Exploring the Portrait/Self-Portrait: Course Overview

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A course taught by Glenn Hirsch at UC Berkeley Extension's San Francisco Downtown Design Center each spring. For more information, email glennhirsch@earthlink.net or visit http://www.glennhirsch.com/id9.html

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Exploring the Portrait/Self-Portrait: Course Overview

  1. 1. Exploring the Portrait & Self-Portrait Glenn Hirsch
  2. 2. Drawing the Head
  3. 3. Van Gogh before and after. He started the study of drawing as an adult, worked hard at it for years. Above we see his progress after the first 18 months.
  4. 4. Variety of line = "beauty" 'Searching line' - draw and redraw until you find what you want - this is what the masters did. In this Leonardo drawing, the baby's legs are drawn several times. Leonardo
  5. 5. Variety of line = "beauty" fast/slow thick/thin light/dark Leonardo
  6. 6. Variety of line = "beauty" fast/slow thick/thin light/dark What does the line say about character in this self-portrait? Complexity and strength! Jerry Giefer
  7. 7. Blind contour drawing is drawing without looking at the paper, an exercise to build sensitivity to pressure and speed, creating more variety of line (and beauty).
  8. 8. Gesture drawings - 60 second drawings on newsprint as a warm-up in which you gain practice quickly finding the orientation of the head in space
  9. 9. Gesture drawings. Practice describing the orientation of the head in space quickly.
  10. 10. Start the drawing by positioning the head as an oval ("egg") in space. The tilt of the head and the shoulders are sketched in before detail.
  11. 11. Imagine the head is an 'egg,' which direction is it pointing? Giorgio de Chirico
  12. 12. Imagine the head is an 'egg,' which direction is it pointing? Raphael
  13. 13. Imagine the head is an 'egg,' which direction is it pointing? Raphael
  14. 14. Body language The tilt of the head gives added interest to a portrait. Auguste Rodin, The Bust of Madame Morla Vicuna
  15. 15. Light and shadow on the face: -Eyes are in shadow; - The upper lip is in shadow; -There’s a 'ball' at the end of the nose; -The chin is rounded. Lucien Freud portrait of Francis Bacon
  16. 16. Anatomy reveals structure we study anatomy by drawing it memorizing the 'landmarks' which will guide us when we draw from life. study of Vincent Perez
  17. 17. The skull viewed from the front and lit from the side.
  18. 18. The skull in 3/4 view (the view in which you most often see it in life).
  19. 19. The skull in 3/4 view (the view in which you most often see it in life). Directional light from a single source helps to define the planes of the skull. Otto Dix, 1913
  20. 20. The boundary between the side of the face and the front. Raphael
  21. 21. The boundary between the side of the face and the front.
  22. 22. The boundary between the side of the face and the front. Robin Groesbeck
  23. 23. Painting the Head
  24. 24. The brush follows the contours of the head. The background cuts in and redefines the cheek. Glenn Hirsch
  25. 25. Glenn Hirsch, 1986
  26. 26. David Park, 1958
  27. 27. Paula Rego, 1980
  28. 28. Lucian Freud, 1983
  29. 29. skin color
  30. 30. Skin color depends on the color of the light. Elmer Bischoff
  31. 31. Skin color depends on heredity.
  32. 32. Skin color depends on the reflection of surrounding objects. (Skin is greasy so it reflects light.)
  33. 33. Skin color also includes subtle greenish hues. Peter Paul Rubens detail
  34. 34. Skin color also includes subtle greenish hues. Andre Derain
  35. 35. Portrait Concept Exploring the Portrait/Self-Portrait
  36. 36. “The highest aim of portraiture is to capture a fleeting moment of lifelike emotion.” – Rembrandt
  37. 37. Portraiture freezes a moment in time forever. Portrait of Eutyches c. 50 BC.
  38. 38. Portraiture freezes a moment in time forever. John Heisch
  39. 39. If portraiture freezes a moment in time forever, why paint? Why not use photographs? This is a huge black and white painting, not a photograph. What does the media - and the size - do to our perception of a 'portrait?' Pamela Bennett
  40. 40. For 30,000 years in Paleolithic caves, the face was taboo (there are no faces in the caves).
  41. 41. The earliest realistic portraiture. Portrait of Queen Nefertiti, 1450 BC The Egyptian concept of “beauty” was similar to “glamour” photography today – high cheekbones.
  42. 42. How many artists have worked in the tradition of the ‘selfportrait’? Anonymous, 1402 (detail from an illuminated manuscript in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris)
  43. 43. This is a detail of a larger painting. Renaissance artists often included their own portraits in larger work. Self-portrait by Botticelli (1476).
  44. 44. Rembrandt did 80 self-portraits, using them to explore technique (lighting & texture), as well as theatrical characters.
  45. 45. Artist self-portraits changed in the Renaissance with Jan Van Eyck in 1433 – In this painting, he asserts his authorship, his idea and voice; not a mere craftsman anymore, Renaissance artists made new claims for their art. (Note the towel on his head, he advertises his prowess in painting by painting drapery.)
  46. 46. 'Self-portrait in a hat' In this assignment hats can give you costume and a shadow across your eyes. Keiko Randolph
  47. 47. 'Personality' comes from the Greek word persona, which means mask. James Ensor, 1899
  48. 48. Frida Kahlo focused on self-portraits to explore dream, identity, and the imagination.
  49. 49. Each student selects a master to study in pastel and then the student does a self-portrait in the style of the master just studied. (Joy Stroehmann)
  50. 50. 'Self-portrait at home' assignment you in your surroundings. Elliot Glass
  51. 51. Self-portrait in a dream assignment "detail is the life of dreams.” Jane Willson
  52. 52. One of the assignments is a 'full body portrait' of a friend. Angela Pryor
  53. 53. Models pose in most classes. Here is a portrait of the model with imagined background (the sea). In portraiture, clothes are important too, they say a lot about character. Minh-son Dang
  54. 54. Painting of the model - posing in costume. Peter Demarest
  55. 55. Our models always pose in costume. (Vine charcoal.) Peter Demarest
  56. 56. Portrait of the model in pastel. There are many styles in art – students are encouraged to experiment when a model poses. Mike Dewey
  57. 57. Oil painting of the model posing in costume. Dan Browneye
  58. 58. Acrylic painting of the model posing in costume. In portraiture, clothes are important, they say a lot about character. Stephanie Lowe
  59. 59. Exploring the Portrait/Self-Portrait A course in drawing and painting the head.

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