Saturday, December 28, 2013

An Introduction and a Beginning

Hello all,
I hope you had a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or whichever other way you choose to express well wishing at this time of year.
My name is Jason Patrick Jenkins and I am a new member of Studio Incamminati's blogging team. I am very excited to be here, both as a blogger and as a member of Studio Incamminati, where I am training in the full-time professional program.
First let me tell you a little about myself.  As a blogger, I don't tend to write articles rife with insight and profundity. However, I am an avid repurposer and sharer of hidden gems, pearls of wisdom, kernels of truth, and such, composed by other people. This may actually be the most verbose you'll ever see me, but I intend to re-post to the blog with regularity.
That being said, lets begin...

First, over the holidays, I stumbled upon a video demonstration by David Gray. Its always good to see how other artists work, and I have been following David's work for several years now. I adore his Still lifes (yes that is grammatically correct) and he does beautiful drapery and figures. I have heard many speak of how they see Vermeer in his work (and often count myself among them),  but I believe he has said his primary influence is Ingres.
Either way, check out his website here and his blog (complete with tips, techniques, and demos) here.
Also, on the topic of drapery, Stephen Early suggested to me a few weeks ago that I take a look at Da Vinci's drapery studies, as reference material for a piece of my own that I have been working on. Well, after a little google time, I actually found them all in one place, on Jeffrey Hayes' blog. I haven't been following Jeffrey's work for  long time, but I am certainly keen to see more. You can check out the Da Vinci drapery study post here and the rest of his blog here.

Finally and I'll call this it for now, Graydon Parrish recently started a new group on facebook, called the Atelier Exchange. According to Graydon:
"This group is for people who want to buy, sell and trade drawings, paintings and sculpture studies made at the various worldwide ateliers, by atelier instructors and talented friends. Works will only be slightly vetted to maintain a standard. Try to post things you are proud of, and only post one or two works at a time, so that the images are larger. Links to exhibitions are appreciated. The Atelier Exchange takes no commission and all sales are the responsibility of the artist and buyer."

I quite frankly love the idea. Especially the vetting aspect, as I have always been an advocate of the idea that a little critical feedback is good for "the industry/tradition" with regard to maintaining standards, and for individual artists and their practices, as it provides a means to gauge ones progress and continually drive one to achieve greater heights.

Check out the Atelier Exchange here, and please do let us know what you think of it. The display and sale of studies? The vetting of content? the use of social media to connect artists and buyers? Leave your thoughts in the comments. We look forward to hearing them.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Structural Drawing with Dan Thompson

Hello to all our subscribers! I'm Alexander Soukas, currently a level 2 student in the full time professional program here at Studio Incamminati. Alongside other students in the program, I will be updating you weekly on classes, events, and other happenings here at our school: every wednesday, I will be chronicling level 2's adventures in Structural Drawing of the figure. After half a semester of anatomical and planar sculpture, we have entered the life room to examine the long pose.

Last week, our fearless leader Dan Thompson guided us through the concepts and techniques of working through and interpreting the integral start of the drawing. Dan stressed the importance of staying open and designing the drawing with the use of the background and other elements as you compose the figure as a coherent whole. Dan also laid out several of his concepts for helping to "map" out the drawing, all pertaining to shape and proportion. Although anatomy and structural integrity are the cornerstone of this class, he told us to be wary of introducing that filter too early, "Don't get too human, too quickly."
(Dan Thompson demonstrating) 

(Dan Thompson's result from the morning demo) 

 With the addition of a simple shadow value, darkest dark, and average light tone, Dan demonstrated the beginning of setting up the value hierarchy in the drawing, continuing to draw and refine shapes as he went. Due to the large class size, we had two models, each with their own respective set-up. Due to travel plans for thanksgiving, I didn't manage to snap a picture of everyone's work - my apologies! More pictures to come this week of our progress. Below are student examples:

(the army of heads from previous weeks, standing before the clay eyes of Dan's Demo!) 

What are your strategies for planning out a long pose? Start the conversation! 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Advanced Figure by Stephen Early

The Advanced Figure Class was separated into three sections this year due to the amount of people attending. There were three models in the room when I entered and over twenty students diligently painting.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pen and ink drawing with Dan Thompson

Although this portion of the five-day workshop focuses on pen and ink, students also get the opportunity to learn about other traditional drawing materials including chalk, pen and metal point and pastel.

