November 29, 2015

Drawing 1 - Final class

Yet another sad day when my Drawing 1 class comes to a close. This was my best class to date and I'm sad to see my little blossoming artists go, but hopefully they keep up their practice by drawing often.
For the final class I like to revisit the assignment after the first class, a self portrait. I quickly do a demo that encapsulates everything we covered in the past 9 sessions and bring it all together as an effective system to do a final self portrait, in class, so in about 2 hrs and a bit.
They are observing in mirrors for the most part so they start with a strong vertical axis and find comparative measurements to construct the general layout and shape. I am a bit of a stickler for proper proportions at first in order to help learn proper observation and translation onto the page.
Drawing is freeing. You can work in many medias and use many techniques. You can tone the paper and use the eraser to draw lines in light as you would with charcoal for darks. Allowing you to really sculpt the portrait like clay, only as a flat 2D image on paper.

Once the general look is right, some begin putting in their values. Afterward we have a quick critique comparing their first drawings in the class to their last drawings and comment on their observations and improvements during the course. Here are some of the works in no particular order.

You can see that in 10 short classes one can really take it to the limit with drawing!  If you are interested in classes I have more coming up in the winter, including a "life drawing" course at ACAD int he evening, so you'll get instruction and time to make marks based on live models! 

November 26, 2015

Master Painting final class 7

I am really sad to see this class come to completion. I hope next time its offered it is 10 weeks instead of 7. Below are just a few of the many great works my students worked on. I gave a demo on varnishing and gold guilding and added in some contemporary techniques like making and using stencils.
We went up the the 5th floor ACAD spray booth and put on a coat of Golden Archival UV protection varnish which really brought the colors back out on Anne Marie's study of a Velazquez portrait of the pope.
I demoed adding a semi-translucent burnt umber layer over top the grisaille work on the hair to show what the next step can do to really make colors and further paint application pop!
Here some colour stain has been added to the grisaille master copy and it is already starting to have that wonderful glow that so many masterpieces have.
David's portrait of his mom far exceeded the expectations I had for the class in the time given. All the students who had perfect attendance for the 7 short classes really applied the teachings and process in the course I designed, to great effect. They deserve to be very proud for setting the bar high and for creating such high quality works in my class. Amazing, well done class!

November 22, 2015

Another successful oil sampler Sunday at Swinton's

This Sunday I was lucky enough to have a full class of enthusiastic oil sampler participants at Swinton's Art Supply and Instruction. Dont forget to read my article on their website about the creative process here:

First I do a little overview of the materials, methods and general concepts. Followed by a colour mixing demo and then I let them get messy and feel the buttery creaminess that is oil paint. Check out their works made in a a short period of time we had in the class.
Now that was an impressive and effective sampler class. Every time I teach it seems to get better and better, just like every time you paint your paintings get better and better.

Practice, practice, practice.

November 19, 2015

Master class and more . . .

I have a bunch of classes quickly coming to an end this semester and a stack of comissions and new works started in the studio.
I drew up a bunch of skulls and intend on filling them in to varying degrees in order to show the stages of the Venetian and Flemish painting methods.
This skull is copied from a painting titled S. Girolamo Penitente by Bartolomeo Di Giovanni.
 I had a little help in my Life drawing class from "Bucky" (Aka. Alex, according to Menika), who may be the skinniest model I've ever worked with but casts a nice shadow.
We had remembrance day off so I had my painting students still paint and what they brought back definitely impressed. These two pieces of his granddaughter were done with two different methods. Grisaille technique on the left and direct application on the right.
I did a deep and thorough lecture and demo on oil paint mediums, glazes and scumbling at the start of the class and here we can see some of that knowledge being applied to her canvases.
Look at those delicious fruits, they look good enough to eat.
Anne Marie's Velazquez copy is the most sophisticated and developed of all the works I've seen her create so far. Great job in honing her very loose painting style for the purpose of this class. High five!

November 15, 2015

Passed this years fundraising goal!!!

15 more days to go. It takes a lot to make it so. Especially your support.

I'd like to thank all those who supported my campaign insofar. Francesca Michel, Greg Ferchau and family, Crystal Montgomery, Benjamin Salloun, Teegan Genereux & Ray Kruger. See how far I'll go for a good cause. It's totally embarASSING, be forewarned, there is male butt nudity in the video, you've been warned.

See more and donate below.

November 8, 2015

Support Movember!

this is my second year having a campaign for Movember.  Check out my video post below and go to

November 5, 2015

More mastery in paint

Was in costco and found this treasure for $50. I had hoped eventually I would find a source which had everything I saw while in Italy in one place, lo and behold, here it is, a massive hardcover text in a folio box, a must have for anyone who loves this era of master works, frescos and paintings!
 I huffed many a heavy text book and supply up the hill for my class. I'm too cheap to pay $11 for ACAD parking so I climb the hill wiht all my syuff panting by the time I reach the top.
This is Sues third painting ever and she is starting to see how important the role of values play in her application of acrylic colour. She is one of a few students not using oil in the class.
I am really proud of the students progress in so far. we are just over half way in our 7 week long studies and their pieces are developing wonderfully.
Blocking in the major hues on a painting whose source is a black and white photo.
Hes got his two pieces developing nicely and since he owns a printer at home he has great colour and tonal references that he has promised to give me as a teaching aid for future courses I give. So sweet.
Mixing up some peachy apricot colours in rich creamy oil. She decided to add some other elements to balance out the overall composition.
The granddaughter portraits are coming along. Now begins more fat over lean. We don't have class on remembrance Day next week, but following I will be giving may a recipe for mixes and glazes.
Final blocking in of the portrait with direct application. By nest session the artists should be well on their way to completion of their pieces and begin working in details etc with fatty paint and a thinner brush. I will be giving a glazing and gold leafing demonstration along with notes about the materials they can use as they approach finishing their paintings.