Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Peek Into My Portrait Class

Seven painted views of Neal including six "extra" heads and a hand surround today's model, my nephew, Neal Banks

You know it's been a stellar class when we surround the model with easels filled with the work of the day! Now I really wish that I'd taken photos of each painting separately ... but this is pretty darn impressive in the aggregate. Today was week number four in what is scheduled to be a six-week class and there's no comparison between progress made this Sunday and the first week of class.  That's attributed to lots of hard work on each of my seven students' part and an inspiring subject plus perhaps some good instruction thrown in.

Marisol Coy with her portrait of Neal in progress
Our subject was Neal Banks, my nephew -- who actually agreed to sit today for the four-hour class ... with one long pose broken into 20 minute sections with 5 minute breaks. A tough job! Amazingly he was able to return to the pose given just a few taped marks setting a foot and elbows.

What was interesting, too, is how much was captured of him in each painting from beginning to end.  In that, I don't just mean a physical likeness but spirit, expression, personality. All those aspects I care about.

A close-up with three paintings from class with Neal
Anyway, I am SO impressed. Bravo! I hope each student is taking it easy right about now.

It's possible I'll be extending the class by two additional Sundays. No one seems to want it to end and I don't want to be responsible for a a halt in progress.

Classes are taught through the Arts of Great Falls School at 756 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA.  I just put up Spring class listings including Evening Paint, Plein Air Landscape and Still Life Plus on my web site.  It's a little confusing with listings still up there on current classes and upcoming ones ... but dig a little and I bet you'll figure it out. Have any questions, please email me at  See my listing of all classes here:

Sedona Art Prize Monthly Finalist: January
Robert Burridge selected "Scene At the Bar" as one of his 12 favorite paintings for the January 2017 Sedona Art Prize Competition. This was my first time entering the competition which offers an interesting twist from other contests. It's part contest/part marketing and with many of the works offered for sale created by many outstanding artists ... it might be worth a regular look.  You may have to dig a little or a lot for pricing. Digging is part of treasure hunting, right?

Here's the page with the 12 Top Paintings for January 2017:
and then travel around the site from there.
Scene at the Bar by Jill Banks. Judge's comment: "Beautiful and striking composition. Overall color tone held my attention. Sweet nod to 'girls' night out.'" - Robert Burridge    
Two Art Fairs Officially on the Calendar for 2017 
Acceptances have started to roll in ... Hope you'll mark your calendars.
May 20-21: Northern Virginia Fine Art Festival, Reston, VA
June 2-4: Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Festival, Philadelphia, PA

Thank you for reading and your support... Hope to see you soon!


Best in Show -- BoldBrush Painting Competition September 2016 for "Daily Special" -- Hip Hooray! More info here.  

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