Wednesday, May 29, 2013

All About Bargue 2

I'm nearing the end of my 2nd bargue. I've worked out a simple method to know when I'm done. It's as easy as when I think I'm done, add 2 more weeks. Because I thought I was going to be done last week, I should finish it this week of early next. Strange, but it's true.

The buzz word these few weeks has been "SUBTLE". The bargues are painful to do, but they really sharpen the eyes good! I'm noticing gradually improvements in my other classes/ projects too. All because of the Bargues... and maybe homework.

Back to the drawing board!

Here's plotting out all the major points at the initial stage using a string to measure. This one took forever!

This is neat.  Schoolmate Sue is working on her level 3 Bargue. Incidentally, we are both doing horses.

After all the darks were put in, I started on the big form modeling. As the name implies, I only focus on the volumes of the big shapes. 

This is me working on the bargue on a rainy Saturday afternoon. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Écorché 2

All good things must come to and end (besides tendons). My two week long écorché class with Jason Arkles is done. My take home is a general overview of the entire muscle and bone structure for the human body and which parts are important for an artist or sculptor. If you are ever in Florence and need to understand the human anatomy or take a bunch of classes on sculpting, be sure to pop by Jason's studio.  He's awesome! 

Inside Jason's studio

It's really not what you think. A demonstration on flexors and extensors.

The last class of the year. All of us wear glasses and grow a beard. 

Thanks, Kadin, for the photo!

My finished écorché.  There's Anni to the back right.

Did you say nude?

This story is too funny not to be included here...

This is my first portrait here in Florence, and it kind of happened accidentally. After school, we had an extra short-pose session, the model came in and sits on the stage fully garbed. When he realised it was supposed be a nude pose, there was a moment of silence... Poor fellow. We all settled for a portrait session.

Graphite, 60 min.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sculptures at Montevachi

Quite a handful of us went to Il Cassero per la scultura today. It's a museum situated in a town called Montevarchi, about 50km southeast of Florence. It's one of the many, many small getaway towns that's spacious, quiet, have wide side walks... :) 

A hundred over sculptures by various artists sit inside the building waiting for hungry artists to come draw. I found myself drawn mostly to sculptor Michelangelo Monte. What more can I say? Let's doodle!! 

Sculptor Michelangelo Monte's finest piece.

A sketch from one of my favourite piece by sculptor Pietro Guerri.

Pieces here were by sculptor Michelangelo Monte.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Something to bargue about

Sue is working on a level 3 barge, and I, a level 2. I had this photo taken as there aren't many horse bargues lying around, and not everyday do you get to see to brgue horses side by side.  Yeeee Hawww!  This is work in progress as I continue to grasp the concept of Big Form Modelling.

I had a long day.  I missed the entire morning of figure drawing as I had my appointment with the police regarding my stay and the parterre concerning my residency.  I got to school around 1.30pm, just in time for a quick lunch and then my bargue session. When I was done at 5.15pm, I got some cappuccino and went back for my surface anatomy class which I had to cut short because of another extra class I take with Jason Arkles. That ended at 9.01pm today. Yes, a long one. But my point for this post is to tell everyone that after 5.5 weeks here, I am a resident of Florence. :)  So surreal!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

I run man

I decided to treat myself to a movie yesterday after a make-up class at school. The only movie screening was Iron Man 3 at Odeon.  Hey, I'm not complaining. :)  When I was at the ticketing booth, the lady at the counter said to me, "3 Euros." And I saw a sign that said all movies at 3Euros until May 19.  It's the film festival here in Florence. Days like these, it make you so sure that you're suppose to be at a certain place  at a certain time. 

While waiting for the movie to begin, I saw a Twizy...

This is inside the cinema at Odeon.  Next time I come here, I make sure I come earlier so I can sketch it.  It's part of Palazzo dello Strozzino was built in 1922. This cinema brings me back to a once upon a time where noise is echoed because of the acoustics hitting the dome at the top of main hall. Also at half time, the movie goes into a transmission for about 10 minutes for the changeover to take place behind where the two-reel projector is. Nostalgically cool!!! :D

Thursday, May 9, 2013


My extra night classes on écorché (air-kor-shay) just began at Studio della Statua. It's taught by master sculptor Jason Arkles.  These classes are of great help in understanding Anatomy.    
Why anatomy?  The understanding of the nuts and bolts of it will help any artist or sculptor know how to apply the human figure on a canvas or modelling one out of clay.

Tonight we began working on the head. Besides osteology and myology, I'm learning Latin. It's a load of jargon, but in time I will digest it with wisdom.

Here's putting on some plasticine on a skull to understand the human head muscles.

Behind me is Jason showing me a muscle or two about the human head.

During the Renaissance in Italy, around the 1450 to 1600, the rebirth of classical Greek and Roman characteristics in art led to the studies of the human anatomy. Many painters and artists documented and even performed the dissections themselves by taking careful observations of the human body. Among them were Leonardo Da Vinci and Andreae Vesalius, two of the most influential artists in anatomical illustrations.

An écorché (air-kor-shay) is a figure drawn, painted, or sculpted showing the muscles of the body without skin. 

- Wikipedia

Monday, May 6, 2013

Sketchwalk continues...

Yeahhhhhh! Saturdays are fun! After a morning session at school, I'd meet up with my school mates and we go venture into the city to sketch.  Our little group just started this, and it's picking up fast. It's definitely a great way to relax and draw something else.  Here's celebrating my first month in Florence! Salute! 

3rd official sketchwalk at the Rose Garden, Florence.

Here's another piece from Saturday's Sketchwalk of the Duomo from the Rose Gardens here in Florence. Fine panoramic views from up here.

The Palazzo della Signoria, better known as the Palazzo Vecchio is one of the most impressive townhalls in Florence. This Romanesque fortess-palace was built in 1299. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Is your perspective right?

I've been sketching daily from live models daily.  This is a privilege.  Being here is a privilege.  Something I am truly grateful for.  It's a lot of work, but it's well worth it! How do you paint like Michelangelo in 3 years?  You work hard and smart.

Many of my friends back home have told me how envious they are of my travels, and would comment all the time how lucky I am to be moving around all the time. But to put things in perspective, for every fun exciting journey, there's always so much from the other side of the coin that is conveniently hidden.
My answer to the closer friends of mine is, "Are you willing to give up everything?" I dropped all that I have to come to Florence. I don't have anything left in Singapore.  Also there was a great amount push away from my hometown, from every bank I approached for a loan, to being able to rent my room to finance my school, lodging, meals, etc.  From every grant foundation or government organisation issuing scholarship grants, to the entire art scene in Singapore. (Yea, boy it's big!)  I'm glad I'm here now.

I leave this post with a quick 30min study on Labour Day (May 1) I did from my extra surface anatomy class of the pelvic area. Have a great weekend.  I know I will!  :)

Graphite on Paper