On 31 March, we had our first members’ meeting after the AGM and this year’s council members and their portfolios were announced. Glenda Chambers is serving her second year as president, with Adrian Larkin as vice president. We have three new council members this year – Irene Oxley, Stephen Gibson and Michele Batchelder – and look forward to a year of smooth, efficient and productive running of our society.
The highlight of the evening, for which the packed hall waited in anticipation, was a demonstration in oils by accomplished portrait artist, Elize Bezuidenhout.
Elize started with a sepia-toned under-painting, which she’d prepared the previous day, from a black and white photograph she had taken of her subject. A colour copy of the same photograph was her reference for the finished portrait.
The limited, but versatile palette she uses produces some wonderful skin tones and by adding small amounts of the different colours, she achieves amazing effects of highlights and shadows.
From the moment she painted the eyes – the darkest colours in the painting – the character of her subject began to emerge and it was fascinating to watch as the rest of the face started taking shape, radiating outwards from the eyes. With painstaking care, painting exactly what she sees, is how Elize creates the extremely life-like likenesses, which are her portraits.
There was no way Elize was going to finish the portrait in the time allowed, but we got a very good taste of her technique. She answered all the questions fired at her throughout the evening and gave us all some very useful tips regarding everything from colour, to medium, to brushes and the cleaning thereof and copious notes were taken.
Thanks, Elize, for taking the time to come and share your skills and with us.