Monday, October 18, 2010

Charcoal Portrait

This was my second charcoal portrait class working on this portrait. I would still like to work one more class on this one. I feel like I could take this portrait further. As in the head we sculpted this weekend, I tried to keep in mind the modeling of the head. I tried to see the side planes and the planes of the nose and mouth area.
It was nice to have a male model for a change. He was easy to draw with his strong features. The model is Craig Amaral and can be reached at for modelling.

Impressionist Painting Class

Today we did an outdoor color study of a still-life. The idea was to have the colors relate to each other in such a way that there is a convincing impression of bright sunlight and shade. I tried to pick one color note for each color mass for example, I tried to find one color to represent the table in light and the table in shadow... the bowl in light and the bowl in shadow both for the inside and the outside of the bowl. Once these colors work well together to describe the outdoor light, subtle colors can be added to better describe how the light varies in these masses. I am told that this is the opposite of how the old Impressionist master such as Monet would work. They would build up little impressions of light and build up the masses with them. We build the masses first and them model them with subtle impressions of color. John Ebersberger is my teacher for this class and his beautiful Impressionist paintings can be seen on his website. Just click on his name to follow the link.

Planes of the Head

This is one of the main reasons that I came to study in Annapolis. I wanted to understand the planes of the human head better so that I could have a better understanding to my approach of portraits. This is the result of three days of study and work. When the life size heads were completed we started smaller models just to go over one more time the basic structure of the head. I loved this class and even though it was a grooling three days 9 AM to 4PM I was sad when it was over. I would recommend my instructor, Rick Casali, to anyone who wants to learn human anatomy for artists. The last photo show Rick with the remains of the day!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I am starting to understand charcoal a little bit. Here are the most recent class studies. I am learning how to approach it and I am also starting to appreciate its properties.

Still, I always feel that I would like to finish it if I was given the time. Class is only a few hours and the time flies by.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pastel Portrait Class

I started a pastel portrait today in class. We worked on them for about 2 hours out of the three hour class. working from the live models is the best way to go. I still am trying to figure out how the pastels work and I am forever thinking of how it would be easier in oils but then I would not be learning pastels! We will have two more classes to work from this model. she is much more beautiful in real life and I hope to try to capture a little of that before I am done. All of these starts are good for me but I would like to make a finished work. That will come in time.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Charcoal Portrait Class

I think that charcoal is nice to work with in the way that you can move it around and change it easily so in that way it is similar to oils. We had a model named Craig and we also had a female model. I don't often get the chance to have a man sit for me so I chose the man. Rick Casali, our teacher, walked us through the process. We are half way through and he has asked the same models to come back next Monday so that we can finish them. I had just started working on the shading so it will be good to have Craig sit for us again.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Today was a day for studying the back of a statue or two.

In figure painting class we started out with a statue. We will have a live model next week! First we used charcoal to study the subject, then we removed almost all the charcoal leaving a ghost image. Then we painted the light and dark of the back ground and the light and dark of the object. That is how we are to start the live figure model, too. It was fun and I learned a lot but the three hours went by like 15 minutes! It was so fast! I wished that I had more time to work on it but it was great anyway.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Getting the Basics!

I am studying in Annapolis. Being basically self taught, I feel that I have a lot of gaps in my art education. I decided to fill them in! Here are a few examples of what my studies look like.

This block study is from drawing class. My teacher, Andree Tullier is great at teaching the tools needed to draw freehand. We measure angles and distances with a straight thin stick or paintbrush handle. With these blocks we also studied tones using a six tone scale that we placed on the edge of our drawings.

In figure drawing, we are learning to look "inside" the body for the rib cage and pelvis. We try to find the "long lines" and we observe the slant of the shoulders, mid-section and hips. We learn to look at the flow of the human body because it truly is amazing the way the muscles flow together.

In Pastel Portraiture we are learning about the planes of the head and how to describe these in pastel. This class is very difficult for me because I have very little experience with pastels. They are very messy and wonderful in the way that their colors just jump out. I think once I learn how to handle the medium, I will love creating pastel portraits. This portrait is about half way done. I hope that the model can sit for me again.