Friday, May 2, 2014

PAOA Show Opening and Demo, Bezalel Gallery, Scottsdale, May 1, 2014

The 4th Annual Portrait Artists of Arizona's Exhibition opening to a wonderfully packed crowd, and a most fortuitously "cool" evening for artist Penny McElhaney and me as we demonstrated painting from the live model - outside. (artist Jean Hildebrant struggled in air-conditioned comfort inside the studio....) If you don't live in Arizona there's no way to imagine the temperature volatility of heat this time of year - 90 degrees is pretty tolerable if you're not in direct sunlight, but I  doubt the high even made it to 90 yesterday:)

Since we started painting at 6:30, it was still daylight, but we lit our model from above and to our left with an artificial light. Then dusk happened. The automatic spots lighting the sidewalk area came on -and fought the artificial light for a while. Then night happened. We had to remove the artificial light on our model, allowing the spots which were now lighting our model, to completely take over (fortunately the angle of the light was somewhat similar) ...and reposition the artificial light behind us so we could try to see what in the world we were doing. Our compassion for Jean and her air-conditioned environs and beautiful, controlled, and wonderfully predictable lighting grew by leaps and bounds. Anyway it was the most peculiar lighting situation I've ever seen, but all around, lots of fun.

Above: you can see that sundown was approaching and that our beautiful model Amy, was lit only by my artificial light. Penny and I discussed earlier that we would try not to commit too much to the shadow shapes until we could see what happened after dark.

Below, the pre-sunset drawing stage.

 Below: color notes and a general obliteration of the drawing.

Below: you can see the odd cast shadow on the lower left of my canvas from the artificial light, now placed behind us.

Finally, what the painting looked like once I got it home last night.

 "Amy", by Chris Saper. Oil, 20 x 16, on Fredrix Blue Label canvas.

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