Wednesday, March 26, 2014

NYC and Some Recent Reading

Hey Everyone,
I hope you all are doing well, and enjoying lengthening days.
If you have the opportunity to get to NYC between now and April, you should get to the Met. That is how long Bouguereaus's Nymphs and Satyr (seen above) will be there on loan from the Clark Art Institute (which is undergoing renovations). I managed to go see it a couple of weeks ago (I actually got to the Empire State building, Grand Central Station, Times Square, The Frick and The MET all in one day. My first time in NYC, and a whirlwind of surgical proportions I assure you), and was in awe before it. Not to mention all the other spectacular works whose company it is currently in.
Otherwise, I thought I'd share a few interesting articles I've read recently.
Firstly a couple of pieces that I thought were steeped in a bit more gravitas.
Today I came upon this piece by Roger Scruton, (who I first discovered in his documantary, "Why Beauty Matters" and who is a Keynote Speaker at TRAC2014). Not everyone is in agreement with Mr. Scruton's work, and I've heard him come under critical fire, but I am a fan.
I also recently read this Keynote address given by Fred Ross of the Art Renewal Center, at the Connecticut Society of Portrait Artists, where our very own Nelson Shanks was being honored.
This piece from Brandon Kralik over at The Huffington Post also caught my interest.
On a lighter note, not that long ago I found this gem. And a few days ago, I found this one. I think it was shared on the Atelier Movement Group on facebook, but don't quote me on that.
In other news, I hope you all got your submissions sent in for the Portrait Society of America's International Competition. The deadline was on March 4th and sent mine in just in time. As you all know Kerry Dunn won last years with his piece "Toto and I", and I'm looking forward to see what dazzling pieces are chosen by the judges this year.
Well, thats it for now. I'll leave you with Kerry's prize winning piece.
Till next time,
Jason P. Jenkins

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Light Key Color Study with Dan Thompson

Due to technical difficulties, I come to you 2 weeks late with an update on Level 2 and 3's class with Dan Thompson. My apologies!!!

This blog entry is an account of our first day into Light key color study. Dan started with a very thorough, 3 hour lecture and discussion on Henry Hensche and the tradition and lineage of colorist  methodology in painting. Here at Studio Incamminati, we inherit a tradition of a colored approach to seeing from our founder Nelson Shanks.  Nelson studied briefly with Henry Hensche, but was profoundly influenced by his ideas and teachings on color study which are an integral part of our program and curriculum.

After lunch, Dan demonstrated the process of a color study. Color study is a way of arriving at an understanding of color by stating and properly relating the colors of various masses to one another. By disregarding highly refined drawing (aided by the use of a palette knife) the artist makes a series of color 'notes', or guesses, at the color of each shadow and light mass of the subject. These initially garish and chromatic statements are an attempt at capturing "the shock of the light" or what Hensche called the "light key," the correct arrangement of colored relationships that will give the sensation of the light condition the subject is bathed in, in this case, artificial light. Unlike tonal painting where a local color is chosen for each object and is lightened or darkened to describe its form with black or white, colorist painting seeks to also describe the 'color of the light' whether it's the warm orangey glow of a halogen bulb, or the cool and ambient blue of natural light. Disassociating the color of the light from the local color of an object is the great fun and struggle of color study.

Dan's initial drawing

Dan's First pass

Dan's final pass

Dan's palette - note how separate and clean his piles are
Carolyn Gabbe
Alexander Soukas
Nell O'Leary
Christopher Nixon

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Still Life Drawing Class, Level One, Part Three

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

We had three days to work on our drawings although the first day was spent doing four thumbnail sketches of various compositions, horizontal, vertical, cropped and all inclusive.

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.

As artists, sometimes we start with a story about the objects before we compose our picture and sometimes the story evolves as we think about the condition of our set up.

Here is Wendy Wagner 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. 

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

Here is Jason Jenkins finished study of the still life.

Some of the objects were truly simple.

After composing the thumbnails four times, a wonderful wonderful drawing usually happened.

Here is my finished study of the still life.  About half way through the drawing I had a story in my mind about these objects and the condition of their arrangement.  I call this drawing "Habitat" now, because it makes me think of a middle class condition of life.

Here is David Clark's finished study of the still life.

Dan Thompson: Composition and Light Key Figure Painting

Dan Thompson: Composition and Light Key Figure Painting

Since my last update, Level II and III students started a new semester with Dan Thompson, "Composition and Light Key Figure Painting." Dan gave a very informative lecture this morning on Edgar Payne and Henry Poore's ideas and writings on composition and design. In the afternoon, we had the atypical and fun pleasure of having two set-ups to paint from, both multi-figure compositions. Each model stand had extensive drapery and props for us to work with, giving us the opportunity in  graphite, charcoal, or oil paint, to create a balanced and compelling composition. Do you do any preparatory studies for compositions such as these? Let us know

Happy painting,
-Alexander Soukas
Christopher Nixon
Alexander Soukas (value study and "notan" study) 
Nell O'Leary
Daryl Burkhard
Barbara Zanelli
Lis Dembling
Shira Friedman
Mitsuno Reedy
Dian Paramita
Jared Fisher
Hayley Owens