The Classical Approach To Figure Painting In Oil

Patricia Watwood is an American figurative painter. Watwood’s paintings explore transformative narratives and mythological archetypes using the human figure. Her oil paintings show traditional methods and a technical rigor that balance perception and conceptual design. Her most common subject matter is the nude, particularly women, in images that convey the sacred feminine. Watwood has exhibited at galleries and institutions worldwide such as Hirschl & Adler and The Forbes Galleries in NYC, The New Britain Museum of American Art, The Butler Museum, and the Bruce Museum. In 2012-2013, her work was viewed in China in an historic presentation of American painting, Contemporary American Realism, which toured six cities including Beijing and Shanghai. Watwood’s solo museum exhibit, Patricia Watwood: Myths & Individuals was on view in two venues in 2011-2012: St. Louis University Museum of Art, and The Forbes Galleries, NYC. Watwood’s paintings are in private and public collections internationally, such as The New Britain Museum of American Art, Harvard University, St. Louis City Hall, Weill-Cornell Medical College, St. Louis University Museum of Art, and Culver Academy. Her paintings have been included in anthologies of contemporary figurative art, like “Naked: The Nude in America,” by Bram Dijkstra, “The Figure: Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture Contemporary Perspectives,” by Margaret McCann, and “The Figurative Artist’s Handbook,” by Robert Zeller.

Watwood has earned many awards, including the Elizabeth Greensheilds Foundation Grant; International Portrait Competition Honor Award (2011) PSof A; First Place in the Members Only Competition “Outside the Box” (2016) PSof A; The James Amster Award from the National Arts Club; and recognition as a Art Renewal Center “Living Master,” and ARC finalist and honor awards in their annual salons.

Born and raised in St. Louis (1971), she lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and daughters.

9:30 A.M.-4:30 P.M.
All Levels Welcome

#308/Peltonen Studio, 3rd Floor
Gage Capitol Hill

  • 2 8×10 canvas panels (pre-gessoed)
  • 1 pre-prepared linen canvas (acrylic or oil ground ok) 18 x 24 up to 20 x 24
  • Paint
    • Gamblin FastMatte Alkyd Oil Colors—Titanium white 37ml
    • White (Gamblin Flake White Replacement)
    • Radiant Yellow – (Gamblin) or Brilliant Yellow
    • Yellow Ochre
    • Italian orange ochre (Williamsburg)
    • Cadmium red light (Gamblin)
    • Venetian Red
    • Burnt sienna (Michael Harding or Gamblin)
    • Raw umber (Gamblin)
    • Viridian (Gamblin)
    • Ultramarine Blue (Gamblin)
    • Manganese violet (Gamblin)
    • Ivory Black (Gamblin)
  • Optional additional colors:
    • Gamblin FastMatte Alkyd Oil Colors in Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue
    • Brilliant pink (Holbein)
    • Cinnabar Green (Holbein)
    • Kings blue (Williamsburg, or Michael Harding)
  • Brushes:
    • 2 larger bristle long filberts size 8-12,(i.e. Rosemary Brushes Ultimate Filbert, size 12)
    • 1 badger fan brush, medium size or other soft mop/fan brush
    • 2-3 white nylon filberts from ranging in size from 2-8, (ie.Rosemary Brushes Ivory Long Filbert size 6)
    • 1 white nylon round size 2 (small and pointy)
    • 3-4 gold nylon or sable brushes in filberts (i.e. Rosemary Eclipse Longer Filbert size 10)
    • 1 small sable or gold nylon round size 4, (i.e Rosemary Series 99 Pure Sable size 4) (small and pointy)
  • Palette (mine is a “Feather’s Touch” 10 x 14 wooden handheld)
  • Palette knife, like Loew Cornell J-12
  • Medium aluminum palette cup- or empty 2-4 oz jar
  • Brush tank, like a Silicoil or mason jar with lid
  • Paper towels and at least one painting rag (old t-shirt!)
  • Odorless mineral spirits, like Gamsol (recommended)
  • Stand oil- (small bottle)
In this 5-day workshop, American figurative artist Patricia Watwood will teach the steps she uses in painting a model from life. Watwood is a leading figure in the contemporary classical movement. Her subject matter is the figure, most commonly the nude, and uses allegory and mythology, often with contemporary urban settings. Her compositions unite a classical aesthetic with a modern sensibility.
The early part of the workshop will focus on strategies for composition, design and creativity, including creating a thumbnail sketch. The model will take a week-long pose: students will set up the drawing on the canvas, create an under-painting in a limited palette, and make a detailed finish with a final pass in full color. Demos will help you master the subtleties of warm and cool relationships and color in skin tones. The overall theme of the week is learning the simple strategies you can use to create complex figurative artwork. We will explore with props and design how to inspire creative figurative work that is “outside the studio” and limited only by your imagination.

In 2011-2012 St. Louis University Museum of Art, and The Forbes Galleries hosted Watwood’s solo museum exhibit, Patricia Watwood: Myths & Individuals.