Jennifer Balkan shares little-known ways to a lifetime of portraits you can be proud of. Learn how in this special message from one of our sponsors.
How to Paint Portraits
The masters had it figured out. There is something elegant about certain paintings.
While some paintings we see are colorful and garish, paintings by the greatest masters are tasteful and elegant, yet still feel very colorful.
Ever stare at the masters and wonder how they got such elegance in their paintings?
Sometimes you can look at them for hours and still not figure it out.
It seems like some of the great masters get the exact right color for the shadow side of a portrait or the glow of a cheek. Even the shadows are filled with rich, subtle, vibrating color.
And the light side has the feel of brilliant light without being over the top. And to top it off, everything is in harmony.
But figuring it out on your own isn’t all that easy. Some of us have spent a lifetime in search of the technique that will make elegant, richly colored, yet tasteful paintings.
We spend time squeezing paint out of endless tubes, trying to get that elegant vibrating color, yet we end up frustrated because all that experimentation hasn’t given us the look we want.
But we love color!
Let’s face it … we’re addicted to paint! We love to go to the paint aisle and try what’s new, right? There are so many paint tubes shouting, “Try me!” “No, try me!”
Yet once you figure it out, there is nothing more satisfying than nailing it.
It’s one of those moments where you throw your hands in the air, do a little leap of joy, and shout, “Yes!!” because finally, after all this time, you figured it out.
It turns out that LESS is MORE!
Now you can send your dozens of paint tubes on a vacation, or save them for a mad experiment.
Which color and what mix are going to create the perfect color harmony effect?
Well, that’s the question a passionate young artist pondered as she studied the masters. Yet she could not find anyone who knew. So she toiled endlessly for years to figure it out.
Artist Jennifer Balkan has found the solution, and she wants to share it with you. In fact, Jennifer wants to save others all the time she spent figuring out how to create such wonderful paintings. So much so that she co-founded an art school. And not just any art school, but a classically based atelier (workshop of the artist), and the first in America founded by four women artists. And that school is a phenomenon.
Bringing Her Passion to You
We fell in love with Jennifer’s work and her passion for art and teaching. And, knowing not everyone can pack up and move to Austin, Texas, to attend Atelier Dojo, we knew we had to bring Jennifer to our studio to create a video for you.
In this premium art instruction video, Jennifer enthusiastically shows you how to mix any color, any value, and any temperature with the most basic of limited color palettes.
Follow Jennifer’s lead and mix all the colors you can imagine with her palette made up of just four colors — yes, you read that right … just four colors!
Frankly, there are lots of artists who paint with four colors. That’s pretty cool. But there’s a lot more to this story. You see, you still have to know how to express those colors to get that look of elegance in your paintings.
Liven Up the Color and Elegance in Your Portraits
Jennifer’s obvious love for color comes through in all of her paintings. And you’ll find yourself loving color more than ever when you see her portrait demonstration of Woman in Red.
She shows you how to boost what you see in subjects to liven them up with color more vibrant than is actually there, while making your paintings have that feel of taste and elegance. This is a perfect solution if you have struggled to add more life and taste to your portraits.
Blending Without Blending
Taking a lesson from the Impressionists, Jennifer uses the broken color technique of placing contrasting colors next to one another to achieve optical blending. This technique is not about blending paint, but about blending colors in your mind. She shows you how to get this vivid effect with mixes from just the four primary colors: red, yellow, and blue, plus white.
Want to Add Color Harmony to Your Paintings?
Everyone wants that, right? If they know what’s good for their paintings, they do! Well, Jennifer’s color mixing method makes harmonizing your color easier than ever. Because when you mix all the colors of the spectrum from a primary color palette, harmony is a natural outcome. Whether you are digging deep into shadows to find just the right glow, or brushing on highlights, this technique fosters harmony.
This Video Is About Much More Than Color
The basics of portrait painting begin with understanding the importance of good drawing, proportions, and composition. Jennifer walks you through how to focus on abstract value patterns to build the foundation for a great portrait.
Her underpainting process sets up the even more exciting stage of applying glorious colors. Mastering these processes will give you the skills you need to freely apply brushstrokes with vigor and confidence!
Seeing Is Believing. But Not Always.
Ever work on a painting for a long time and then take a break, step back, and be surprised at what you see? Happens to all of us. Jennifer teaches you how to consistently view your painting with fresh eyes, and how that remarkably shows you where adjustments need to be made.
Another beneficial “seeing technique” she describes is simple, yet something most artists don’t know how to do. You’ll be surprised at what she reveals about how this one technique simplifies what you see when you paint.
Likeness Versus Creating a Good Painting — Which Is the Priority?
Ever see paintings with a good likeness that feel stiff and lifeless … paintings that do not capture the personality of the subject?
The goal of every portrait is to capture the likeness and character of the subject. Jennifer helps you understand that precise likeness may not be so important after all (who knew?!).
Portraying the character of the individual may come through in other ways. When you have a sitter who can’t sit still, she explains that capturing the personality and character can still come through in gesture and attitude. Jennifer will show you how she captures her model’s personality.
How Many Artists Do You Know Who Hold a PhD? Why Studying With Jennifer Will Inspire You.
Jennifer is a successful contemporary portrait and figurative painter living in Austin, Texas. She holds a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin and has studied at numerous art schools, all the while trying to figure things out on her own. She has exhibited regionally, nationally, and internationally, and has received numerous recognition awards.
She has been teaching small private groups how to paint portraits in her studio since 2007. Jennifer loves being able to impart what she has learned through study and practice to enthusiastic and inspired artists. And, as we mentioned, in 2018 she co-founded Atelier Dojo, a realist art academy in Austin.
As a master artist and experienced teacher, Jennifer has a methodical teaching style that is easy to follow. She shares great detail about her processes in a relaxed and friendly manner that holds your interest throughout her excellent presentation and demonstration portrait.
Important things you’ll learn from this video:
- Explode four colors of paint into a zillion colors
- Warm it up or cool it down — color temperature isn’t as hard as you think
- Blend without blending. Jennifer shows you how to blend optically!
- Jewel colors — a magical four-color palette to enhance your portraits
- Some say, “Likeness rules.” Some say, “Not so much.” We’ve got an answer for you!
- Simple abstract value patterns — the best way to ensure a great portrait!
- Enhance, don’t replicate. Portrait painting is not photography!
- The tools you can use to see your painting differently
- Help nature along with more color — Jennifer’s got the recipe
- The Impressionists knew a thing or two about color — now you’ll know too!
- Broken color is not broken at all, it’s the secret to vibrant flesh tones
- Behind every good painting is a good underpainting — see why!
- How do you paint something black without black paint — revealed here!
- Form shadows versus cast shadows — the difference may surprise you!
- Most importantly, give your colorful paintings taste and elegance!
- …And much, much more.
Study with Jennifer Balkan and Discover the Joys of Limited Palette Portrait Painting
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Order now and you’ll have our no-hassle guarantee. Try out Jennifer’s very orderly processes and techniques, and if you find this just isn’t a good match, call Sue in our customer service department within 30 days of your purchase. She’ll provide your choice of an exchange or give you a prompt refund for every penny you paid. Best of all, she’ll make sure we remain friends!