Painting a Group Portrait from Life

James Gurney visits a convention of Sacred Harp singers to paint a group portrait in casein. “Trailer for Portraits in the Wild.”
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Painting portraits from life takes on a new intensity when your subjects are in their natural environment and when they’re talking and moving. In this unique video workshop, James Gurney brings you along as he sets out to paint people in four dynamic situations: fairgoers in a lunch line, a historical re-enactor in an outdoor museum, a farmer in a barn, and a gathering of Sacred Harp singers.

Gurney uses colored pencils, watercolor, gouache, casein, and oil. Each image develops from the first sketch to the final painting, with closeups of palette and brushstrokes juxtaposed with shots of the moving model. You’ll hear and see the subjects talking and singing, alternating with Gurney’s practical and reassuring voiceover explaining the thinking behind the technique.


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