June 8, 2011

Progress in Portrait Painting

I took a portrait painting class this semester. This was my first time trying out oil paints, and I have really grown to love them. When I picture my ideal retirement, I imagine living in a cottage, maybe with a few pet rabbits, painting all day and selling my stuff in galleries.

But I'm a long way from selling any paintings. Here's where I started.

At the beginning of the semester, things were kind of a mess. Although I had drawn lots of pencil portraits, of course, I really hadn't worked in color very much. So my skin tones were looking sickly, my shapes were all out of whack and I would leave class each week feeling frustrated.

But I'm slowly learning that you have to push through those frustrating times in order to improve. I've noticed that the classmates who never really made progress were the ones who tended to give up, leave early and never really finish their work.

By the end of the semester I was enjoying this class quite a bit - although a big part of that was having great classmates and a great professor. This fall I'm going to take a Landscape Painting class, and I'm looking forward to that too. Maybe I'll be able to sell some of my homework for that class on Etsy.

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