Friday, May 29, 2015

Form Painting with Steve Early and Darren Kingsley

By Lynn Snyder
Level Two Student

Over the course of several weeks, Darren and Steve demoed black-and-white figure painting. These photos show how the figure evolved over that time.  

The method is a process of seeing.  Seeing the early information intuitively, then looking for what you know, followed by seeing the subtle changes that need to occur based on what you know about the behavior of light.  We are learning to paint the light effects as a result of the space displaced by the model and the model acting as a light source interacting with the local color.  

Everything is form based, always creating volume with regard to form and anatomy.  The goal of the demo was to use the full value range while calibrating those values more effectively and looking for a greater level of accuracy.  To turn form, it's necessary to paint the small facets of value in compressed areas.  

Our class enjoyed the demo as well as teachers and students from other levels who watched.  

Darren's Demo

Steve's Demo

Monday, May 11, 2015

The last days in the life

of a Level Two student
By Wendy Wagner

Hello. This post finishes my series on the daily instruction of Level Two. We are at the end of my week and also nearing the end of my second year. Wow, it has passed by quickly. 

Since September, the format of our Thursdays and Fridays has been this: Steve Early instructs us in black/white painting on Thursday while Darren Kingsley continues the pose on Friday morning. 

On Friday afternoons, we make the switch to graphite. In the fall, Darren took us through cast drawing. This semester, we have been drawing the long pose (long pose was addressed in my Feb 2015 post).

In the beginning of this semester, Steve and Darren did a side-by-side demo over the course of four mornings. A few weeks ago, they returned to the same pose and finished the demo (which will be discussed in depth on another post). 
Today we are on the second week of our painting. Steve and Darren said they would push us for the final weeks of class, and they were not kidding. 

9 a.m. We pick up on the pose that began last week. Our model is reclining, with her legs folded to the left while her torso is facing slightly towards the right. Whoa. Not only do we need to gauge the value range, but we have the challenge of the twisted anatomy. 

10 a.m. Steve makes his way across the room to tell us how to adjust when it has been a week, and the pose seems to have shifted slightly.  At my easel, Steve reminds me to check the centerline, and the bony landmarks. The pose  is not as different from last time as I originally thought. Shadows, both form and cast, will need to be adjusted and the landmarks match up to what is there this week. Whew!
I hear him say this to others down the line. 

Noon: Lunch. Since spring weather is finally here, a few of us decide to grab lunch at a local place. 

12:45 p.m. We continue the afternoon on our own, as Steve instructs in the adjacent Level Four studio. 

3:45 p.m. Class ends. I'm not going to lie - it's a tiring day. We leave the painting on the easel to be ready to continue with Darren in the morning. 

Friday morning:
9 a.m. - noon: Class resumes with the pose from the previous day. Darren makes his way around the room, giving his perspective on modifications to be made. At this point, we should be finished with the drawing aspect, and working on adjusting the values of the model to the floor and background.

With each pose, our homework is to print out a photo of our painting in progress. Adding a piece of vellum on top, we are to draw the muscles of the figure in an attempt to correct what we have, and also to gain a better understanding of anatomy. Examples of overlays in progress are below.

noon: lunch

12:20 p.m. On Friday's, the artist studios are open, so we eat quickly to take advantage of this. 

Not only do we get to tour the open studios of the instructors, we also get to see progress of Level Three students (doing their mentorship paintings inside the instructors' studios) AND we get to check the new works of Level Four students in their private spaces. 

It is a peek into our futures as upper-level students and professional painters. I love seeing the works in progress as they all really do use the methods in which we are being taught, but in their own unique ways. 

Now you know the daily routine of year two. Have I enticed you want to apply yet?

Homework: overlays in progress

Friday, May 1, 2015

Chad Fisher's ecorche workshop

by Chris Brizzard
Level One student

During spring break, I had the chance to take Chad Fisher’s ecorche workshop. This was a wonderful introduction to sculpting the figure, as so many of the structural aspects of the figure that I have been curious about became real, three -dimensional forms. Over the course of the week, we built 36-inch tall figures, starting from a basic wire armature.

Chad Fisher building his figure

The basic forms of the figure

One thing Chad stressed continually throughout the week was the idea of anatomical rhythms and how they flow through the figure. Edouard Lanteri’s Modelling and Sculpting the Human Figure is one of the few books to address this idea, and it is paramount to giving forms life and vitality. As Lanteri said, “You might trace such lines ad infinitum. I only mention a few, feeling certain that, if a student has once grasped this principle, s/he will find many others by him/herself.”

Lanteri rhythms

More Lanteri rhythms

Another idea Chad introduced was that of radiating lines and how they can be used to control forms. This is similar to using vanishing points in perspective drawing.

Example of how radiating lines control the form

This workshop was invaluable because sculpting the forms with your bare hands has a tactile quality that can’t be replicated on a two-dimensional surface. It also raised my awareness of forms on the figure because no amount of looking at a 2-D drawing of an anatomical form can compare with actually making it in three-dimensional space. One idea that came to mind during the course of the week was how much this workshop fits into what we learn at Studio Incamminati because when you look at the figure (or any subject matter) PLANE CHANGE = VALUE CHANGE = COLOR CHANGE.  I would like to take this workshop again so that I can start sculpting on my own to further enhance my drawing and painting skills.