September 12, 2016
Member's Demonstration by Dottie Geisert
an amazing start to our new season. We had record breaking
attendance − 44 members, plus 4 guests (two joined EAA) − to see our
member’s demonstration by Dottie Geisert. We thank Dottie for
her presentation, “The Portrait, how I see it. The
approach, techniques & media.” In college, Dottie majored
in Portraiture and you can tell that this is still one of her most
favorite subjects to talk about.
first thing she said is “what to think about?”. Whether you
are starting from a photograph or live model, think about where to
place the subject, light against dark, the background. Her
approach is to first draw in the basic shapes, using two
intersecting circles, the second circle intersecting the first at
the nose. This is followed by pencil lines through the center
of the eyes, bottom of the nose and center of the mouth. A
tip....the inside corner of the eye lines up with the nostril and
the center of the eyes line up with the mouth corners. As
Dottie says, it helps if you studied anatomy, bone and muscle
structure. Her three page handout is extremely helpful and
here for a copy.
Dottie stressed a key point.... “think shapes” not features.
She said that shadow shapes help form the eye. Another
tip....if your subject wears glasses, paint the eyes as if the
glasses don’t exist and paint them in later. She noted that if
there is a fast change of surface in your subject, you have a
highlight. However, she finds the softness of reflective light
more beautiful. Dottie briefly touched on color, a subject she
studied for a year in college. She defines ‘value’ as the
lightness or darkness and ‘intensity’ as brightness or dullness of a
color. Tip....to change the intensity, add it’s compliment.
She noticed that children had more green in their skin color.
She pointed this out to us in a number of painting by the old
Dottie encourages her students to learn by looking at portraits
painted by the old masters, like
Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Seurat,
She shared and reviewed several images with us and then discussed
the various portraits she created over the years. Dottie left
us with this thought “If you think shapes, you can paint and draw
anything!” She concluded her presentation by doing a sketch
using Joan Milligan as her model.
We also thank our hosts
for the evening, Maureen Philistine and Annette Fiorelli.
We enjoyed a table full of delicious treats − banana-chocolate
marble bread, apple spiced muffins, cheesy potatoes, cookies
with cannoli dip, assorted veggies, cheese, crackers and
several dips − all exceptional and there was enough for