Friday, 19 May 2017

Portrait in Oil, stages of the process

‘Process’ is the path from the humble beginnings (possibly an idea or a thought) to a more finished end. If I had my way, art exhibitions would include not only a display of the ‘finished’ works but also much of the preparation work it took to get to there. I think this would not only enlighten people to the effort involved, but it would help them appreciate the steps required and stall the race-to-the-end which seems to be urgently demanded. There are well-trodden stages to finished artworks, and much joy to be had in lingering there. It’s not ALL about the end. 

The drawing

I am currently working on a small painting of my son. I love sharing the whole process involved in producing artwork, so here is the initial drawing in stages, and the colour study which I did before starting the more careful final painting. 

I don’t absolutely always do a preliminary drawing - but I am always sorry if I haven’t. The drawing study is a valuable way to investigate shapes and tones and placement of the elements to be painted, as well as the place to make decisions about the atmosphere we want to achieve in the final work . Spending time preparing to paint repays tenfold, or more! 

The next stage is the colour study. I LOVE this part! In fact, my study has more detail in than is necessary, but I was enjoying it and indulged myself. Working straight to paint, I blocked in a face-shape, without worrying at all about a likeness. The point here is working out what colours, and paying attention to tonal balance too. In this painting, there is a lot of striped light on the forehead from lighting directly above. That is the challenge. 

Blocking in the main points, on a spare piece of linen. Not precious!

This photo show the scale of the painting - it's small!


Now I’m ready to begin the final painting! 
For info on upcoming workshops please email
Next up: portrait workshops, drawing and watercolour workshops, oils weekend and children's classes. 

Friday, 12 May 2017

Little Italy in Belfast - masterclasses with Michael John Angel and Jered Woznicki 2017

I am delighted to confirm two masterclasses for August 2017 in Belfast by two world renowned painters, maestro Michael John Angel, and Jered Woznicki, traveling from Florence.

Maestro giving demonstration, Belfast

The Angel Academy of Art in Florence is dedicated to the persuit of excellence in painting. Over the past couple of years I have been priviledged to become friends with maestro Michael John Angel, founder of the Angel Academy. Not only is he one of the most knowledgeable people I have ever met, he is also a fantastic teacher who is passionate about sharing his knowledge and committed to ensuring that standards remain high.

He came to Belfast to deliver a workshop in 2016 and it was so successful that he asked to come back again! His 2017 workshop will be on painting using the methods of Bouguereau - August 18th - 22nd.

Student at Maestro's workshop, Belfast 2016 

This year his workshop is being followed by a second masterclass delivered by Jered Woznicki, a senior instructor at The Angel Academy. Jered is renowned for his tuition in colour mixing, he is exacting and thorough and has been described by past students as 'a full on fountain of knowledge'. Students practice each stage of the process several times and all students get individual feedback several times a day.  His workshop will be Painting the Figure from Photographs, August 24th - 28th.

Pat, Brian and Pauline at Maestro's 2016 workshop, Belfast
Belfast is not as hot as Florence in August! The venue is Crescent Arts Centre, which is located in Queen's Quarter near hotels and restaurants.

For details, description and information on Michael John Angel's workshop please click

For details on Jered Woznicki's workshop please click here

For general information email

Jered Woznicki Masterclass Workshop, Belfast 2017

Painting the Figure from Photographs                                       Thurs 24th - Mon 28th August 2017 

Jered Woznicki, Senior Painting and Drawing Instructor at the Angel Academy of Art in Florence, Italy is coming to Belfast in August 2017 to deliver a detailed workshop on Painting the Figure from Photographs.

Oil painting by Jered Woznicki

This training seminar is a condensed version of the course that Mr Woznicki teaches in Italy on Painting from the Live Model. The same classic procedure will be used and the same realistic flesh-colours will be employed during this workshop. Everyone will learn how to balance a flesh-coloured complexion in order to make their figures seem more believable and lifelike.   

Topics included in this course are: gesture, construct, articulation, the block-in of the colours, the essential balance of flesh-colours through different values, requisite planes and the finishing of the painting. Special attention will be paid to the layout, function and use of the figure-painting palette. 

Mr Woznicki will demonstrate the use of the figure-painting palette and will advise every student, individually, on how to best employ these lessons to improve their figure paintings.   
This course will provide a structure and methodology in traditional figure painting, suitable for both beginning and experienced realist artists.  Mr Woznicki is renowned for the excellence of his workshops, and early booking is recommended. A fantastic opportunity to avail of the expertise taught in The Angel Academy, but in a rather cooler climate!


Jered Woznicki is a Senior Instructor at the Angel Academy of Art, Florence. Born in Chicago, he graduated from the American Academy of Art in 1994. One of Mr Woznicki’s paintings remains in the permanent collection of the American Academy of Art alongside those of other notable graduates such as Scott Burdick and Richard Schmid. 

Jered Woznicki’s art has won many awards throughout the United States as well as in Italy. In 1999, he was awarded a medal in the prestigious Florence Biennale, an international assembly of over 500 recognized artists. In 2014, his work was collected by MEAM, the European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona, Spain. Mr Woznicki’s paintings and drawings are to be found in private and public collections in Europe, North America and China. As well as teaching, he works on his own figural and still-life paintings.

A student painting in one of Jered's worksops

Further Workshop Details:
The workshop includes 30 hours tuition, from 10am - 5pm daily with a 1 hour lunch break. Students choose in advance one of the three artworks above to copy in the workshop. 
Individual and group critiques
Painting demonstrations by Mr Woznicki
Discussions on materials and techniques 
COST: £750 to include 30 hours of instruction, and some materials. 
A list of materials (paint and brushes) will be sent upon booking a place.

Terms & Conditions:
A 50% non-refundable deposit is required to hold your place. Full payment must be received by 1st June 2017. 
Minimum number of students - 10.

Not included:
Accommodation and flights, transport and all other personal costs.  
Fees are non refundable unless the course is cancelled for any reason. 
If traveling, it is recommended that you take out insurance to cover costs in the unlikely event of cancellation etc. 

Details of accommodation near the studio will be provided upon booking. 

For booking information and all enquiries please email 

Belfast is a vibrant city with a warm friendly atmosphere. If you are traveling for this course, you will find lots of things in the city to enjoy, in the days before or after the workshop.