December 2006 Demonstration

The demonstrator for the December demo was John Kilroy. He demonstrated painting a portrait Alla Prima.

The meeting was held in the Guild Hall, First Congregational Church (middle side door), Sanborn Street, Reading, Wednesday December 13th, 2006 at 7:30 p.m.

Directions to the Church

We have some photographs of the event in case you could not make it there in person. You can click on any of the images on this page to view a larger version of it. Then, use the Back button on your browser to return to this page.


John started by toning the canvas to match the
general skin tone of the sitter.


He did a very quick sketch to indicate the basic
composition of the painting and then began to block
in the large areas of color.

Big Areas

Here he has blocked in the shadow on the side
of the face and most of the background.

Next stage

The large masses of color have been blocked in
and now John continues to define the masses with shadows.


The demonstration was very informal. John invited the
audience to join him on the stage, which they did.


At this stage, John has obtained a good likeness.
All that remains is to add some details to finish it.


John brightens up the background.








John Kilroy advocates working from life, capturing the essence in his revealing portraits. He will demonstrate while lecturing a type of oil painting which combines all the skills at once. The process is interesting to watch because the sensation is that it emerges out of the canvas. The overall effect comes together in the end out of a seemingly chaotic beginning. The artist will describe the complexity of the process as it unfolds. The essence of his artistic and teaching philosophy focuses on the "Live" experience, and he incorporates accuracy of perception combined with direct painting techniques. John's emphasis is on identifying the significant elements of color and structure translated through the particular media of the moment. This process was used by such artists as Sargent, Zorn, Sorolla, Fechin and others.

A professional, exhibiting fine artist for 30 years and a unique, progressive teacher of drawing, painting, design and sculpture for 15 years, John graduated from The Art Institute of Boston, where he studied with Norman Baer and Walter Marks. Early influences on John were all the great artists involved with the Famous Artists School. He studied figure and landscape painting privately for 10 years with Color Master Robert Bliss. John Kilroy is a dedicated and popular teacher. His methods reflect the strong sense of responsibility he feels to improve and pass on what he has learned from his perception, studies, work, and his artist colleagues. His works have appeared in American Artist Magazine.

Visit John's web site at http://www.johnkilroy.com/

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Last updated October 30, 2016