Sunday, August 24, 2014

Train of Thoughts

One more month of before the Fall term begins. How quick! But good that there's still time to sketch and travel around the vicinity.  My sketchwalk this past week or so has taken me to the nearby train stations. There I am able to study both tourists and all that goes on behind the scenes like  people waiting in line, delays, ticketing, scrambling of feet to catch train, long goodbye kisses... . All abroad!! 

Santa Maria Novella Basilica with the main train station of Florence (with the same name) in the background
30cm x 40cm, ink on Fabriano

Track 15 and 16 inside Santa Maria Novella train station 
30cm x 40cm, ink on Fabriano 

 View from track 3 of the Campo di Marte Train Station
30cm x 40cm, ink on Fabriano 

Inside one of the coaches of the regional train heading south (study)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

CGA meets AAA

I am indeed very grateful for having the privilege to study under Colleen Barry from the Grand Central Academy, New York.  She ran the last workshop at the Angel Academy of Art this summer: Drawing the Human Figure. A private benefactor and a couple sketches and prints sold allowed me to take this one of a kind opportunity here in Florence. I'm spilling the beans now...

After a year of studying the human figure in graphite and charcoal in the traditional 'less is more' French academic method, it is time to push the boundaries a little to see where I can advance to in the next phase of drawing.  The answer is clear and simple.

I journey back 200 years to the time of the Renaissance when drawings were not formularised and were a lot freer.  Where forms were pushed a little more in context of the overall drawing. Michelangelo understood this technique very well.  It's being able to add a little more of what's inside of the artist to produce a looser and yet aesthetically sound drawing.

The height of the figure is 60cm.

Fabriano Hot Press toned paper is very forgiving. 
The Col-erase pencil by Prisma also allows more control over the values than the regular 2B graphite. 

Sketching in the gesture after a quick thumbnail. 

A skeletal structure can help in understanding the forms of the figure. 

And voila!! 

Having a Creme al Caffe with Colleen at the end of the session to beat the summer heat! 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Breathe Summer

I took a break from Florence and went for an adventure north of Italy and the southeastern part of France. My first stop was in Turin. I spent a night there and had enough time to visit the Cathedral believed to house the Holy Shroud, and the informative Cinema Museum. Turin after all, was the first Italian city to have brought in the moving pictures from France. After spending the morning sketching the open air market, it was time to head to Grenoble via Bla Bla Car. 

I spent 6 days in Grenoble with my schoolmates painting, eating, painting, eating and painting and eating. Not to mention sleep. Grenoble is trapped between 3 enormous mountain ranges: Chartreuse, Belledonne and Vercors. This creates ample opportunity to paint landscapes. But it rained for 3.5 days leaving very little time to paint outdoors. So we stayed indoors to paint. 

The Grenoble Museum is home to many great art pieces which made that visit exceptionally worth the while! :) Among my favourites are the room exhibiting works from the 17th, 18th band 19th century. And some of the beautiful displays includes works from Delacroix, Ingres and Rubens. There were many other works from artists like Guétal, Baader & Champaigne who are unheard of but own works of exceptional quality.  An Art Jam or Rencontre Artistique was organised by a local artist, Flore Henocque,  and we were invited to mingle with fellow artists: musicians, painters, illustrators, writers, photographers, etc.  Grenoble is a small city compared to Paris, but for its size, I think the art scene is pretty good. :) 

Finally, the journey home to Florence via Milan. And the most unexpected thing was to be able to see The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci at the Cenacolo Viciano.  Usually, during the summer, one has to book a week in advance, but all I did was to ask if there was any cancelled bookings.  And voilà !

Looking forward to see what other surprises this summer has for me. :)

Duomo of Torino

Chartreuse from Coublevie 
A4, ink on Moleskine watercolour paper

Spending time studying some horses in Claix

I sliced my paper palette in half lengthwise for this particular plein air session - very compact

Marius, watercolour 18cm x 23cm

Art Jam AA#8, Grenoble
A4, ink on Moleskine watercolour paper

Cenacolo Viciano, Milano
A4, ink on Moleskine watercolour paper