Saturday, June 16, 2012

David Tanner

Recently, I attended a Gallery Talk and Live Portrait Demonstration by one of my favorite local artists, David Tanner. He is best known for his beautiful figurative and plein-air landscape oil paintings. 

He teaches portrait classes at the Visual Arts Center in Richmond, Virginia. I have had the pleasure of being in one of his classes.

Here are a couple of award winning pieces from his current show at Crossroads Art Center.
(it runs through July 9th)

By the Fireside
Oil on Canvas
12" x 16"

The Laundry Line
Oil on Canvas
48" x 48"

David began by doing a live portrait demonstration with local actor, Augustin Correro.

Once David decided on a pose he was happy with, the painting began!

First he focused on the overall shape of Augustin's head and shoulders.

Then did cross lines for eyes, nose and mouth references.

The blocking started, mapping out shapes and shadows. He used a very thin coat of burnt sienna for all of this.

Beginning to add some skin tone using yellows and reds.

This was the end of the first 25 minutes. Augustin needed a break to stretch!

Back at it.

Developing features, skin tone, light and shadows while answering our questions.

John Singer Sargent, Joaquin Sorolla, Frank Weston Benson, Mary Cassatt and Jeremy Lipking are some of the artists that inspire and influence David.

During his second break, David told us about his pieces in the show.

This particular painting took him over 100 hours to paint! It's inspiration is from the First Friday Art Walk in downtown Richmond. David took many photos of models playing different instruments in front of Popkin's Tavern and put them together for the painting.

Ballad on Broad Street
Oil on Canvas
48" x 36"

I especially love this painting because it is from the Outer Banks of North Carolina, a place that is near and dear to my heart. I am sure I've sat in my beach chair looking out at a group of ladies just like this.

Afternoon by the Ocean
Oil on Canvas
30" x 40"

Now back to Augustin!

David continued to build on the shadows and skin tone.

I took at peek at his palette.

It was 8:30 and we had to leave by 9. Crunch time!

Painting the eyes. He didn't put a lot of detail in them since they were in the
shadows of the lids.

Finished in a little over 2 hours.

Beautiful. Thank you for a great evening, David!


I loved painting this fun loving lab named, Abby. Her expression says it all!

 About this painting:
media: oil on canvas
size: 6" x 6"

Yoda and Snuggles

Yoda and Snuggles are my friend's sweet kitties. They live with Abby in the previous post. If you take a seat in her house you better be ready for a cat to sit in it. Snuggles lives up to her name!

About this painting:
media: oil on canvas
size: 6" x 6"

About this painting:
media: oil on canvas
size: 6" x 6"