The Modern Portrait in Different Techniques

The Modern Portrait in Different Techniques

Mid May I participated in the very last elective seminar of my art studies. The topic of portraits has long interested me and from time to time I practiced portrait drawing and painting with the help of my JKPP friends.

This time the topic was not just “normal” portrait painting.

Excerpt from the course description:

From everybody’s childhood to Leonardo’s spot on the wall, the alienation of physiognomical perception is the source of interpretation and insight. In this process it can happen that “only the inner image” of the physiognomy of the other comes fully into its own (as can be seen in the works of Beckmann, Ensor, Kokoschka, Modigliani, Schiele, Picasso and others).

In this  portrait seminar we will emphasize the own view and the subjective visual language, because the exploration of the vis-à-vis will also further the exploration of one’s own self.

During this seminar the goal was not so much to paint a realistic picture of another person and aim at 100% resemblance but the exploration of different techniques that are suitable for modern portraits.

As a result, similarities with living persons are more or less accidental. 😉

Nevertheless, if one wants to depict a certain person in a modern style portrait, then it is of utmost importance that the eye area is correct and leads to a recognition effect.

LKS Advanced Course 2 Homework

LKS Advanced Course 2 Homework

After the Advanced Course 2 we received again a list of homework to be done at home until the third Advanced Course. This time the goal was to practice what we had learned about drawing the human body and face. Several of these drawings I had done and posted in the context of the 30in30 Challenge in January 2015. Here they are again all together.

Liste of Homework Assignments

  • 7 Portraits in pastels, coal, red chalk or pencil
  • 3 Act studies in various techniques
  • 1 Group of people
  • 1 Expressive / abstracted painting of people in space and nature
  • 1 Self-portrait with the help of a mirror in pencil, coal or red chalk
  • 1 Sheet with several hand studies
  • 1 Sheet with several foot studies


Synchrotron 4 JKPP – Pastels Portrait

Synchrotron 4 JKPP – Pastels Portrait

Here is the fourth portrait as my fourth contribution for the 30in30 Challenge with Leslie Saeta. Synchrotron is the Flickr name of this JKPP member. His other half of the face is in the shade which makes for an interesting effect. He does have fairly long fingers.

Synchrotron 4 JKPP
Synchrotron 4 JKPP

Synchrotron’s Flickr page is here.

Ana 4 JKPP – Pastels Portrait

Ana 4 JKPP – Pastels Portrait

Following the first portrait comes a second one, and probably many more. This portrait is like the first one from a member of the JKPP group on Flickr. I did it on a creme colored paper (act sketching block from Vans) with pastels colors.

Ana 4 JKPP
Ana 4 JKPP

Ana is from Madrid and you can find her pictures on Flickr here .

Informalist Pastels

Informalist Pastels @LKS

A short while ago, I took my first class at Leonardo Kunstakademie in Mattsee, near Salzburg.

My first course was about painting informalist pastels. Informalism means the sujet is not derived from any objects. Some call it abstract which is not quite correct because abstract comes from abstractae (lat.) which means reducing or subtracting from something, so there has to be an object as the starting point, while the art informel (fr.) means painting something that is not based on an existing object.

The instructor war Elfriede Kotrba, the administrator of the Leonardo Kunstakademie. Just after the first day I felt that I had learned so much in one day, that the course has already paid off. Even though I had painted with pastels in the past, I now realized that I had used too much pigment and could achieve the same with much less. We also learned several interesting techniques where pastel was combined with other materials.

Autobiographic in March

In March I made an effort to paint a “real” self-portrait. So far I had only painted some pictures that were indirect self-portraits, such as Phoenix in January.

Here are two self-portraits, that I painted with the help of photos.

The last picture might seem familiar. It is in a sense autobiographical as I had a book as a child, with the title “The Blue Horse” and on it was the painting of Franz Mark. My version of the horse is not blue but white. That’s why I called it the spirit of a famous horse. 😉