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Portraiture - 5-Day Workshop

This is an Advanced class for students who have completed the following prerequisite courses in my training track;

  • Drawing Andamento and Tessellation for Mosaic

  • Ravenna Method 5-Day Intensive.

Learn methods of creating classically based mosaic portraiture, and explore creating expressive, accurate features and contours of the face with smalti and stone.  Based on principles taught in my “Drawing Andamenti and Tessellation” course, students begin by drawing out the Value fields and Lead Lines of their portrait. Then students create a palette in stone and smalti.  Portrait subjects need not be Classical in nature but will be created using principles taught in prerequisite courses.

There will be a brief review of the these principles, but this is an advanced class and, from the prerequisites, you are expected to come in with this knowledge from previous classes already. On the first day I will go in depth into applying those previously learned principles specifically to my Portraiture style. Following this we will spend the first part of the first day drawing and creating a materials palette for your portrait.

This is a very fluid class with the primary presentation occurring on the first day. The rest of the 40 hours is primarily work time with me supervising and mentoring, therefore there will be plenty of freedom and we can structure your time to fit your needs. After the first day it will seem like an Independent Study course as there will be no additional formal presentation but hands-on coaching and working. You will be free to take breaks and lunch when you wish. Each student can work at their own pace and there is no pressure to finish your portrait in class. 

You may choose beforehand to work in Ravenna Method or the Direct method into thin set on plastic or plastic and mesh over the image. I will provide the mesh, plastic, thinset, etc. If you work in Ravenna Method you must be comfortable with finishing the processes involved on your own after the class. If you finish during the class, of course, we can glue your portrait and remove clay if there is time. But I want you to be able to use the entire class time for your work instead of interrupting that with drying times associated with the Ravenna Method.

This is an advanced class; I do not care how you cut your materials; you may work with hammer and hardie or nippers or both as you desire. Tools provided or you may bring your own.

In this class the student is responsible for bringing whatever work board or surface you will work on.  If you wish to order a wood frame to work in or transfer the mosaic into after complete, you need to order that WELL ahead of time with me so that I can order it made and shipped. Otherwise I will provide the resource for my frames during the class.

As far as selecting your palette, I do have a standard list of stone that I frequently use for a range of flesh tones that I will send via email when you sign up for the class. You can refer to these and/or supplement them as you wish. For smalti, use your skills developed in former classes to identify the colors you need.

As far as criterium for your Portrait subject selection- just make sure it’s big enough to be manageable cutting-wise; that’s really up to you. I suggest working within the 14”x16” or 16”x16” ish range for a not-too-small/ not-to-large project range. But we can discuss your idea more in email consultation if you decide to take the course. I might suggest something with medium to dramatic highlights and shadow; nothing too washed out and evenly lit. Something where you can focus on the facial features rather than too much excess subject matter; maybe some thing with personality to  challenge yourself to bring that out. frontal, 3/4, profile all are okay. It is also helpful, if you have not done Portraiture work before, to keep in mind these are “studies/exercises” that you are learning from rather than your masterpiece. Some find it helpful not to choose someone you know and are dearly attached to for your first foray into Portraiture in order to not feel pressure to get it perfect.

After the initial presentation, the goal on the first day will be isolating your value fields and drawing your andamenti or Lead Lines (classical or contemporary), creating your working sample board of colors and setting up your method of working. If time allows you  begin laying your mosaic.

Students consult with Michael via email and send him several portrait photos or images from which they choose one to render. From this choice Michael will recommend a size to work in, as well as provide a posterized version of their subject which the student can then have printed to their size which the student will work from.

This course is for advanced students already familiar with using the hammer and hardie as well as classical mosaic and andamento methods. There is a prerequisite of Drawing Andamenti and Tessellation for Mosaics, and Ravenna Method 5-Day Intensive (which exposes you to both Ravenna Method and regular Direct method into thin-set).

This is a class for the serious mosaic student who is ready to knuckle down, work hard and discover how the classical principles of mosaic can be of value in developing your own mosaic voice. 







Class Details:

Class Dates and Times:

March 11-15, 2020 5 sessions Wednesday-Sunday: 10am - 6pm

Materials Required:

 Your supplies available from di Mosaico

Skill Level: Prerequisites, see above 

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