Frank Zeller steps outside the box — again….


by Barb Parisien

At our January 17 meeting, Frank Zeller demonstrated an approach to painting figures in the style of Christopher Schink.

Frank first showed how he uses cut paper in three values – black, white and grey – to position the shapes of the figure.

Using a photo of a violin player, he stylized the form by rearranging shapes, repositioning the figure, and exaggerating movement.

Frank began applying paint by brushing cerulean (which can be lifted) over his pencil drawing, covering all but the smallest shapes. He then brushed in the larger shapes with greens, reds, and blues, overlapping colors to create some neutrals.

He concentrated on preserving large shapes in order to maintain a stylized design.

Final steps included the use of chalk to emphasize line and shape. After losing some white areas, Frank applied absorbent ground (Daniel Smith) to the face and hands to bring back the white. Finally, drawing the “straight” line representing the hairs of the violin bow, Frank commented, “Straight lines shouldn’t be perfect. They show my heartbeat.”

He cautioned artists to continually step back from the painting. Frank left us with wise words, “When I was younger I wanted to BE BEST. Now that I am older, I want to DO MY BEST.”