Portrait Society of
America Conference 2014
Reston, VA
Day 1 
Demo with Jeff Hein and Quang Ho

Jeff:  tones his panel
leaves his untoned with theory that color is to explore, color is irrelevant
(he notes Anders Zorn and his four color palette saying that he is surprised
that Zorn never explored more color). (Jeff notes Sorolla and his use of lots
of color).

Likeness:  Jeff tries to achieve a likeness early on
while Quang relies more on color (warm and cool) and doesn’t think about the
likeness in the beginning. Quang says that color is all relative to what it is
near. If you make a decision, don’t second-guess yourself.
Jeff uses
the end of the brush to get the highlight of the eye.
Use of
Quang: uses
thinner in the beginning and only uses medium when paint is dry.  He begins with the verdaccio method (black,
white and greenish umber)
Jeff:  uses medium occasionally

Sharon Sprung       Flesh of the Matter       

Flesh              blue, yellow, red
Value             Explained in greys
Chroma         Intensity
references the Munsell Color Theory regarding warm and cool. She takes the
audience through exercises of choosing cool colors and visualizing that next to
each other they are different.
The most
chromatic a color can be is straight out of the tube.
Sharon shows
us a journal she is keeping from her travels: 
it consists of chips from buildings in places she has visited. She
explains how we are influenced by the colors around us.
of small differences”
Sharon says
to get everything stated at first.
Her palette (uses
Vasari paint):
Payne’s gray, titanium
white, yellow ochre, raw sienna, ruby red, perm. Bright red, alizarin crimson,
cobalt blue, Prussian blue, red umber, vermilion, scarlet sienna, burnt sienna,
raw umber, burnt umber, ivory black, brilliant yellow light, phthalo green,
phthalo turquoise.

Part of her
presentation is to invite members of the audience on stage so that she can
‘match’ their skin tone directly on their arm.
Mixing skin tones”
Starts with yellows.
She then mixes scarlet sienna into the yellow mix, adds white then cobalt blue.
Sharon says that cobalt blue ‘plays well with others’.
She uses flake white
(warmer, more transparent, very ‘shy’ in lightening and keeps flesh from
getting chalky). Titanium zinc is cooler.
Raw sienna, scarlet
red, cobalt blue and flake white will give you most skin tones,
Violet skin tones:  ruby red, cobalt blue
Green skin tones:  Prussian blue and Indian yellow
Black skin:  Red umber, raw sienna, and small amount of Payne’s
Theories of Lighting:
Using a lit egg, the following are
seen:  highlight, light, halftone,
average shadow, cast shadow (on the object it is sitting on)
The highlight tells us
the light source.
The halftone is the
most difficult reflected light.
Temperature tells you
about shadow and light. Tells you about the form.
Day 2    Critique with Everett Raymond Kinstler
Don’t be
specialists!    ~~~~ Become an artist
Sargent:  Look to his watercolors as well as those of
Zorn and Sorolla.
Paint the
things you care about.
Feeling is
Criteria for
a good painting:
1.    Imagination
2.    Compassion/feeling
3.    Communication
Ray never
takes his eyes off the past.
sketchbooks are his Bibles.
Move with
the culture.
personalities:  Seize upon the weakness,
support the strengths
Value and
beauty of personality
portrait should have the elements of a caricature”.  ~ Sargent
Think from
the inside!
There is
value in field sketches of landscape.
Stay awake for EVERY
What you cannot get from a
teacher:  getting the ‘feeling’ of your
Never take
awards or rejections seriously! Keep submitting!
Ray doesn’t
care for clever backgrounds. Be careful with cleverness.
everything in focus you lose the focus.
There are no
lights are seductive and dangerous.
West (1782)  Essential character rather
than accidental
Ask yourself
how much you can eliminate? How much can you strengthen?
Accept, be
alert! Experience! Keep a sketch book!
Mary Whyte Demo with Model Teisha     

Mary began
by explaining the ‘history’ of her affiliation and ensuing deep friendships
with the Gullah women of John’s Island, SC. These particular people had
heritage dating back to slavery. Their language is a creole blend created by
the slaves so that they could communicate amongst themselves.
Mary also
suffered a life threatening illness and this served to make her more certain of
what she wanted to do. It was after this that she and her husband Smitty, moved
to South Carolina and opened a gallery. 
is about timing and controlling edges.
Her subjects
are usually doing everyday things. Mary documents those ‘in between’ moments
that most likely wouldn’t ever get noticed or done that way again.
As Mary
paints she talks technique as well as answers some questions from the audience.
She is also one of the best when it comes to explaining what she is doing while
she is painting.
She begins
with a quick drawing of Tesha, contour lines, making the shapes of the
highlights. This creates a road map for herself as she paints.
Big shapes
first, little shapes last
Steam is
painted ‘wet into wet’ and you have one shot!
lightest value has more water, your darkest value more pigment
Mary uses
her photographs as information, not direction.
in textures direct the viewer’s eye.
Mary stated
that it is important to do plein air paintings, studies from life. It helps you
make a series of decisions quickly.
When Mary is
done with her demo, she introduces Tesha to the audience and allows us to ask
both she and Tesha questions about their friendship, work through the years
favorite painting of herself done by Mary is one with the horse.
  Others of Tesha are: 

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