Portrait Society Convention

I'm in Atlanta, Georgia as a guest of the 15th annual convention of the Portrait Society of America. 

The gathering started off Thursday with the dramatic "Face-off" event, where 15 leading alla-prima portrait painters broke into five groupings of three artists. Each set of three painted from a costumed model for two and a half hour session. 

I sat behind Jeffrey Hein and David Kassan and sketched them as they worked.

Here are the paintings they produced. Out of the fifteen contestants, Jeffrey was chosen as the winner by popular vote. His painting, above left, was both technically excellent, and full of feeling. 

He will do a demo on stage this morning, and I will be sketching him as he works. 

I also watched Mary Whyte and Michael Shane Neal demoing side by side from the same model, Mary in watercolor and Shane in oil. They had a relaxed banter going as they worked. 

A split-screen video projected the work in progress onto large screens throughout the ballroom, which was attended by about 500 people.

I gave a new talk called "Portable Portraits: Sketching People in the Wild," about my encounters as I sketch random people in public. 

I'm having a great time here, meeting wonderful people, and learning a lot. There are attendees and faculty here from all over the USA and Canada, and from many other countries.
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