Cherry has hundreds of great photos of faces for students to choose from. And excellent image is key to your success in this workshop.
In Cherry's workshops students will be working from photos, a great photo can help you make a great painting! A great photo can inspire a great painting. Students will be painting the face. Cherry encourages her students not be make a portraits of friend or relatives in these workshops as this will inhibit them from making a good painting. Later students can use the techniques they learn to make a portrait or and exact copy of a photo.
Gerhardt Richter (in 1964-65) said "The photograph is the most perfect picture, It does not change; it is absolute, and therefor autonomous, unconditional, devoid of style. Both in its way of informing and in what it informs of, it is my source."
You've found a wonderful photograph, it's beautiful, interesting and clear and sharp. you could scan it to print it out larger so that its easy to paint from. This photo is just the starting point to inspire your painting of a face. The photo will be used to help you shift your existing perception of a face. The photo is already a perfect image. You want to try and let it tell you how to make your painting. In this way you can shift you way of thinking about the face. If you let the photo tell you what to do you may not just keep on doing the same old thing that we have always done before.
The face part of your photo should measure at least 200 mm high.
In the workshop Cherry will demonstrate a simple technique of scaling to help students to enlarge their image onto the large paper.
TAKING YOUR OWN PHOTOS
You can USE A CAMERA (PLEASE DONT USE A PHONE OR A TABLET AS IT IS WIDE ANGLE)
you need to be about 2 metres away from your subject with the subjects head and shoulders filling the frame.
If you take your own photos of friends or family but again try to not have teeth showing and try for square front on images. Don’t take them outside where bright light makes your subject squint or frown. Next to a window indoors is best. Without direct sun shining on them.
Avoid light which shines up or reflects from below the face as this looks very unnatural in a painting. You would have light under the eye brows instead of shadow for example, And shadows on top of the cheeks under the eyes.
Avoid shooting up at the subjects face. It is unattractive to be looking up someone’s nostrils in a painting which may last a life time. If they are taller than you ask them to sit on a chair.
NEVER use a wide angle lens!, (under 50mm) For this reason do not use a Phone Camera or photos taken with one
zoom out (to about 80mm) and stand about 2 metres from your subject.
Your subjects face still needs to fill the frame of your camera.
This way you will have a more naturalistic image.
A wide angle lens gives you and enlarge centre of the face - rounded moon face with very large nose and mouth. A wide angle lens also leaves the ears, hair and skull of your subject too small.
Ideally experiment with these focal lengths. You will see the difference on your digital read back. Choose the photo you like of these experiments. Take lots of photos so you have lots to choose from. A slight tilt of the subjects head one way or the other can change their look quite substantially.
Look at my faces on Google images, there are dozens of good examples. Notice they are predominantly front on, looking at you, chin slightly down, side lighting, no smile. This is what the workshop is all about so you image is key to your success.