Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Noah Layne - Portrait Painting Demonstration

Hello at last! It's been quite a while since I posted. I've had some busy weeks teaching a Contemporary Still Life painting class, hanging a new show at the beautiful Marina Restaurant, painting a series of small works, and organizing a wonderful portrait painting demonstration, for the Federation of Canadian Artists. 

First thing first - the painting demonstration: Our guest artist was Noah Layne a well known Victoria artist. Some of you may be familiar with his work from features in  Artists' Magazine and Southwest Art Magazine, where he was named "One of 21 under 31 to Collect Now!". First of all, Noah is a wonderfully kind and sharing artist, whose relaxed style and humour made the demonstration so enjoyable. He is an award winning artist who believes in the importance of working from life.  His works are primarily concerned with portraying a realistic image through the use of light, line and color. He talked a lot about finding the form shadow and cast shadow lines in order to create the illusion of three dimensional form. He demonstrated this by casting a shadow on a piece of bent white card. He explained his technique of constant comparison; measuring and comparing facial proportions, and holding his paintbrush like a plumb line to compare shapes like the nose, mouth and chin, in relation to the straight line of his brush. He also talked about shadows in relation to the light source. When the light is close to an object the shadow will be dark and the edges crisp, and when the light is farther away the shadow will be more pale with a diffused edge. Noah has a great blog with many painting tips and step by step demos.

Some more of  Noah's achievements:

Noah has shown his work in shows and galleries across North America.
He has been a multi-year finalist in the the prestigious Art Renewal Center Salon.
Been a finalist for the inaugural two competition with the America China Oil Painting Artist League.
Been a multi-year finalist in the Artist's Magazine Annual Art Competition winning an honorable mention in 2010.
Was short listed for Canada's National Portrait Competition “The Kingston Prize” 2009.
Was selected to be a Hudson River Fellow in 2009 in New York.  A Jacob Collins founded fellowship.
Was picked by Southwest Art Magazine in 2004 as one of 21 artists under 31 to collect now! 

I've been having a very difficult time photographing my work in order to post. Between snow storms and rain, I'm also contending with daylight savings, which means up here on the 49th parallel, that it's dark when I go to work and dark when I come home, so I have to hope for a bit of sun of the weekend. I'm thinking of buying one of those table top photo tents. Do any of you use those and if so, can you give me some pointers as to size of tent and what power of light bulbs you use? I'd like to be able to photograph up to a 12 x 16 if possible. Is that too large?

I'll ask my class if they are ready to be featured on my blog soon. I thought I should get to know them first before dropping the paparazzi bomb. :-)



  1. You have really been busy, Claire. I just visited your website. Your paintings look wonderful! Very nice job!

    1. Hi Virginia, so nice to hear from you! I can't click through to you anymore because of these new threaded comments on blogger. Are you finding the same thing?

  2. Yes, you have had a lot on your plate lately! Thanks for the photos of the portrait demo. I am having a lot of trouble getting my butt in gear to start painting regularly again - grey weather, rain, cold, short days...just wanting to hibernate! In the studio today determined to put paint to surface!

    1. Hi Karen, so great to hear from you! I've somehow lost track of you lately, and I do admire your work. Yes this time of year is a challenge. It's so dark these days... but I've noticed that it's starting to brighten. Yesterday at 4:30 it was still sunny! Hope your painting went well today.

  3. It sounds like you're incredibly busy these days, Claire! I love this portrait demo pictures by Noah Layne. He's very talented!

  4. Thanks for visiting Hilda! Yes Noah is very talented indeed.

  5. Hello Claire,
    excellent workshop and portrait!
    A hug

  6. Great painting,excellent workshop and portrait!