aux quatre crayon

Portraits: From Pencil to Drawing with a Brush

I'm teaching another 4 week portrait workshop at Caballero Studio in SE Portland starting in April. We're going to continue our focus on structure and likeness with a greater emphasis on smaller forms and details. The drawing studies will be longer and we'll move from color temperature drawing ( Aux Quatre Crayon ) to drawing with a brush using thin applications of oil paint in monochrome using just one or two colors.

I greatly enjoy the transparent monochrome approach because it's an open method that's very forgiving and somewhat akin to watercolor. Thin washes of color are applied over the white of the canvas to create the image. Darks and mid-tones can be rubbed out if they get too dark or the paint too heavy.  The image stays malleable throughout the painting session.

Using a minimum of materials transparent monochrome oil painting is also a great way to practice brush handling and transition from drawing to opaque or alla prima painting.

Two artists who paint transparent monochromes as finished paintings are Aaron Westerberg and Richard Schmid. Here are examples of their work. >>>

For more info about the upcoming portrait workshop and the next open house at Caballero Studio please click below:

I'm excited to announce that I'll be teaching at                  Pacific Northwest College of Art for their continuing education program.   Stop by on First Thursday! Their newly renovated Beaux Arts Building has been the talk of the town.

I will also be spring quarter at teaching figure drawing/anatomy and portrait painting on Monday's at Multnomah Art Center.

Sara, portrait sketch in oil by EF

PNCA Commons, Beaux Arts meets Modern.







Portrait Drawing Inside & Out

I’m teaching at Lisa Caballero's lovely studio at Towne Storage on SE 3rd and Ankeny. Whatever your style Portrait Drawing Inside & Out will help give your drawings more depth and capture the spirit of your sitter. Good for painters too! 

Lisa is also teaching So You Think You Can’t Draw. It’s a fun class for anyone starting out or wanting to refresh their understanding of drawing fundamentals. Highly recommended!

If you have questions feel free to email me. Or, if you wish to go ahead and register please contact lisa. More info below.

life drawing by EF
Portrait Drawing Inside & Out  Learn the fundamentals of portrait draftsmanship with an emphasis on gesture, structure and anatomy. Understand facial character by understanding key landmarks, basic structure and the unique shapes that create a likeness of the model. Artists will also learn how to give a three-dimensional quality to their drawing by understanding how light affects the forms on the face. Drawings will be done in pencil, charcoal and aux quatre crayon ( 4 colors ) on toned paper.
Work in a professional studio with great lighting and vantage points for drawing the model. The small class size is ideal for all drawing levels and for painters wishing to advance their craft.
Dates: Wednesday’s from 6:30pm - 9pm, Feb. 25th - March 18th. ( 4 sessions ) Tuition: $130 
To register visit:
Location: Caballero Studio is at Towne Storage - SE 3rd Ave and Ankeny

Aux Quatre Crayon? See my blog post here.

Aux Quatre Crayon - Drawing Children

One way I strive to get better at painting is to practice drawing. Besides the versatility of being able to use different materials, I can experiment with working fast or slow, try new techniques and unlike painting, it's ready to go. One drawing approach I enjoy is I aux quatre crayon. In french it means using only four colors: white, red, brown and black. Typically it's drawn with pastels, conte crayon or charcoal on toned paper. I was inspired to to do this after looking at drawings by Peter Paul Rubens.  His masterful use of just 4 colors makes a drawing really come to life and is a great way to explore the idea of saying a lot with a little. Below is an example of his work:

Nicholas by Peter Paul Reubens. An example of aux quatre crayon ( white, red, brown & black ).

Nicholas by Peter Paul Reubens. An example of aux quatre crayon ( white, red, brown & black ).

Another great way to improve that is tried and true is to copy the work of master artists. With this in mind I practiced aux quatre crayon by translating a painting of the great english portraitist Henry Raeburn.

After Henry Raeburn, aux quatre crayon by Eduardo Fernandez.

After Henry Raeburn, aux quatre crayon by Eduardo Fernandez.

Another example:

After Henry Raeburn by Eduardo Fernandez

After Henry Raeburn by Eduardo Fernandez

Later I used pastel pencils to create this portrait of my honorary nephew Henry for my friends Susan and Joe. Whether drawing or painting, my goal is to present my subject in their best light and to bring pleasure to those who commissioned the work. Each medium, painting or drawing, informs the other and I find this greatly rewarding.

Portrait of Henry, aux quatre crayon by Eduardo Fernandez

Portrait of Henry, aux quatre crayon by Eduardo Fernandez