|Color Block Study #1|
This week I'm studying color with Thomas Nash. Thomas is a master portrait artist who has been doing portraits for close to 40 years. Some of his more prominent clients include Newt Gingrich, GA Governor Zell Miller and he recently complete a posthumous portrait of past Atlanta mayor Maynard Jackson for the new International terminal at the Atlanta airport.
While I don't do portraits and am not really that interested in figure work, I do respect his expertise in color. Thomas studied with Henry Hensche, disciple of Charles Hawthorne from the Cape Cod School of Art. I saw Thomas give a presentation at my local art organization in Atlanta many years ago and was really impressed in the depth he went into to study all of his paints and colors. He really brought a discipline and rigor to understanding color. He shares his expertise once a year during a week long workshop in GA.
I wasn't planning to take his course this year, had considered it in the past and always was interested, but the timing was never right. I even had held the flyer from last year and a couple of months ago threw it out thinking I'd never have the time to squeeze in another full week, but last week I happened to see the flyer again and thought- hey why not and rearranged things to be able to participate...and I'm glad I did.
We are only in day 2 but I am really enjoying the workshop.
There are just a dozen students and the program is half lecture/slides/q&a and half hands on exercises that Thomas has designed from (relatively) simple to increasing in complexity each day.
He also looks at color from 4 distinct vantage points: Taste, Physics, Seeing/Observation and Craft (the actual mixing, paint properties and studio habits). We've touched on all 4, but the latter 2 seem to be the main emphasis for this program.
Yesterday we did a version of the famous" block exercises". Just painting simple block shapes of different colors under light. The idea is to focus on just one variable- color- and not worry too much about drawing , composition etc.. The point is to see the color and relationships of color hue, value and intensity on each plane change and surface.
I have shown my study above with a beginning stage of just establishing beginning color notes and photo reference below.
Tom was also gracious to invite the class back to his beautiful studio and home to share his set up, tools of the trade etc..
|Tom's portrait of Mayor Maynard Jackson for the new airport terminal in Atlanta. This is the original and a larger giclee is hanging in the airport.|
|Tom ( left) and a fellow student in his studio. He designed it to maximize North light exposure and has options to control direction of the light for portrait sitters with various darkening shades on windows. Very impressive.|