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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Vianna Szabo Has What I Want: Know how

Subject #3 got a little less Ichabod Crane and a little more
my son, but there's a ways to go before I rest.

We were all vacationing together. This candid of  o
of my DIL suggested she had had enough
Roth togetherness and needed some alone time.
He is looking more like himself and a little less alien. But I 've got to tell you, it occurred to me today what nerve I have attempting this genre this late in life.  My problem is I like challenge. I like measurements and points and planes.  I really do not care how well this overly ambitious portrait comes out--as long as it's close to how my subjects look to me in real life.  Subject three was pursing his lips--was a reluctant participant in the snap shot. That pursing is causing me all kinds of aggravation, but I will get it, because I am stubborn--and hate wasting canvas.

I started another little portrait today to annoy myself, (and give me relief from the multiple portrait). It's of my DIL.  After her, I have a couple of other DILs I can study in paint. That's just how it goes if you're a member of my family.  I mean, how many self portraits can I do?

This is an example of Vianna Szabo's work.
It's a portrait in pastels. Rather fantastic
don't you think?
I bought membership at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Association. I will register for the four day workshop on gestural portraiture  on the twenty first. I decided to go live and in person for an intense 26 hours over a DVD with no feedback. The workshop  instructor, Vianna Szabo, checked out to be extremely talented.  I think she has something I want: Know how and years of experience.

She works in charcoal, pastels and oils. She has a blog and on it gave a pastel portrait demonstration. I liked her web site. It was well designed and very thorough. The woman is talented and she's in business. I believe she is related to Zoltan Szabo, a fine painter of landscapes--from the looks of his web site.  I'll ask when I meet her. I'm a bit envious of people who grew up in artistic families.  I, unfortunately, did not. I was the  drawing/ painting wonder--and that wasn't saying much.  There's always more to know.


  1. Love your drawing of dil.

    About pursed lips--why not unpurse them? I don't follow photo reference--or live model-- when doing so gets in my way.

  2. Duh! Why didn't I think of that! Talk about dumb. I read your comment on my iPad last night Jean and had to laugh the idea was so simple, yet I hadn't thought of it. I spent the rest of the evening hunting down the subject's mouth in the family photo archives. "If it had been a snake..." Thank you for your most helpful comment.

  3. Don't you hate it when the model does something a bit awkward, and you don't notice till you look closely and start to work with the photo??? My brother-in-law does that - hates having his photo taken. As for your workshop, that sounds SO exciting. Her work really is wonderful.

    1. I thought so too--but didn't really see any gestural portraits--you know, something like Hal's "Laughing Boy," which was "in the rough style," rather than the gestural style. I think rough has more truth in it, the word is just not arty enough. LOL

      Jean's suggestion was a good one. Walking by the studio this morning while hunting down my can of Brasso, I went in and adjusted his mouth as Jean suggested--then I started noting how his head was constructed with regards to classic proportions. It was way off. I shortened the chin, sketched in a new mouth, washed the brush, got the Brasso and went to do my one housekeeping chore for the day--each day a little bit.

  4. Looks like you are winning some and not losing some ... but with brasso you'll have a great finish. The Vianna's portrait is fantastic, isn't it. You're pretty darned good yourself ... but I'm a man of few words!

    1. Today I lost in the studio, but I came through big time with the Brasso.

      You are not a man of few words. I have never even met you and know you can talk a blue streak. This third son has always been a challenge, why would painting him be any different? I spoke with his lady, an accomplished figurative painter, earlier who told me she never could nail down his mouth. Not surprising, none of us ever could. he should have been a lawyer.

      But I agree. I'm not doing too badly for a beginner. --Just needed to boost my dispair.

    2. AAH! but although I write a lot ...I am not one to talk a lot...honestly.

  5. Your portrait is beautiful, Linda! and I went on Vianna's website..very impressive..thanks for sharing. The workshop sounds wonderful.

    1. I would say it has potential Hilda. It's not beautiful yet. It's pushing me. Thank goodness, I'm stubborn.