Monday, July 26, 2010

Color Study and Composition for Art Educators

Days 4 and 5
Color study with a clothed model

The students begin their study with a grisaille, keeping the basic shapes simple. Instructor demo is in the center. Each color shape will begin with a strong note expressing the impact of the light. All of the same principles used in the box studies apply (see previous post).

No facial features or wrinkles in the fabric are included at this stage. The students simplify and unify the skin to one color in light, and one color in shadow, and relate the color of the skin to the rest of the colors in the environment, treating it the same as they would any other color note.
Color study as taught at Studio Incamminati is inspired by the work of Henry Hensche and Studio Incamminati founder Nelson Shanks. We work with a full color palette with includes about 22 colors.
For more information about Henry Hensche's teaching methods, check out the article at


  1. Love that you included the teacher demo. How long did each student piece take? Great colors.

  2. The longest we did were 3 hour studies. Initially we did shorter studies, maybe 3 20 minute poses, the poses increased in length. I wanted the students to have a chance to block in their first main color statements, and have enough time to adjust the colors, correcting them, in a second pass. Its hard to get to the second pass when you don't have much time, but students seem to break into small shapes too quickly without really adjusting the main masses in a second pass when they have too much time .