Hands-On Hands Oil Painting

Mike Laiuppa
Friday, September 29 - Sunday, October 1;
Friday from 1 - 4 pm; Saturday & Sunday from 9 am - 4 pm
Member $350 ; Non-members: $375
Class Cap:
12 people

Understanding and Painting Hands in Oil

John Singer Sargent once said, “A portrait is a painting with something wrong with the mouth.” I find this to also be true with hands. Occasionally, you will be entranced by the most beautifully rendered countenance, only to be shaken out of your daydream by a poorly painted hand. Hands can hold so much expression and story in a piece, thus they should be given almost as much attention as the face.

In being systematic with our approach and developing an understanding of the structure of the hand, this workshop will lessen, and hopefully eliminate, any fear you may have of painting these spindly creatures, all while elevating your portraits as a result. We will begin our course with the anatomy and some basic drawing of hands before we dive into painting. Starting with an imprimatura, we will continue in a layered approach using a block-in to get our angles and proportions correct, move on to modeling layers, and finally finish with the detail phase. 

Gaining an understanding of value and temperature shifts to shape our form will are crucial in painting a convincing hand. As such, these themes will be overarching in our time together. I do not wish to simply teach you how to paint a specific hand on this specific weekend. Our goal together is to cultivate in you the tools needed to paint any hand on any day for the rest of your life!

All skill levels are welcome; for best results this painting approach is recommended for oil painters.

Reference: I will provide a reference photo (or photos) before the workshop for you to print or bring on a device like an iPad. If you’d prefer to use your own photo reference, please email me the photo well before the workshop so that I can review it to see if it will be acceptable for our purposes. Generally, make sure the values of the light and shadow are well defined and that the hand(s) are in an interesting pose. We will use our own hands as reference as well, but will ultimately paint the pose that’s in our source photo.

About Artist, Mike Laiuppa.

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