Thursday, November 8, 2012


Yesterday, at the monthly meeting of the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society (GCWS), our guest artist/speaker was Taylor Bush.  Taylor is a member and everyone who has ever seen her lovely, lyrical portraits of young women has been enchanted.  She talked and demonstrated how she gets that look with her portraits and the pigments she uses (many staining and all transparent pigments).  It was a wonderful demo and Taylor had worked hard to give us a step-by-step of her process, drawing and painting (in various stages) several versions of her portait for the day! 

She had a number of handouts for us, giving us information about the colors she uses and the mixes she uses to get her "shadow colors", which she uses to structure the face while looking at black and white photos of her subjects.

It was obvious, while watching her, that Taylor has spent many years perfecting her technique and knows a lot about facial structure.  She shared so much good information with us and it was a pleasure to watch her work.

She even talked about how she lights her subjects, taking many photographs to get the ones she wants to use for a portrait.  So much good information on photographing portrait subjects that I will have to ask her to return to give a program on lighting and photographing our subjects!

Taylor paints in a pale, high key style and glazes a lot of shadow colors for the "bones" of the portrait before she ever does a first "skin wash" that brings the portrait alive before you eyes!  Truly an exceptional artist who has a signature style that is very appealing, Taylor is now doing portraits amid flowers and art deco style shapes that knocked our socks off when she brought them for critique at a meeting this year.

If you are interested in painting portraits, you should add Taylor's DVDs to your library.  She sells through Amazon and here is the link to view and purchase one (or more) of her DVDs:
Or you can search for Taylor Bush Portraits and they will come up.


jgr said...

Rhonda, thank you for this great info!! I'm going now to check out the link.

Watercolors by Susan Roper said...

How fun that you got to see her demo. I have so enjoyed her DVDs I purchased probably five years ago and attribute any skills that I have in portraiture to her wonderful DVDs. I will always remember, now, to use staining colors for the shading underneath the skin tones so they don't lift later. That was a breakthrough for me.

Debbie Nolan said...

Rhonda - this was a great are so right Taylor's portraits our outstanding. It would be so interesting to watch her paint...thanks for sharing. Have a happy day.

Mick Carney said...

It would be good to hear some of the detail as to pigments and mixes to complete this fascinating report.

Carol Blackburn said...

Very interesting Rhonda, thanks.

CrimsonLeaves said...

I love how much information you bring your readers, Rhonda. This was a lovely post.

RH Carpenter said...

So glad you enjoyed a peak at Taylors work and her style of painting, Jane, Debbie, Mick, Carol and Sherry. Susan, I remember when I sent a lot of people to her site to buy her DVDs back when she was selling them herself - they are worth viewing again and again :)
Mick, I didn't feel comfortable sharing all her techniques and materials but can tell you that she uses a lot of what she calls "Shadow Colors" in blues and violets and apricot and warm rosy beige, and she uses these colors:
Perylene Maroon, French Ultramarine, Ultramarine Violet, and New Gamboge to make those various shadow colors. Most of her pigments are from Winsor Newton.