Some months back I went for the second time to attend a portraiture workshop conducted by internationally reknowned artist Suchitra Bhosle. It was a very enriching experience and the learning was profound.
Suchitra teaches the Alla Prima technique.There are notes on my blog about this technique from my earlier workshop with her.
Suchitra , most times is bounding with energy and passion and leaves no leaf unturned to make sure that each and every participant learns to the maximum possible extent. She works with quick swishes of her long brushes and tirelessly explains each and every stroke, every build up of the form with utmost clarity and scientific precision. What is most unique about her, apart from her being a great teacher is her humility. She has this wonderful quality of connecting individually to each and everyone, including the live model (sensing what time he/she needed breaks). She has inspired me no end. She almost gives a corporate touch to painting, as she builds beautiful faces and figures from shapes and forms and uses business rhetoric to explain art! She is amazingly professional and crisp while teaching.
Below is my version of one of the live models. I used very dark values and strained my back trying to paint him and as I ended my painting I thought I had done a good job. Just then came his 8 year old son, who had come in at the end of the day and looked disdainfully at my work. I asked him if it resembled his father and his answer was a prompt "No". Well that explains!!!!!
Some highlights of the workshop:
1) Great group. Some of us were repeaters from last year.
2) Easels crashing into each other. Mornings saw us rush in early to spread our easels as close to the model and artist as possible, only to find out later that the angle wasn't perfect.
3) The artist's mother, who had modeled herself for her daughter for a demo and who was the most amazing and positive person in the backdrop.
4) Interesting light and shadow arrangements.
5) Music, ambience & simple food.
6) An ending with a song sung by yours truly.
7) Most important factor: Suchitra giving us points of development on works that we had done previously, which we had carried with us.
I recommend this workshop to all oil painters who are interested in portraiture. She is a wonderful and knowledgeable teacher and artist of course!