Finding your mark
Most of the members of our portrait group have by now had the pleasure of sitting as model for the afternoon. For those yet to have the pleasure here’s a taste of what it’s like.
Firstly, take a seat, then choose a position that’s (a) comfortable and (b) is liked by the artists opposite you, after all the idea is for them to paint a brilliant portrait of you and they’ll need all the help they can get.
So all you have to do is keep still for three hours … easy peasy!
Well not quite – three hours is quite a while so think of the time in instalments with tea breaks in between. Firstly, to help you keep still, find a place to focus on so you can keep your head in the same position.
I found this mark on the wall opposite which was at eye level and just the right distance to focus on. Then it’s a question of keeping in the same position for as long as you can – in my case I can hold it for about 45 minutes (on a good day) but anything up to half an hour is really OK. A professional model could probably go for an hour or more but of course it depends how difficult the pose is.
So what to do while you’re watching that mark on the wall?
Well, the brain wanders all over the place so I find it quite a good time to organise things in my mind that I have to sort out and maybe create things for the future. Sometimes the same thoughts just go round and round and round. If that’s going to drive you mad, try taking a download of some music, an audio play to listen to through earphones - or maybe bring along a radio for everyone to hear.
Surprisingly, the time goes by quicker than you might expect. And of course it’s fascinating to see the end results with a variety of visual interpretations of your face and personality. Some you may like, others may not be what you anticipated - but all of them completely absorbing.
If you fancy having your portrait painted, do let us know – we’re always on the lookout for a new subject. And you may enjoy a few hours of quiet contemplation watching that odd mark on the wall.
By John Washington, sitter for the day at the October portrait workshop
Some of our members joined us for their first portrait session at which Gerri kindly sat for us. A variety of excellent paintings were produced and we look forward to seeing examples of the group's work at the Club's annual exhibition in August.
And don't forget, we're always looking for members to sit
forus so if you'd like to see your image in paint or pastel, please let John Washington know and he'll arrange times and dates to suit - don't be shy - we really need you!
A study of concentration for our final Tuesday portrait session
Hats off to John for stepping up and sitting for the group at the latest portrait session. Notice the expressions of total concentration on everyone's face - a bit misleading as this must have been one of the few moments of silence during what was a lively and enjoyable four hours. The quality of artwork was well up to standard and we were pleased to welcome two new members.
The next portrait session will be on Monday 21st May and subsequently on the third Monday of each month at the Temple Hall. If you'd like to join us, even if you've never painted people before, you'd be most welcome.
Just e-mail John Washington at the address in the Members Area and he'll let you have any further details if you need them.
As you probably know we have a thriving series of portrait workshops, during which we feature a different sitter for each session. This month's model was our esteemed member Nick Speare and you might be interested to see the result of the afternoon's work by Shani Rousso. A brilliant likeness and very interesting, bold use of oil paint which has certainly captured his character during a few hours of contemplation.
There will be more posted here as we progress through the series and if, as a member, you'd like to sit for us and have your portrait painted, simply e-mail John Washington at the address in the Members Area heading above.
At some stage we'd like to display the work done by the group and it would be great to have images of as many members as we can show so please get in touch. And of course, if you'd like to join the group to paint you'll be most welcome whether you've painted portraits before or always wanted to have a go. Beginners welcome - just email John Washington and he'll give you details.
In addition to our regular members, we were joined for this session by some new faces who wanted to try their hand at the challenging art of portrait painting. Certainly a lively and entertaining afternoon's work with some quite impressive work to show at the end. And a big thank you to Mo for being a brilliant sitter.
It's extraordinary how so many of us are finding a hidden talent for interpreting our fellow members with increasing accuracy on to canvas and paper. If you'd like to try a departure from your usual subject matter - landscapes, flowers, animals and so on, why not come along and see if you enjoy the experience. Even if you're a bit worried about painting with the group, why not come along as a sitter and have your portrait painted - we're always looking for new faces and you can see if you'd like to join the painters next time. Next session 20th March.
October’s Portrait Workshop turned out to be one of our most successful yet with some really good work being produced in a variety of media. Each member takes in it turn to sit for the group and it was Trish’s opportunity to occupy the hot seat - and a very good model she was too. Of course one of the most interesting things about being painted by your peers is to see how they interpret you on canvas or paper – sometimes a nice surprise but always fascinating. Have a look at some of the work below and you’ll see how differently each artist sees the same sitter.
The next portrait session is 21st November
If you’d like to come along and try your hand at a head, you’ll be most welcome. A small fee of £3 is payable... and don’t worry if you’ve never tried it before, we’re all on a steep learning curve and very encouraging to each other. No prima donnas here, just a fun group sharing our enjoyment of portraits. If you'd like to know more please e-mail John Washington - address in the Members Section on this website.