We explored Rose Frantzen's insightful approach to teaching figure painting in the spring 2007 issue of Workshop magazine. Here, we offer tips from the article.
Helpful Hint: Evaluate Your Process Subjectively
Frantzen uses several methods to judge the progress of her paintings subjectively. One of the methods she used in the workshop was to set up a mirror behind her and frequently turn back to view her painting through it, which allowed her to see her work from a different perspective. She also revealed that she often compares her paintings to books and photographs of other painters’ work, especially the Old Masters’. A third method Frantzen uses is to set her work next to the television and look from a movie or cartoon to the painting, asking herself how realistic the work is.
Helpful Tip: Clean Your Palette Often
Throughout the workshop, Frantzen cleaned her palette—including the area where she had dipped her brush in the perimeter paint piles—every time the model took a break. “This way I can start fresh and am not confined to my previous mixtures,” she said. She put the leftover paint into red, blue, and yellow piles from which she made her gray mixtures. Because Frantzen likes to work wet-in-wet, and because her paintings can often take several days to complete, she tries not to leave anything in an “in-between stage” and usually places the painting overnight in her coldest room to keep it from drying.