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About Chris Saper
Since beginning her commission portrait painting practice in 1991, Saper has completed almost 400 commissioned portraits nationally, authored two books and filmed four DVDs on portraiture. “I love the discipline of working with clients in a shared vision of the portrait to be painted. There’s a satisfying result when I can achieve beautiful skin tones, accurate likenesses, and yet still paint a lovely piece of art.”
“Over the past twenty-four years, I’ve painted nearly every day, and through a combination of painting, teaching and writing, have learned more than I’d ever dreamed possible about color. It’s glorious in every way, from the translucent skin tones of the fairest redhead, to the riotous, explosive colors of bougainvillea”, says artist Chris Saper.
Chris’s newest instructional book, Classic Portrait Painting in Oils: Keys to Mastering Diverse Skin Tones was released by North Light Books in January, 2012. She has also authored North Light Books’ Painting Beautiful Skin Tones in Color and Light (2001), For Love or Money: a Business Handbook for Portrait Painters and Mostly Monochchrome (also at www.Blurb.com ), and has been published in The Best of Portrait Painting, Artist’s Magazine, American Artist, International Artist Magazine, Pastel Artist International, and the Pastel Journal. Her work is also included in North Light Books’ Strokes of Genius: The Best of Portrait Drawing; Strokes of Genius 2: The Best of Light and Shadow; and Drawing & Painting People: The Essential Guide, also published by North Light Books.
Saper’s first two instructional DVDs , Painting Oil Portraits in Warm Light and Capturing the Beauty of Monochrome Oil Portraits were created in conjunction with www.artistsnetwork.tv , a division of North Light Books. Her latest DVDs, Painting Oil Portraits in Cool Light and Mixing Skin Tones were released in December 2011.
Saper’s passion for color and design is a natural segue into painting the opulent still life and floral work for which she is rapidly becoming known. Saper’s body of still life work has been described as lush, confident and lively.
A native of Wisconsin, she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts and a Master’s Degree in Health Care Administration. She has lived in Phoenix, AZ since 1977.
In addition to Chris’s portrait commission schedule, she is an active public speaker/painting demonstrator. She has served on the Faculty of the Portrait Society of America and has taught portraiture at the Scottsdale Artist’s School, the Mountain Artists’ Guild in Prescott, AZ, and the Connecticut Society of Portrait Artists. Saper has exhibited at the US Senate Rotunda, The Salmagundi Club and The National Arts Club in New York City, the Bennington Center for the Arts, the Tempe Arts Center and the Insight Gallery in Fredericksburg, TX.
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• Paint the four major skin color groups (Caucasian, African American, Asian, and Hispanic)
• Refine these colors into dozens of possible variations within each group
• Select your palette and mix hues for clean, beautiful colors
• Determine the color and temperature of light that falls on your subject
• Paint direct and indirect sunlight, artificial light and highlights of light
• Master the four elements that determine color in shadow
• Use photographic references when you can't paint directly from life
You'll also find seven step-by-step demonstrations and an appendix of sample color charts for each major skin type under a range of lighting variations. It's all you need to bring your portraits to life!
Mona Lisa. Girl with a Pearl Earring. Madame X. The infinite variety and beauty of humankind--like the mysteries behind sparkling eyes, a sly smile or an averted gaze--has captivated artists since the beginning of time. This expanded edition of Chris Saper's best-selling guide, Classic Portrait Painting in Oils, reveals keys for mastering how to paint beautiful portraits in oil to create soulful works of art. Through easy-to-follow lessons and expert oil painting tips and techniques, you'll find secrets for working from life, using reference photos and more to create rich, realistic portraits imbued with timeless character.
• 14 step-by-step demonstrations teach how to paint 7 diverse subjects of varying skin tones from life and from photographic reference
• Additional exercises reveal expert oil painting techniques for defining facial details, like eyes, mouths, wrinkles, facial hair and eyeglasses
• Professional tips for working from life, including ideal session times, posing, seeing and mixing color and even how to work with children
• The basics of using natural, artificial, creative and "Rembrandt" lighting to light your subject and convey a mood
• Expanded key concepts of "perfect practice," the importance of regularly painting subjects in real time and an insistence on excellent photographic reference material, including a checklist for how to take--and self-edit--your own quality photos
• New material on how to approach and execute paid commissions, including step-by-step demonstrations for painting both corporate and family subjects
Through Saper's universal techniques, painters of all skill levels will learn to render more realistic portraits of every subject they paint, with predictable and joyful results.
Chris Saper takes the mystery and guesswork out of portrait painting while leaving its joy fully intact. Continuing the exploration started in the her first book, Painting Beautiful Skin Tones with Color & Light, this sequel offers step-by-step demonstrations that cover an even wider range of ethnic groups and ages. You'll get professional advice on working from life, using reference photos, and combining the two approaches to create realistic likenesses that say something about the way you view an individual's unique beauty and character. Inside you'll find:
• A series of 14 step-by-step demonstrations of 7 diverse subjects painted from life and from photos that illustrate the advantages of each approach
• Techniques for seeing and recording accurate colors at live sittings, and retaining that accuracy when working from photographic references
• Tips on posing and lighting your subjects using both artificial and natural light sources
• Expert advice for shooting, selecting and working from reference photographs, including how to compose dynamic multiple-subject portraits
• Techniques for painting eyes, eyeglasses, mouths, wrinkles and other defining details
Though the demonstrations and examples are done in oils, Saper's techniques are universal. Regardless of your medium or skill level, the lessons inside will make painting skin colors easier, the process more enjoyable and your great results more predictable.