Portrait Workshop

Today I attended my first ever portrait in oils workshop with local artist, Frank Hodgert, as our tutor. It was very exciting to be spending a whole day painting in such an inspiring artist's studio, surrounded by his amazing paintings of landscapes, country buildings and people. I say inspiring but to be honest, his paintings are so amazing that they are almost intimidating to an amateur artist. 12 eager artists (including myself) attended the workshop - it was great to get hands on hints and tips for painting a portrait in oils from such an experienced proficient painter. The best part was there were no interuptions or phonecalls or distractions - just a whole day of painting with other artists doing exactly the same - bliss...

Portrait Workshop - this photo was taken half way through the day - that's my portrait in the foreground, half finished. We used burnt sienna to sketch the face and block in the shaded areas which is why it is looking very reddy brown at this stage. I like red hair so it was tempting to leave as is... 

Amazingly, everyone painted a portrait of the same person using the same techniques which resulted in 13 (including Frank) uniquely different interpretations of both the technique and the subject. Incredible! They all looked fantastic! Not sure if you guessed who the Australian celebrity is but he's very cute (which made painting that much more fun...).

Finished portrait - by the end of the day this is how my portrait looked. Its not perfect, still on a huge learning curve re oil painting but its not too bad(?). Whether it actually looks like him is another question! Funny thing but the mistakes aren't that obvious until you take a photo - now I can see a whole lot of things wrong...

Portrait workshop (end of day) - you can see Frank Hodgert (far left) helping someone with their painting. In the far corner you can just make out his portrait on an easel. He works very quickly and makes everything appear so easy. In the foreground is my finished portrait and a very very messy pallette - amazingly I didn't get any on me although I did drop my brush a few times! 
Hmmm... one day. One day I'm going to have a BIG airy light filled studio with big faces hung all over the walls. Well I do have a studio, but its definitely not big and seems to be slowly shrinking the more artwork I do. Maybe I should knock down a wall...


  1. Wow, how fun. So did I read this wrong or was this your first try at oil painting? I think your final painting look amazing. Perfect colors and skin tones. My acrylic work use to use burnt sienna as a base too. Love it!

    1. Thanks Nick! Not my first attempt at oil painting but only recently started using them. It was the first all day workshop I've been to though - a lot of fun!

  2. I really think you underrate your talent. Lovely to see a departure from the cutesy stuff (not that cutesty isn't nice) but it certainly shows your versatility and you have that in spades my sweet, in spades!

  3. Thanks Helen - the more I paint the more I'm loving it! Its the lack of confidence that kills me... trying to get over it and get out there!

  4. Looks pretty amazing to me.


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