Direct Portrait Painting & Drawing – The Art Students League

Direct Portrait Painting & Drawing

John A. Varriano

John A. Varriano, The Spiritualist, oil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches

Class Description

This class will emphasize the concept of direct painting as applied to the portrait . Direct painting, sometimes known as alla prima or premier coup, is the most efficient means to achieve pictorial realization. The approach demands careful observation of the subject and the translation of those observations into clear and precise color value relationships that will express the subject in paint. This approach represents the foundational skill set that all painters should master before moving on to more complex techniques. It hones the painters decision making ability with regard to drawing, placement, planes , color relationships and brush work. Structural understanding of the head is critical to success with this approach, as well as drawing with the brush. Therefore students may be asked to reinforce their drawing skills by focusing for a time on using only charcoal and white on toned paper. This will be at the discretion and suggestion of the instructor.

About the Instructor

John A. Varriano is a representational painter. He has exhibited extensively and has won numerous awards, including Best in Show at the UCJF’s Annual Fall for Art Show, 2010 and the National Art League’s Annual Exhibition, 2011, the Sanford Grumbacher Gold Medal, the Alfred and Mary Crimi Award, and the Giulia Palermo Award at the Audubon Artists Exhibit, NY. In 2006 he was one of twenty artists invited to paint the landscape at the Forbes Trinchera Ranch in Colorado. He was one of twenty artists chosen out of thousands to participate in the International Fine Art Exhibit in Chelsea, 2012, and was selected in 2012 and 2013 for the Hudson Valley Artists Association Annual Exhibition in Old Lyme, CT. Varriano studied at The Art Students League with Frank Mason and Gustav Rehberger. He currently teaches figurative and portrait painting in New Jersey and New York City, and landscape workshops in the Hudson Valley region of NY. He is represented by Mark Gruber Gallery in New Paltz, NY.

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