Heads, week 10 homework: with Catherine Kehoe at Mass Art

The homework from week 10 – colors are a better match than last week, the drawing not so much. One of the challenges with the use of historical paintings to recreate in these exercises is they are all about subtle techniques and shading; seems simpler to do with a live model lit in the studio.

Objective: Using a tool too crude for detail or nuance, this exercise frees the painter to spend more time mixing the colors at the same time discovering how much can be left out.

Like the previous post – this is a palette knife painting on a 6×6 carton board. In class we always have two models – for homework, if no model is available, we can use paintings from history. This is a self-portrait by Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Parisian painter of Marie Antoinette and survivor of the revolution.

Now for an evening of palette knife

There are times when painting with a palette knife is really satisfying, and tonight, when with the last strokes I added the cheeks hinting of rose, I felt like I did it right. Enjoy your week everyone!

The details: 6×6 inch oil paint on carton board, applying paint only with a couple palette knives. Just yummy.

A head from history- 40 (-ish) strokes

This challenge? Homework complete? My colors are off – done in 40 or fewer strokes with a 1 inch brush. The painting I’m using is Artemisia Gentileschi”s Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting, 1638–39, Royal Collection.

The original and I were both visiting Vancouver in January 2018 – what a treat to see it!



Heads, with limited palette. How little information do I need?

More homework for Catherine Kehoe’s Head class at Mass Art, with thanks to MK (top row – palette: Alizarin Crimson/Ultramarine Blue/Indian Yellow/Titanium White) and Eve (bottom row – palette: Quinacridone Red/Cadmium Yellow Deep/Cobalt Blue/Titanium White ) for their patience.

Time for focus, so I’m off to Mass Art and Catherine Kehoe’s The Head Examined.

The secret to being a bore is to tell everything.
— Voltaire (1694 – 1778)

And so we eliminate details, aiming just for the essentials. Andrea and Paul were terrific models and I went 3 hours without checking my phone. I added the gouache to the drawing of Andrea at home. My studio assistant was of limited help as usual.