Today we started a new project. We decided as a class to do a portrait for this project. Several of you voted on which image we would use from some options I posted on the website last week.
I started today by showing in more depth the process of using a template and transfer paper to get the initial drawing onto your canvas. Of course you can always free-hand draw the image onto you canvas, but using a template and transfer paper definitely speeds things up. This is primarily a painting class so I don't really cover technical drawing skills and using a template is a way for people to spend less time fussing with the drawing and more time focused on painting.
If you would rather not use a template I would still recommend making a full scale drawing on a separate piece of paper and then do a transfer of your drawing rather than doing the whole drawing directly on the canvas. You want to avoid getting too much graphite, colored pencil, charcoal etc on your canvas because it will end up mixing with you paint and messing with colors. Graphite for example tends to turn colors greenish.
After you all had your drawings on your toned canvas I started the initial "blocking in" phase of the painting. I began with the background and hair because they are two of the biggest shapes, but also because I want to start with the least interesting parts. Once you start painting the face it can be difficult to get yourself to pay necessary attention to the rest of the canvas so I recommend staying away from the face until you have blocked everything else in generally.
NEXT WEEK: we will continue blocking in the dress and face. We might get to some detail.