My art club's three hour portrait painting challenge (It was my big idea) HELP ME PLEASE1111111

Hi Everyone!  Iast year I came up with this idea to have a three hour paint challenge for my art club.  It was a great success.  I got my painting done in 1 hr and 35 minutes and sold it immediately for $ 35.  I know, that's not a lot but it sure was fun and I wouldn't ever turn down money.

So this year I am heading up a three hour portrait painting challenge.  Boy I feel challenged.  And not in a great way.

I don't know how I'm going to pull this one off.  It's in December so we all have lot's of time to focus on how we might accomplish this.  I know that when painting a quick painting "less is better"  also I intend to do a lot of squinting.  And maybe I'll even take off my glasses.  Oh My!!!

Go to my photos if you will and look at the intense detail in my paintings of people.  Sometimes it takes me a year to do a portrait and be satisfied with it.

I'm writing this blog to ask for tips on how to paint a portrait really fast.  I'm open to all your ideas please. 

I'm going to post my most detailed portraits so you might see what I'm up against

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Comment by Peni Baker on September 1, 2013 at 14:32

Betsy,  Your fabulous,  This is a help.  And guess what!  I have Chris's book and you know what else.  I sent her a friend request on facebook and she accepted and is now my facebook friend.  Isn't that just way too cool?

Also Betsy if you would like, you can check out my two blogs and my website.  Just click on this link.   Art by Peni Baker  Thanks Betsy,  you have given me really good advise.

Comment by Betsy Jenkins on September 1, 2013 at 14:18

Hi, Peni,

Love your concept of the 3-hour painting session. Yikes!

One way to get lots of practice painting fast is to do what many masters did: Set up a mirror and do self-portraits. Just call yourself VanGogh or Rembrandt! You can start out with little boards--say 8x10-- and use a big brush! That's something I learned here at the workshops, and I have discovered I really like it to get a lot of paint down very quickly and get your canvas covered fast. Then switch to smaller brushes and refine the masses and halftones.

You can also practice with photos, if you like, using the same method above, although photos are deceptive--the darks are too dark and the lights are often too light. Big brush and correct masses are the key to getting it down FAST.

One good book to read, that might be at your library (i.e., free!) is Chris Saper's book on Portraits Light and Color. She covers the color of light and the color of shadow in that light. To be truthful, I haven't mastered skin tones, but I have gotten better through practice. I sit for myself frequently, and draft hubby often, too. His image is all over the house! Hope this helps. And do let us know how it goes.

Comment by Peni Baker on August 23, 2013 at 0:51

Just looking to speed up for a one time 3 hr portrait challenge.  I usually use acrylics for my paintings.  So I will be doing the challenge with acrylics.  I usually water down my paint a lot and use many layers for my paintings but  am prepaired not to water them down but to use a drying time extender instead and keep the paints very thick.  Thank you for the tip on Mary Whyte.  I'll let you know what I find that will help me.  Thanks

Comment by Peni Baker on August 20, 2013 at 23:30

Hi saghi,  I'm going to be apainting from a photo.  There will be a model available though as well.

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