WORKSHOP REPORT

Eric Dyne's "Portraits in Watercolour" Workshop

BY Charlotte Hird



The two day workshop with Eric Dyne was a productive time to try new techniques and colour mixing tips. Eric had a long and successful career as an illustrator in the advertising world and now paints for pleasure. He generously shares his knowledge with others. I regularly attend Eric’s Friday portrait class at the Wellington Art Club where he has taught me to paint with watercolours and continues to inspire me.

It’s magic to watch a portrait appear as Eric demonstrates his techniques. For transparent flesh tones that glow Eric uses raw sienna and alizarin crimson, then mixes in cerulean blue to make a neutral tone for shadows. He uses a mixture of either ultramarine and burnt sienna or viridian and alizarin crimson for the darkest areas in the corners of the mouth and under the top lip.

In the mornings, Eric outlined the anatomy of the skull and we learned the classic rules of proportion. We painted from photos of our model Giselle to familiarise ourselves with her striking Italian features then in the afternoons she sat for us. Eric encouraged us to carefully observe the light on the planes of her face and build the tones and form. We did a series of 15 minute drawings then painted from life using a four colour step plan. I produced six paintings and five drawings, none of which captured a great likeness but all had elements of spontaneity and transparency. It was an enjoyable escape on a cold winter weekend with a friendly enthusiastic group of fellow artists.




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