Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Art Colony with Dawn Whitelaw

Every year for the past 9 years I have attended The Sarah Carlisle Towery Art Gallery at Children's Harbor on beautiful Lake Martin.  This year I took a class with Dawn Whitelaw.  Dawn is a wonderful portrait and plein air artists in addition to being an excellent teacher.  She is one of the few teachers who will give you constructive criticism and will allow you to try to correct your errors in your painting and then guide you again and again until you understand and "get it".  The first day she completed a seascape demo and then allowed us to chose our subject and paint independently.  She then spent time at each student's easel for one on one instruction.  Several things she said were noteworthy if you would like to improve your portraits:

1.  The camera records, the eyes select - it is not necessary to tell everything.
2.  Turn form with color not light and dark- doing this without a lot of value change.
3.  When making the slight indention at the smile line on a child use a different color not a darker color .  A darker color here will make the subject look older.
4,  Pull large shapes together
5.  The highlight is NOT white

She is an expert at color mixing.  She uses a limited palette of Titanium White, Cad Yellow Medium, Pyrol Red, Ultramarine Blue that she purchases from Blue Ridge Paints (if anyone is interested in purchasing these - email me and I can provide the address.)

The next to last day she provided a portrait demo and because our model did not show up on that day, I was the model!  If you would like to see more of her work go to 

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