Sunday, October 13, 2013


I attended the Sarah Towery Carlisle Art Colony this past week as I have for the last eight years.  This year my instructor was Nancy Chaboun.   Nancy teaches at the Scottsdale Artists' School and is an accomplished painter.  I found her to be very informative and  very accessible to each artist, giving personal one on one instruction and assistance.  She possesses great skill in both still life painting and portrait painting and she combines her teaching with humor.  Some of the main "take aways" I received regarding portraits are:

1. The less values you have in a painting, the stronger the painting - this is the #1 problem in painting and the #1 asset.
2. We recognize people from a distance by the shape of their heads so insure that this is correct 
3. The eyes are balls so create the "roundness" when drawing the eyes
4.  Do not make the whites of the eyes "white" but a more muted color
5.  Ears are slightly redder because of the closeness of vessels to the surface
6.  The top of the ear catches light
7.  When painting hands you can follow the line of the arm to the first finger and the third finger to position the fingers on the hand.  She created the shape of the hand not each individual finger
8.  More comes forward and less moves back - therefore, if you want something to "come forward" in the painting then add more detail 
9.   White always cools
10.  Simplify! 

And......Make your darks darker ----she said this quite often to our class.  

You can find her lovely work at

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