February 24, 2015

Oil Sampler this Sunday at Swintons

I've given away all my Sundays, not to church, but to the temple of art at Swinton's and I love it.  There is no other place I'd rather be that within the walls of the studio praising creativity.
I lay out everything we need and begin the session with an overview of the entire process and the materials etc before beginning the demos.
Just as in the studio, I like to start the session with a good half an hour setting up the palette. Here the students have a chance to experience the feel and properties of the material by mixing colour wheels as well as tints and tones. This is where the fun really begins. Oil can be sticky and takes some time to get used to its wonderfully creamy properties.
We plan out our compositions then block in with big brushes the large areas of colour. I like how this sampler students piece looks already, good start and great tones on the support surface.
More detail and smaller brushes are used as the piece develops. Pretty good for 3 hrs, with demos, lectures and a store tour, how to clean up etc. If you are interested in trying out oil or acrylic with me sign up at Swinton's today! The next one is Acrylic happening Sunday, March 1st, 12:30 -3:30 pm. Click here for to sign up.

Shiva Sketch

First I start with a very loose sketch my trusty mechanical pencil. My goal is to get a general placement of the elements, I really don't worry about any details at they point.
To expedite the sketching process, I go straight into the ink with my copic multi-liners.
I hit the areas I know will be in full shadow and draw in some of the more complicated patterns and details.
I further refine elements and feel at this point that I want to knock the background out.
I filled in the sheet with Golden high fluid Acrylic gold. I love this stuff it has great reflective properties and a nice warm gold tone. I left the sketch at this point but I think I may refine it further int he future when inspiration arises.

February 15, 2015

A little sampling

Every few Sundays I get the chance to introduce fledgling creators to new materials at Swintons through their samplers. It is a great joy to have a group of people who have never painted come in and 3 hrs. later they have a solid foundation and walk out having painted their first piece.
This particular class we focused on Acrylic paints. Swintons provides everything you need to get started, even gloves if you want. Lol.  She put on that blue super heavy,  she took my oil sampler last week and wanted to see how the two mediums contrast and compare.
Each participant gets to choose their own subject, we have a large box of examples to choose from or you can bring in your own. At least I don't scare them away from art by making it a class type assignment like shading a ball or painting the ol' trusty pear.
This looks like a fun palette to work with. Some work on an easel others on the table. Whatever works.
This participant had experience in watercolour and I really like her command of the colours in a very rich medium. Its hard to believe sometimes that these are not well seasoned painters.
This floral painting turned out really beautifully, and just in time for Valentines day!

February 13, 2015

Shaded skulls on toned paper

There is no light, only dark and light.
In my Drawing 1 class shut down the overhead lights, to see new forms emerge in by the use of shadows. I set up some still life skulls so we could experiment with mark making to bring out the visual form.
I demoed how to see the shadows and light relationships by big form modelling the values. We worked on our paper which we toned by rubbing in powdered charcoal.
I placed the display items in front of my rich burgundy bed sheets to help establish a middle value from the get go.
Here you can see by focusing on the dark shapes and building from there the form emerges as if coming right off of the drawing paper.
Evrey drawer should practice these types of exercises and realize the importance of how we actually se and how we can translate that into drawing with out hands.
Without relying on line, simplified shapes of light and dark relate the form and its proportions convincingly and with great beauty. This is where art begins to happen.
Here the artist is not only contrasting the dark and light value she sees, but also how the material is soft or coarse on the drawing surface.
These students two drawings are tackled with their own individual touch and technique for two convincing yet individual takes not eh subject matter.
What do you see and how will you push and pull this image from the papers surface?
By the end of the class we turn don't he lights and had a look around the room at what everybody accomplished. I was very proud and very happy to see the work the entire class completed by the end of our time together.

February 9, 2015

This time I'm a student

I'm taking a figure drawing course at ACAD instructed by Carl White. I figured it is a good idea to devote more time to the practice and being enrolled for a certain time frame really helps, plus there is a live model in each session.
 Working on large format newsprint experimenting with the mark making I can do with my tools.
 Starting up can be a little awkward. The poses are fast so you need to look as long as you can and then work quick.
The idea Carl presses is in the minimum marks being made and to let go. Harder for me since I am used to draw with line.
Here I use a bit more tonality in the form as a starting point, a core I work out from and attempt to capture the feeling of the gesture.
Here I tried to use even less line work and to experiment with the use of the side of the charcoal to create differing values. The figure in the middle is an attempt to express upward the reach the model presented.
 Here things were once again falling into my outlining and getting out of this pattern is desirable to really discover new ways to make a drawing.
 Working quickly really helps this. In one drawing there is only the shading and no line describing what I perceive as the edge of the form, yet there is no line in life and no real edge, that is just an illusion.
By loosening up and forgetting about proportion or drafting techniques I am changing the way i create the gesture.
 Now I'm starting to use less to communicate more. In the top one there is no line where the light is brightest. I use a dark pulled away from the body to give it more form.
 This looks very soft and works for me as a quick descriptive gestural representation of our model.
 Here I get to focus a bit more on the nuances of the muscles tone in her back.
I feel that this one was the most successful in "letting go" and really has some nice mark making within it. So I figure now I'm finally warmed up and getting it.
I had more time to develop my final drawing of the session, I am very happy with hour it developed. It is just past the point of not being simple enough and could use a bit more work, that or I went to far. I  attempt to express my intention to celebrate of the beauty of the female form.

February 1, 2015

Life does not sit still

This Drawing 1 course, I taught the students about observation and proportion. We first used our eyes then skewers for measuring the still lives we set up. I  demonstrated finding relationships, using an imaginary horizontal and vertical axis to begin the composition.
I st up my hat and orange and showed the sight size method, and also how to use it to double the size of measurements to enlarge the picture. These were done very quickly to give the students an idea of the objective and lots of time to tackle their assignment.
Here is Daisy's initial set up before corrections and further development. This is a very rational and exacting method to develop a realistic representational still life drawing.
 The students made me very proud as they all did very well finding and observing those things in the drawings that help them to become more skilled at the craft. I am certain the majority have never worked in this way before and that this new knowledge will be extremely valuable in their artistic practice.
Once the proportions are set and the objects drawn in, they can begin working with their value and shading which wee will go into more depth with during next weeks class. After class i rushed over to the Forest Lawn Library where I taught a 2 hr. flip book making workshop to kids.
The day after a late night of hockey and fun with the boys, I taught an oil painting sampler at Swinton's. We did a colour wheel and I did a quick demo on this piece of palette paper, how to do a variety of things with the tools and materials.
I then quickly blocked in this painting to demonstrate the laying down of oil colour.  The paint that represents the trunk was put on thickly, all with the same large brushes. I moved around the classroom as they began their first paintings.
I revisited it with a smaller round 0 brush, wet in wet to add some more detailed branches and leaves.  Every time I paint I am reminded about the incredible happiness the challenge of applying sticky goop with a stick that has hairs on the end of it to a piece of primed canvas, brings me. That my friends is in essence what I love most about painting, its simplicity brings infinite challenges and possibilities.