Today I went to day one of a national portrait convention: The Art of the Portrait Conference. I’ve been to a lot of comic conventions but never an art one. So far, it’s been fantastic! I spent a bit more than planed on phenomenal products and learning tools in the artist manufacturers room and dvds area. But boy is it worth every penny. The National Portrait Society really went all out. Aside from manufacturers, there were art schools represented. I am very impressed with the convention. First of all they have a who’s who of portrait greats. Tonight’s big draw was the Face-off. Fifteen of the great portrait artists around the country were all competing against one another in one ballroom. Just fantastic!!! What an extraordinary opportunity to walk around and watch the way these greats think, approach the palette, apply their paint and the way they progress through the process of an hour and a half portrait. I circled the room for the entire face-off and frankly there were no similarities in anyones working style. It was astounding to see how different they were from one another in every way. The best part, aside from watching the process, and eyeing peoples palettes, was being a part of such a great group of people who were all as excited as I was. I particularly signed up for this for the opportunity to study the process of Anthony Ryder. He runs a great art school out West. Just watching him work was a treat. Also, I had a blast seeing Robert Liberace work. He’s just fantastic and has helped me tremendously. I can’t recommend him enough. Tonight is a down and dirty sketch of him working made a little tighter. Once again I would love to revisit this on a day when I actually have time. I would do it very differently with more time. Can’t wait for tomorrow!!!