Learning from the Swiss Masters

A few years ago, I came across the work of Ferdinand Hodler and Cuno Amiet, and fell in love with the way they used color in their portraits.

As a fan of Vincent van Gogh, I love the idea of putting swatches of color around a painting, even on the face! If you like that sort of thing too, then you should probably check out the artists I mentioned above…both Swiss artists and both very skilled in their art.


For the last two years, I have taken the amazing online class by Kara Bullock, Let’s Face It, all about painting portraits. Every week, we have a new class lesson. This year, each lesson focuses on an artist of the past. Recently, Ferdinand Hodler was our master of the week, and I couldn’t wait to play around with his style.

As always, with these “study the masters” lessons, I do research on the artist ahead of time, look at their patterns and the way they lay down the paint, and try to incorporate something of their style, into my own. I found a reference photo of a woman (with long hair) with her hand on her shoulder, and I decided to use that pose, for this Hodler lesson. I added some of Hodler’s favorite colors, and a few of my own. Veering from the modern reference photo, I decided to paint her hair with a more vintage style.

I really love this finished portrait. I think her eyes, and her stance, speak volumes.

Portrait of Suzanne – 11 x 14 inch acrylic on stretched canvas Available now, in my Etsy shop, ArtcyLucy.


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