My first critique from Elena, with clear examples and tips on what to do making it very easy to follow. Her next critique noted my use of this deep airy paint container which kept drying out. She showed me how to use a wet sponge in a sealed container to prevent that happening – really helpful personal tips, above and beyond the basics.
My early attempts at painting with acrylics showing no confidence with colour, still working in basic ‘shades’. Shadows all wrong and horse proportions incorrect, rather messy brushstrokes, but keen to learn!
My second dog portrait that I worked through with Elena. She advised on mixing brown into the black paint for warm depth, and eliminating the back leg that looks like it was sticking out of his ear and was unnecessary for the portrait. You can see a huge difference already in just a few months compared with the little brown dog in the previous image, thanks to what I was learning from Elena.
“I think you are ready to look at subtleties of colour. Max’s coat is not actually jet black. There are brownish tones throughout his dark coat. Rather than just using a tube of black and white and only getting shades of grey from that, try mixing some burnt umber into black to get that warm brownish tone coming through.” Elena
6 months later, Elena had me using a more detailed ‘gridding’ technique to get better accuracy in my drawing, so the proportions and anatomy of the subjects are correct.
Nearly 12 months later and Elena has helped me to improve my backgrounds and also shown me how to add sparkle to eyes that are sometimes too dark to see in the reference photo.