In the early stages of his career, Hodge initially made his name as a portrait painter. He returned to the UK in 1996 from a rigorous five year training in classical oil painting in Spain, very much in the vivid Spanish ‘Alla Prima’ style.
Students who sign up for this course will be sent a project/task at a set time each week (over five weeks) which will include all the supporting material to complete. Each week Marcus will then provide feedback on work completed at a pre-arranged time via Zoom. Please don't worry if your work overruns the dates stated.
This short introduction course to portraiture will lead you through painting a portrait, breaking it down into various component parts. Structure, light, dark, and colour. We will use a small selection of portraits by some wonderful artists to copy and learn these various techniques from. These are accessible for everyone online and provide an excellent opportunity to see how previous artists have approached this subject. There will be some video demonstrations and accompanying photos of the work at different stages with written explanations. Everyone will probably run into a different set of problems which we can then discuss individually or in groups on zoom while looking at the work, perhaps with quick demos for those interested. I would like to put a set time of the day aside for this in order to establish a bit of a routine.
We will begin with two portraits by the Spanish artist Joaquin Sorolla. One self-portrait and another of his daughter, Maria. The idea is not to produce a perfect copy of these but to use them as a way in to the subject matter and above all to have some fun.
For those at home who do not have a separate studio space and do not wish to have the smell of solvents I can recommend water-based oil paints. The linseed oil has been heated under high pressure so it becomes water soluble. For those used to painting in traditional oil paints they will recognise a slight difference but they really are very good and avoid the solvents issue. We will begin with a limited palette in terms of colour: Titanium white, Yellow ochre, Naples yellow, Cadmium red or Vermillion, Burnt umber, Cobalt blue, Ivory black. The idea of a limited palette is to emphasise value over colour at the beginning. Keeping our palette options simpler and narrower allows you to focus more on form and structure to begin with. Some of you may have different colours already and that will be fine.