Friday, February 28, 2014

This month we started a new approach to still life.  We kept our set ups simple.

We knew we would have three days to work on this particular charcoal drawing.  We spent the first day working out the composition in four thumbnails sketches.

Here is Linda Denin's finished study of the still life.

Here is Hope La Salle's finished study of the still life.

Here is Lynn Snyder's finished study of the still life.

Here is Dale Longstreth's finished study of the still life.

We used but three objects and drapery, and spent more time adjusting the light.

Some of the objects were truly simple.

As artists, we ought to start with a story about the objects before we compose our picture but sometimes the story evolves as we think about the condition of the set ups.  Our four thumbnail sketches helped us find various compositions, horizontal, vertical, cropped and all inclusive.

Here is Wendy Campbell's finished study of the still life.

Here is Paul Worley's finished study of the still life.

Here is Angelique Benrahou's finished study of the still life.

The drawing of a still life is usually much more beautiful than the actual still life.  This is because we interpret the gravity and the light as it appeals to our senses.

We used but three objects and drapery, and spent more time adjusting the light.

Here is Kathleen Moore's finished study of the still life.

Here is jason Jenkin's finished study of the still life.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Angelique Benrahou's Art School Confidential

Hey there, my name is Angelique Benrahou, but you can call me Angie. This is part one of my series on my experiences through different art programs.

I have wanted to be an artist for as long as I could remember. Wait, I wanted to be a bus driver in kindergarten, but that probably doesn't count. I was fortunate to be able to attend several summer programs throughout my teen-age years: Fleisher Memorial, Moore College of Art, University of the Arts and Tyler School of Art. I enjoyed the environments for the few weeks I was there surrounded by people who shared similar interests. When I became a senior in high school I made a huge decision that separated me from the other 98 kids in my graduating class; I wanted to go to Art School. 

It was very different from applying to other liberal art schools, it involved creating a portfolio tailored to each specific school and also preview my desired focus in art. I researched a lot and read about the three types of general art institutions out there. Little did I know I would be attending all three types later in my college career! Those will be in later posts. 
I decided to go to University of the Arts, with a scholarship, one of the best illustration programs in the country and it also being in my hometown of Philadelphia, PA, it was an overwhelming "YES!". 

I enjoyed my first year and a half there, having room to experiment with different approaches, mediums and target market assignments:(book covers, poster, fairy tale illustrations). However through out my many hours of critiques I kept hearing a pattern of suggested improvements, boiling down to technical skills. The literal representation of life on paper, my ideas were great, that you couldn't teach was said, but the fineness of my hand was in question. 

As the weeks went on I searched the library for art books, the internet and professional artists' blogs. I decided firsthand to visit an art convention in science fiction and fantasy art, IlluXcon. I was blown away by all the technical skills flowing out of the doors, that this was the level of professionalism that needed to be reached. 

I knew that with a year and a half left of art school to go, I would not make it to that level with my current program. With many advising me not to, I left University of the Arts, with no plan in mind, just the visions of where I wanted to be and knowing that there must be a way, if not,I was going to make one. 

To be continued . . .

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Level One Still Life Set Ups, Part Two

For my blog on Studio Incamminati, I would like to continue with the subject of our still life drawing class, level one.  These pictures were taken at the end of our first semester, in December, 2013.
Here, our instructor, Katya Held, is giving us a group critique in front of the still life and at our easel.

Our still life set ups look very different depending on which angle they are seen from.  When we set them up, we make sure they look good from four or five different views.  We spend time adjusting the light, which is fixed to a boom on a sturdy light stand. 

We always start with a thumbnail sketch to block in the basic value relationships.  The thumbnail is kept simple, done in five values.  In this picture, you can see student Jason Jenkins continually comparing his thumbnail to his larger drawing and his larger drawing to the actual still life in front of him.

Student Jason Jenkins' drawing after two days.

From a slightly different angle, Anna Sang Justice’s drawing after two days.

Student Lynn Snyder's view and composition after two days.

From across the room, and a very different view of the still life, student Dale Longstreth's drawing 
after two days.

Our group had a still life life that was completely different, but it looked good from various angles.

One of the biggest decisions is whether the composition will look better vertical or horizontal.

I drew two thumbnails from this angle before I decided I wanted to compose it in a vertical format.

Student Mark Pullen got a rather oblique view of the skull and composed it elegantly.  From his angle there was a significant effect of light.

You can see from student Wendy Wagner Campbell’s drawing, that the still life was made up of many elements that were the same in range of values, with only two white and one black.

My favorite was this view of the set up that student Hope La Salle had.  Hope has kept her five values consistent throughout the drawing.

I’ll end here with a bit of writing by John Henry Fuseli (1741 - 1825) Swiss, on composition, because it  has everything to do with making pictures. 

“COMPOSITION, in its stricter sense, is the dresser of invention, it superintends the disposition of materials.  Composition has physical and moral elements: those are
     perspective - unity
     light - propriety
     shade - perspecuity

Without unity it cannot span its subject.
Without propriety it cannot tell the story.
Without perspecuity it clouds the fact with confusion, destitute of light and shade it misses the effect, and heedless of perspective it cannot find a place”  Fuseli

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Your Workshop Needs, Mattelson on Black, and Rob Goodman's Yell

Hey out there,
Jason Jenkins here to share a few more interesting items with you.

First off, I was reading Underpaintings blog  by Matthew Innis recently (which is brilliant and I highly recommend) and I came upon a schedule of upcoming workshops. I was very pleased to see our own Natalie Italiano, Dan Thompson, Lea Colie Wight and Kerry Dunn Listed amongst them, as well as Studio Incamminati's Daniel Sprick Workshop and those of many other artists I hold in high regard from outside Studio Incamminati. Be sure to check this out to meet your workshop needs.

Next I recently read an article regarding the often taboo use of black in painting by Marvin Mattelson on his blog Brush Aside. As usual Marvin is well spoken and doesn't hold back on sharing his thoughts. I found it a very interesting read and I hope you do too.

Lastly I would like to congratulate and spread the word regarding the recent opening of Yell Gallery by Studio Incamminati alumni and teacher, Rob Goodman. According the website, Yell is an arts and performance space located in North Philly. So if you are in the Philly area, get your submissions in. As stated on the website, "A thorough but brief description of your proposed show along with relevant images and accompanying details should be sent to" 
According to google, there are a lot of Robert Goodmans out there, but this is the one of which I speak.

Anyway, thats it for now,
Jason Jenkins