there isn’t too bad. Most of what I did “makes sense” even though it’s not completely accurate. I also like that the highlights of the red hair was just scratches I made with the end of the paintbrush. Nothing really innovative, but I liked it! I don’t think anyone else did anything like that in the class. I guess I couldn’t keep myself completely subdued after all.

So what have I been able to take away from this experience? I think I can say that being able to point out successful elements in something I’ve created is progress for me. As I’m sure you know the old adage of being “your own worst critic”, I probably would’ve just focused on the negative parts had this been a couple of years ago. So it feels good to be able to be constructive and honest about my work, to know what works (and what doesn’t) and be able to explain why. I think this class also showed me that I probably need to draw/sketch more, just to keep my observational skills at a respectable level. It was good for me to get out of my painting comfort zone for a bit with the approach and color palette. It was certainly a challenge. I don’t think that I will stick with Sean’s color palette for my personal work, but I do want to practice more with it. Who knows, it could come in handy somewhere down the line. All in all, I think the class was worth it and I would definitely recommend taking a workshop taught by Sean and/or with BACAA. But now, back to the lab for my own work.