July 2014

Alla Prima Portraiture

http://laafa.org/portfolio-item/sean-cheetham/A week ago I returned from a fantastic workshop with Sean Cheetham from LA in Rome organized by Study Art In Rome/University of Washington. We dedicated 2 weeks to developing skills and understanding of quick impression Alla Prima portrait also technically known as wet-on-wet as it does not allow oil paint to dry between layers mixing together in subtler tones. Normal length of work on one Alla Prima portrait is 6 hours, sometimes 2 sets of 6 hours if You want to separately work on a more thought through underpainting. What is the advantage of Alla Prima portrait over traditional long pose portrait? I would suggest its liveliness, almost as if emotion of a sitter is frozen in time at one instant, while in working on traditional long pose portrait which could take up to several months a sitter goes through dozens of different moods and emotions leaving the portrait generalised and sometimes poised.
I am posting here a step-by-step development of a portrait which I eventually called “Love is blindness” after a song by Jack White from Great Gatsby being played on the radio several times while I was painting it. Allaprima1Allaprima2_edited-2Allaprima3_edited-1allaprima2loveblindness_edited-1

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