Saturday, December 4, 2010

Another course at Kunstfabrik-Wien

In late November, I took part in a three-day course at the Kunsfabrik Wien ( who have just come out with a new catalog for 2011. This time, the instructor was Erwin Kastner, a well-known Austrian artist (his website: ). Kastner is an experienced course leader, and very encouraging.

Here I am kneeling on the floor for a portrait of a chap called Ildebrando, an opera singer of some note. He had performed Don Giovanni in the Staatsoper the night before.
This is back-breaking work, painting.

I mostly tried to do pictures with a plastic spatula, a card similar to a credit card in size, but softer. This allows one to work fast, as is needed with acrylics, but of course, small details are not going to show up as precisely. Or not precisely in my case, at least.

Here is one such spatula-portrait, the 'model' was a small picture I ripped out of the paper; I believe it was on his 75th birthday. The original picture was maybe 4 by 6 centimetres; this portrait is on gloss-coated paper, approx 55 x 75 cm.

To view this picture of Mr. Konigsberg, one should stand some metres away, which is not suitable for computer viewing, of course.

It turned out that the glossy paper was not suitable for this kind of spatula-work, as a quick-drying layer of paint would easily be scraped or damaged by subsequent movements. I found some watercolor paper, that tolerates the wetness of the acrylic paint without bulging, and is much more "receptive" of the paint. Here's another portrait, again from a newspaper original; this gentleman was suffering from some easily and cheaply curable disease that left him blind.

(unfortunately, I have blurred the photograph by not holding still enough)
Acrylics on Aquarell paper, approx. 70 x 90 cm

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