Monday, March 31, 2014

Figuring it out in graphite

Here are my anatomy studies from the Spring '14 term. I'm definitely going to miss the 36 hour long poses in pencil!! I had fantastic instructors and comments from fellow students while getting these done and have learnt so much on the nuances on getting the right amount of values in to suggest a halftone or shadows in light. In short, creating a believable space. Looking forward to diving deeper in the charcoal figure drawing sessions coming up next! It's gonna be messy... 

Rony seated (front)
A2, graphite

Rony seated (back)
A2, graphite

Kimber standing (back and front)
A2, graphite

Andrea (3 hour pose)
 A2, graphite

Andrea 2 (3 hour pose)
 A2, graphite

Andrea 3 (3 hour pose)
A2, graphite

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If you are interested in getting my sketchbook of short poses, Figuring Out - the long and short of it, the link is right here:

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Spring Break 2014

School's out and I'm in an outdoor landscape painting course. 

A big thanks to Tim McGuire and Joe Altwer who instructed this 5.5 day intensive course. It taught me big concepts in the art of outdoor painting with oils. Eye opening and refreshing. It was good to be painting out of the studio! :)  It was also an opportunity to be able to mingle with artists from the other schools in Florence too. We spent 2 days in the city and 3 days at Settignano to give us variation. Settignano is a small town east of Florence where Michelangelo grew up learning sculpting. Only a 15min bus ride away on the #10 from Campo di Marte, this place is worth a visit if you are not the painting type. :) There were rainy days and sunlit days. As a bonus, we were taught how to prep our wooden panels + an 'international' potluck! Yea, we had food from the Americas, Europe and Asia. 

It's really a great feeling when concepts and skills are slowly beginning to click. 

Yes, it rains a lot in Florence!

Ponte Vecchio
Oil on Canvas, 18 x 24cm

View of Firenze
Oil on Canvas, 18 x 24cm

San Martino, Ponte a Mensola
Oil on Canvas, 18 x 24cm

 Painting the Duomo from my favorite street. 

 For more photos, click here:

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Grisaille - Pisellino

I finally learnt how to paint.

The subject is a 20cm-ish plaster cast called the Pisellino, Italian for willy or 'baby penis'.  It's a torso of a somewhat fairly muscular cherub.  Definitely a humbling experience putting together all the wit I know so far for creating the illusion of 3-dimensionality on a 2D plane.  Six full weeks of intense value studies using a monochromatic system of colors. Simply meaning I only used had shades of grey on my palette for this project (also a little raw umber and a tad of burnt umber).

There were a couple of things that were introduced in this project:
1) Oil paints - getting to know them intimately as Maestro puts it
2) Mediums - Liquids containing oils, varnishes and thinner to aid the paint application process and how to handle them precisely
3) Understanding the mixing of colours
4) Learning how to apply paint on the canvas with the right amount of pressure
5) Preparing the light field of colour, or campitura to the canvas
6) Creating a efficient cleaning system to wash out the oils
7) Seeing warms and cools on a cast
And of course there's already the drawing and sight-size measuring in place. How hard can it be as the Maestro always jokingly says? :)

Maestro got me started on the project and Bruno facilitated the rest of the it. 

Final artwork - a work in progress torso (left) and a finished piece (right)
I added the other torso on the left because the dead space was just crying out for something.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sketching Tools - Winter (Gouache)

I love using gouache when I do color studies from nature.  It's more opaque than watercolor and is a lot  easier to handle when out painting during the winter months. Here's a look at my system that I carry in a bag pack when I am gouaching away.

Here's a recent study I did using the system above at the River Arno in Florence: