Back to Figure School

A major disappointment to me was the cancellation of a workshop with Dan Thompson at the Institute.   It was to be on the subject of painting the portrait from observation.  I took an earlier portrait class with Dan Thompson and I wrote about it in this blog.  (here)  So instead of advancing my practice of portraiture, I was dealing with a broken furnace that week.  It was a cold week, too.  I may have mentioned being too cold to sit very long in my computer room.  Lots of stuff got wait-listed that week, a fact whose relevance is hinted at below.  (Ending a sentence with two prepositions!  Exciting times!)

Our weather has shown dramatic improvement lately.  For instance, I haven’t been wearing a coat.  What have I been doing with my time?  Not painting.  Paperwork.  Meetings.  Reports.  Nothing you would want to hear about assuming I were free to tell.  I found only two recent paintings that you have not yet seen, and one of them I never intended anyone to see.  I dislike it for being too dark and sultry.  But in my desperation I have reconsidered, and hope it looks no worse than work that I have seen better artists display proudly.  To some, dark and sultry is a virtue.

Dark and Sultry

Dark and Sultry

No, it’s no good.  I still don’t like it.  Ironically, this is the same model whose face I tormented in the Dan Thompson workshop mentioned above.

My other painting I like quite a lot, just not sure why.  It’s accurate, it has good lights and darks I think, proportions good, skin tones good, composition good, etc.  But what’s it about?  Can I show it?  What the heck do I title it?  As you can see, for now the title refers to the light source.

Overhead Lighting

Overhead Lighting

The painterly quality may be what I like most about this painting.

The overhead light source is thanks to Jack, our newest member.  Jack retired from a career as a filmmaker and photographer, so he has some great equipment that he shares with us.  If I recall correctly, the overhead light is composed of 400 watts of illumination, covered by a diffuser so it doesn’t blind the artists

Well, tomorrow is another day, isn’t it? Scarlett was right.  But literally, tomorrow is Tuesday, another life group day, and I might, I just might do something worthwhile.  It keeps me going back.

Aline Lotter is currently exhibiting:

at the Hatfield Gallery and the East Colony Fine Art Gallery in Manchester (both are in Langer Place, 55 S. Commercial St., Manchester, NH); at the Gallery at 100 Market Street in Portsmouth; at the Bartlett Inn and Bernerhof Inn in Bartlett; at the Red Jacket Inn in North Conway; at the law offices of Mesmer and Deleault at 41 Brook St in Manchester; at the Manchester office of Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter; and at her studio by appointment (email:

You may also view paintings with prices and order prints at my Fine Art America page. If the painting you are interested in is not there, or if you prefer to bypass that experience, you may contact me using this feedback form.

<a href=”; style=”font: 10pt arial; text-decoration: underline;”>nude canvas prints</a>

4 responses to “Back to Figure School

  1. I was taught by painter David Dallwitz who cautioned me never to use greens or blues on the face as it can look deathly or cold. Here it works with the background! It was ok for M. Matisse & co too. I think the second one has a lovely slap-happy background and nice freedom. The title for me is “Caught Unawares” but that could be too cheeky. I am glad you still turn up to paint Aline! It sounds as though you have had your share of extracurricular concerns lately. Kind regards, Philippa


    • Thanks for the title. It is better than anything I could come up with. He does look as if he was startled to find us staring at him. Maybe an emperor in new clothes lounging after an indecent feast?

      I’m so glad to be hearing from you after a long drought.


  2. i want to say that I like how it is going, I’ve just thought to help you a little bit because I am a painter also and like to paint portraits like you ,..I have video painting tutorials where show how to make portraits – maybe you will learn something new from them. You can easily find them on my blog or Youtube channel. I see you are very talented and colours are lovely, so keep on making art! I wish you a lot of joy and success! Sergey.