After applying a base coat of ink for a background, the students do a preliminary sketch in charcoal.

 Then, they outline and fill in the sketch with their quills and ink.

An example.

Tools of the trade.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Putting art school in perspective?

Artist Lori Woodward - via Artist - re-ignites the debate about the value of art education:

"The truth is, I learned very little of what I now know while at college. My professors did not understand or teach the basic academic principles of light, color, drawing, or edges. In one of my figure-drawing classes, I was chastised for actually drawing the model.

 Apparently, I would have gotten a better grade if I had translated the model's image into an unrecognizable abstract design. In one semester-long class, the only student who walked away with an A on her report card drew two little square boxes on a huge sheet of newsprint—I could understand this if she had drawn boxes that somehow related to the figure, but they were just a couple of poorly drawn squares."

She emphasizes she's not out to "put down the education system but to highlight the fact that we artists have opportunities to get an art education as we have never had before."

See what you think.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Apps for the Artist

Along with your Bristle Filbert #2 and Cerulean Blue, there are some nifty technological tools that can help your artistry. Smartphone and tablet  apps can help you work your way through a difficult pose or a critical color choice. Or, simply just provide some inspiration. Some are free, some have a modest price. Most are iOS universal.

Anatomy Lab
Current Version: 1.2.3
Delve into the body and look at muscular and bone structure

Poseable and Poseable Lite
Current Version: 2.0.5
$1.99 or Free for Lite
A poseable mannequin

Color Wheel RYB
Current Version: 1
A Color wheel and explanation

Color Companion-Analyzer
Version: 1.1.1
Analyze, compare, find, convert, create palettes, and more. All for Colors.

Art Authority
Version: 3.6.1
Cost: $4.99
Over 1000 Classical Paintings at your Finger Tips

Art Authority for iPad
Version: 4.8
Over 1000 Classical Paintings at your Finger Tips

John Baldessari: In Still Life
Cost: Free
Create your own Still Life with John Balderassi’s Works

The Artist (Series)
Multiple Versions
$.99 Each
Versions for Renoir, Van Gogh etc
Look at classical paintings by specific artists, read a biography, and learn about their motif.
Animal Anatomy
Version: 1.0
Cost: $1.99
The anatomy of over 1000 different animals.

Version: 2
Take a picture of your still life and then use this app to change the lighting so you can test it without actually moving all the real lights and losing what you already have.

Paint Pro Classic
Version: 1.2.1
Another palette app. Find colors in photos, by numbers or name, and then make your own palette.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Quiet Time

Our intern, Rebecca Horovitz, roamed the empty studios in the time between the regular school year and our summer workshops. It offered a chance for some intriguing photos - and a touch of poetry:

The halls of Studio Incamminati are devoid of students. The light is white and lonely.

Despite being surrounded by people outside, the building is quiet, not solemn, but respectful of the noise and rebellious in it's lack of it. Even looking out over the city I feel above the tallest buildings.

 Through into the studio the cold air differs from the outside squelching heat, preserving paint, canvas, and memories.

Moments before I felt I was the tallest being around, now looking at the easels I feel as an ant, in awe of their monolithic company and age. How many artists have they helped hold up with their wooden arms?

As I walk through ghosts look at me through their paintings. I look at each one and see the effort and love put into them. These pictures are not lonely without the students: They have each other, the easels, the paints, the smell of old brushes and new brush cleaner. 

As I walk through the halls I see art everywhere, and not just in the paintings.

I come across a lone artist like a tiger in a jungle of easels. The tiger sits staring at her prey, examines it, knows it, becomes one with it as she comes to understand what it means.

After watching the tigress and it's quarry I begin to head out, but I feel eyes staring at me.
A surprise! Hidden between the stacks, it lies perfect in its incompleteness; waiting for the new students to come and the old ones to return. It lies half out of its home, eager, and knowing that it is nearly time to begin once again.

Leaving whence I entered the monoliths line up and wish me goodbye, their creaking telling me they anticipating the new paint that will be splashed across them as they hold their cloth idols.

Studio Incamminati is waking up