Week Eight of the Milan Art Institute’s Mastery Program was all about painting alla prima portraits and figures.
As always, it was challenging, yet rewarding.
At the beginning of the week, we were instructed to do a charcoal portrait and an alla prima portrait from life. Ideally, we were supposed to have someone to model for us, and learn how to set up the lighting right. Unfortunately, I didn't have anyone around, so I decided to do a self-portrait in charcoal and alla prima.
It's embarrassing because I found it hard to capture my likeness accurately. But it was a good learning experience, nonetheless.
Compared to last week, where we worked on long complex compositions, this week was relatively fast-paced because we only had 80 minutes to complete each artwork in four 20-minute sessions. For the last painting, which was a full figure, I had my partner pose for me. We had a good laugh about it afterwards because the painting didn't look anything like him.
One thing I noticed during this week, is that I tend to build up resistance to getting into the studio if I go too many days without painting.
I usually do the program twice a week on Wednesdays and Fridays, and by Wednesday, I find myself procrastinating and losing focus.
However, I'm working on solving this issue by doing some drawing or painting on Sundays or Mondays to reduce the resistance I build up.
Overall, this experience has taught me that I need to keep painting, to build up a history of producing good work, even if I don't know what I'm doing. It's essential to trust myself and have confidence that something good will come out of it. With each piece, I'm building up my skills, knowledge and a history of evidence that even if I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing, I can create a good painting.
As I move through this program, I'm feeling more confident in my abilities and excited about moving on to the Mixed Media portion.