That’s right. I was taking pictures of pictures of pictures in Antoine Williams’ Painting I class this last Wednesday. Initially, I was told that the Painting I students had been assigned to appropriate a classical portrait. This means changing the face of the subject in the portrait to be their own. Pretty cool, right? When I walked into the classroom though, there was already a team of photographers there. Apparently word got around that it was an exciting morning to be in the Painting I.
The photographers had been hired by the admissions department at Guilford to take pictures of current students, as a way to represent Guilford and advertise to prospective students. They set up a nice scene for me to shoot.
Truth be told, it got much more interesting after the photographers left. That’s when everyone pulled out costumes and backdrops to set the scene of their portrait. Students had chosen portraits ranging from artists such as Frida Kahlo to Caravaggio. It was a dynamic and creative set up and most definitely a collaborative arrangement. One student would pose while other students dolled them up—arranging their hair and clothes to look just right. Then, as one or two people held lights, someone would hold the original image for reference while another person took the picture. Check out the process!
The Painting I students will be working on creating their own portraits with this material over the weekend. For guidance on this assignment, Antoine finished up class with a lecture on mixing paint to make different skin tones. He used examples from Chuck Close‘s work, which I encourage you to check out as well. Even I learned something: all skin tones start by mixing the color orange.
What a way to perk up a rainy Wednesday morning!