I mentioned in my last post that I was going to a workshop to learn more about oil paints with the brilliant Chris Guest. What an AMAZING day! Chris is a uniquely talented guy with a really distinctive style.

The course was from 1pm to 6pm so I arrived into Liverpool early to take a look around the city and do a little bit of shopping. Its not often I get to spend time or money on myself so it seemed an ideal opportunity to do so. The convention was held at the Britannia Adelphi Hotel (remember the TV show??), an Edwardian Hotel in the hear of the City – very beautiful and big! Our studio for the day was bright and airy with a fantastic view of the city, and the perfect size for our group. There was a diverse mix of people there, from different professions and walks of live – that in itself speaks volumes for the power and appeal behind Chris’ skills and the appreciation for amazing art. Chris began by introducing himself and talked a little about his style, influences and ‘how to’. He made it simple, straight to the point and easy to replicate. I have found in some tutorials that often the tutor over complicates the process and the application gets lost in translation. He gave us a selection of images to choose from – I picked the piece of the stunning model Cervena Fox ( seriously, go look her up on Instagram! ) , looking at all the other images I thought I picked an easy one… how wrong I was!

We quickly got to work, firstly being shown some painting techniques and some ways to effectively create colour and tone, and then application to the board. All artists have their own very unique way of doing things, there is no such way as right or wrong and having the opportunity to see how others work is a great enhancement to your skills. It has been many, many years since I last worked in oils ( probably last in 1997!) so it was great to get that refresher however I had forgotten just how much effort it takes to get it blending without over-doing it and creating a muddle puddle. With some time and Chris coming around giving pointers and nuggets of knowledge, soon enough I was getting the the hang of creating my piece.  As you can see from the pictures it went through some varying stages of change. I would of never imaged it ending up the way it did, probably because I am so used to the medium of acrylic and its fast drying, thinner and quicker handling. Looking back, if there had been more time I would of liked to detail it a bit more.

I learnt a great deal that day, not only the technical side of oils but also how someone can teach you something so effective even if you have little or no experience. Its really struck a chord in my own personal journey and i’m now making some plans for myself for the future not only in my own work, but in venturing towards a new pathway I had never considered before. How exciting!

Lea =D

Chris Guest Workshop - Cervena Fox Portrait