Notes from Jeff Hein's Portrait Painting Demonstration

Jeff Hein Demonstation and the Hein Academy of Art Fall Art Show, November 15, 2013, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Jeff was set up with what looked like an 8 x 10 panel. The model's name was Jake, and was about 25 years old. Jeff said that he was part Jewish, and had drawn him several times for use in one of his Biblical paintings.

Chairs were provided and there seemed to be about 25 people attending at the beginning of the demonstration. Jeff explained some things about his materials and thinking process as he started. He accepted questions throughout his demonstration, but did admit that each time he did so, it broke his concentration. I appreciate knowing that the process of creating art is one that should be completed, for the most part, without talking or conversation.

Frankly, I'm always amazed at these demonstrations. I know he is working with years of experience behind him, but it seems so natural and effortless. I always feel quite a few twinges of jealousy when watching him work. I really like the painterly look of his work. The likeness is totally there, but it is not "photographic" at all, it is very expressive and looks like handmade art -- not a photograph.

I made of few notes of some his thoughts and statements, they're below.


-Combine shapes.

-General to specific.

-By working slow, you actually work faster. A lot of painting time is fixing mistakes that could have been avoided by working more slowly and carefully.

-Careful decisions.

-If you're having too much fun, you're probably doing something wrong.

-The journey is painful.

-Paint can be so three-dimensional.

-Filberts and rounds.

-Spontaneous marks.

-Color mosaic of the face.

-Working from life when the subject is a young child is terribly difficult.

-Has had animals in the studio, using them as models -- working from life.

-Loves the interaction with the model.

-Turn the form.

-Soft edges -- everything a blur.

-I try to do everything [in terms of drawing] in the hardest way possible.

-I own more photography equipment than some professional photographers.

-Grid drawing from a photo is the abominable sin.

-I believe in the exercise (drawing).

-I like pain.

-I dread working from photos.

-Block-in -- putting it together like a puzzle.



Web Site of Jeff Hein

Blog of Jeff Hein

Hein Academy of Art