Drawing as a Mindfulness Practice and More: Day 3 of Realism Live 2023

Enjoy a recap of Day 3 of the 4th Annual Realism Live, an unforgettable event for artists of all levels of painting in a realistic style. Realism Live is a virtual art conference that recently took place – catch the replays at RealismLive.com.

Highlights from Day 3 of Realism Live

Figurative artist Patricia Watwood gave us a lesson on drawing as a mindfulness practice, which she says she uses “to help nurture my individual voice, develop some calm and focus in this really hectic world, and use drawing as a way to continually renew my commitment to my creative path.”

Patricia's lesson came from what she learned and developed as she worked on her new book, "The Path of Drawing: Lessons for Everyday Creativity and Mindfulness."
Patricia’s lesson came from what she learned and developed as she worked on her new book, “The Path of Drawing: Lessons for Everyday Creativity and Mindfulness.”

Composition is the first thing that Jove Wang considers when he begins a figurative or portrait painting. In his demo, he painted a side-profile portrait from a reference photo with considerations on the size, shapes of the image, and brushstrokes to control unity.

Jove Wang demonstrating a portrait at Realism Live
Jove Wang demonstrating a portrait

Nanci France Vaz is both an artist and a storyteller through her portrait paintings. Her demo was titled “Imagine” and focused on creating an illusion of reality for the “imaginative portrait.” Nanci used a photo reference of her model, who is a singer/songwriter on the road. Their intention was “bohemian spirit,” inspired by Nanci’s current solo show at Dacia Gallery (NYC).

Left: Detail of the painting; Right: Photo reference
Left: Detail of Nanci’s painting; Right: Photo reference

In one of the highlights of this year’s Realism Live, Peter Trippi had an on-camera conversation with Burt Silverman on his approach to art making. Burt shared insights on how his early life influenced his body of work, which he felt was an important preface to how he approaches subjects such as the nude figure.

Burt Silverman at Realism Live

Mark Shasha painted a coastal scene, demonstrating how to paint light realistically as it moves across the landscape. His session also included guidance on creating texture (Hint: He uses a sea sponge in some areas for this), values, and color.

From Mark Shasha's landscape painting session
From Mark Shasha’s landscape painting session

For our last how-to session in Realism Live 2023, Cornelia Hernes led us through the three major stages in portrait painting: the foundation, the intermediate (including resolving proportion issues), and the final / refining stage, where you only make tweaks even though it also has its challenges.

Cornelia Hernes's demo and palette
Cornelia Hernes’s demo, palette, and photo reference

“I think when I look back on Realism Live from the future I will say that it was THE pivotal life-changing event in my art career. Thank you Eric, Peter, and all the artists that gave so much of themselves, and of course a big thanks to all behind the scenes who made this ALL possible!” – Patricia Gray

View more highlights from Realism Live 2023 here, and be sure to join us for the next incredible online art conference, Watercolor Live!

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