David Goatley, painter of lords (Lord Lang, the Baron of Monkton seen here), ladies, maharajas and ECHO Player actors is holding a two-day portrait workshop at TOSH in September. — Submitted by David Goatley

ECHO mural artist holding portrait workshop

David Goatley to share his techniques/philosophy in two-day class

The artist whose work adorns the west wall of the Village Theatre in Qualicum Beach is holding a two-day workshop at TOSH to share his experience and knowledge as a portrait artist.

David Goatley, originally trained in London, England, said at age 15, he knew he wanted to become a portrait painter.

“It was just as clear as a bell,” said Goatley. Upon visiting the National Gallery in London, work by Rembrandt, especially a self-portrait and one of an old man in an armchair, Goatley said he was “struck and moved by them.”

“I just thought, ‘that’s what I want to do with my life.’”

Despite going to art school during a time that large, abstract work was in vogue, and then working in the ad industry for some time, Goatley became a full-time painter in his mid-30s.

Having created hundreds of portraits, with subjects ranging from royalty, politicians, university heads and even ECHO Players actors, Goatley said he strives to learn and capture his subject’s character.

“You’re trying to create a living sense of the person portrayed,” he said.

“People do, you know when you paint them, they do reveal a lot about themselves, which is a privilege to share… I’m looking for the thing that expresses — the gesture, the mood, the expression — that best expresses the person I met, so that someone else looking at it afterwards can say, ‘Oh yeah, I see what they’re about. I understand that.’”

Part of the job is developing a sort of relationship with the subject either while they are sitting for the painting, or having photographs taken to use as reference.

In the upcoming workshop taking place at TOSH on Sept. 12 and 13, attendees will work from a live model, which Goatley said is important to do whenever possible.

“It’s more difficult,” he said, but added, “it develops skills that copying or working with photographs doesn’t.”

Some of the benefits include more time to get to know the subject, as well as seeing them from the perspective of the eye rather than through a lens and camera, which can distort images and provide inaccurate or incomplete colour pallets.

Another important skill the workshop will develop is working alla-prima, which means “all at once,” said Goatley. It’s the process of continuing to paint without allowing different layers of the painting to dry.

“It’s the fastest way of getting down a record of what’s in front of you,” he said, and has become an important technique in portrait painting.

But one of the most important skills Goatley hopes his students will come away with is that “likeness is contained in big shapes, not details.”

“If you’re walking down the street and you see a friend of yours approaching and they’re 200 yards away, you know it’s them.

“You recognize them and what you’re seeing at that distance is the big shapes of them — the large shadow-forms, the large shapes, their stance, their gate, the tilt of their head. You can’t, at that distance, count their eyelashes or see what colour lipstick they’ve got on. You have a feeling of them, and that’s how we recognize each other.”

The workshop will take place at TOSH on Sept. 12-13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and costs $190 for members and $250 for non-members.

For more info, go to www.theoldschoolhouse.org/ClassesOverview.html.

Just Posted

Coming to Canada ‘like a dream’

Syrian family meets volunteers, councillor after living in Parksville for one month

Parksville water project seeks new manager

City operations manager moving to new job with RDN

SOGI rally disrupts school board meeting, but business carries on

Chilliwack school board makes statement in support of B.C.-wide gender identity teaching resource

Workers evacuated due to gas smell in Parksville

Firefighters, Fortis unable to find source, and workers back to work

Qualicum Beach makes list of top places to visit in 2018

Expedia Canada surveyed 1,000 Canadians for the list

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

High-end whisky seized in B.C. bar raids

Raids end in seizures at Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver whisky joints

Train derails in Northwest B.C.

CN reports no injuries or dangerous goods involved after coal train derailment.

Double-doubles and demonstrations: Employees rally outside Tim Hortons

Protests held in response to Ontario franchise owners cutting employee benefits and breaks

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Botox, bomb shelters, and the blues: one year into Trump presidency

A look into life in Washington since Trump’s inauguration

Christopher Garnier appealing murder conviction in death of off-duty cop

Jury found Garnier guilty in December, rejecting his claim she died accidentally during rough sex

UPDATE: Police continue to seek missing Qualicum Beach woman

Oceanside RCMP requesting public assistance in locating Carmel Georgina Gilmour

Transportation watchdog must revisit air passenger obesity complaint

Canadian Transportation Agency must take new look at Gabor Lukacs’ complaint against Delta Air Lines

Most Read