Observed Anatomy

anatomy overlay drawing
Figure study, graphite on paper, 50cm x 70cm

Several times a year, I have the pleasure to teach figure drawing and artistic anatomy to the beginning and intermediate students at Charles Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy.

A competent knowledge of human anatomy is fundamental for successfully incorporating the figure into one’s work.  My personal approach to teaching this is simultaneously develop observation skills while familiarize the to student with underlying structure through the creation of graphic overlays.

The class begins with a drawing is created over a series of sessions from a model.  Once the drawings are at a certain level overlays of the skeleton and muscle groups are created.  In addition to the model, a skeleton and Paul Richer’s Artistic Anatomy aid the  student in the development of work.

The images above and below are the examples I created during the class.

 

anatomy overlay skeleton
Overlay of the skeleton, graphite on tracing paper, 50cm x 70cm

 

anatomy overlay muscles
Overlay of the major muscle groups, colored pencil and chalk on tracing paper, 50cm x 70cm 

 

 

 

Sanguine Drawing Workshop at the Oak Park Art League

Oak Park Art League
Oak Park Art League

My workshop on sanguine drawing at the Oak Park Art League was a great experience.  The class was full of enthusiastic, talented artists curious about the possibilities of traditional sanquine chalk as a drawing material.

I began the workshop with a short history and explanation of sanguine chalk as well as a demonstration on how to prepare the drawing sticks.

Preparing the sanguine
Preparing the sanguine
Rolling the stick
Rolling the stick

Afterwords we used the natural sanguine to draw from the nude for a couple of hours.  Varying techiques and applications were explored.  Below is a photo from the workshop.  I am really looking foward to doing another class in the future.

Workshop in action. Photo courtesy of Matt Baron
Workshop in action. Photo courtesy of Matt Baron

A previous post on sanguine drawing can be found here.  The following photos are a couple examples of my sanguine work:

Back study, sanguine on paper, 20cm x 30xm
Back study, sanguine on paper, 20cm x 30xm
Crouched female, sanguine on paper, 20cm x 30cm
Crouched female, sanguine on paper, 20cm x 30cm

Sanguine Drawing Workshop at the Oak Park Art League

Adiz, sanguine on paper, 30cm x 50cm
Adiz, sanguine on paper, 30cm x 50cm

I will be conducting a sanguine drawing workshop at the Oak Park Art League on September 27th.   An explanation/demo of how to create the sticks will be followed with a figure drawing session.  Both technique and observation skills will be discussed with an Old Master approach.  My sanguine drawings were featured in the old American Artist Magazine in 2004 and 2010.

More info the workshop can be found at the OPAL site here.

A previous post about sanguine drawing can be found here.

Back study, sanguine on paper, 20cm x 30xm
Back study, sanguine on paper, 20cm x 30xm
Crouched female, sanguine on paper, 20cm x 30cm
Crouched female, sanguine on paper, 20cm x 30cm
Self Portrait, sanguine on paper, 20cm x 30cm
Self Portrait, sanguine on paper, 20cm x 30cm
Hand study for Il Risorto
Hand study for Il Risorto

Four Week Oil Portrait Painting Course at Charles Cecil Studios in Florence

Students at work in the studio
Students at work in the studio

I just wrapped up my 4 week oil portrait painting course for the Charles Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy.  It was a great group and everyone made a lot of progress.  Above is a not so good photo of one of the two studios in action.   Basically the course is a condensed experience of the normal full-time 2 year course.   The students start out with a bit of cast drawing before working directly from models in charcoal and oil.  The sight-size method ,as it was originally intended, is used create life-size portraits under natural light with a historical limited palette.  The class size is limited to 10 students.

The great challenge is the ‘reprogramming’ of the student’s expectations of the portrait painting course.  The goal is not to walk away with several pretty oil sketches.    Ultimately, the emphasis is developing observation skills and the student’s ‘eye.’  The fundamentals of charcoal and oil technique are covered and explored.  In this visual approach to image making the shapes are evolved directly on the canvas.   The resulting work often lacks polish but honestly reveals a diligent study from nature.  Hopefully the student leaves with a basic knowledge of important principles that will guide them in their future work.

Below is a progress shot of one of the paintings that I worked on during the course.  It is a detail of the 50cm x 60cm.  I hope to finish it this September.

Detail of Zambi Exile, oil on linen, 50cm x 60cm
Detail of Zambi Exile, oil on linen, 50cm x 60cm

Gabriel in Charcoal

Gabriel, charcoal on paper, 50cm x 70cm
Gabriel, charcoal on paper, 50cm x 70cm

Here is a not so high quality photo of a drawing that I completed over the weekend.  It was done from life over 2 sittings.  Gabriel is my favorite model at the moment for a variety of motives.

It is not easy to get a 3 year old to pose properly.  A portable DVD player and Kung Fu Panda at least kept Gabriel in his chair.  But he is pretty at home in the artist’s studio as one can see from photo below.

Gabriel drawing in the 2013 summer course, Florence, Italy
Gabriel drawing in the 2013 summer course, Florence, Italy

Recent Figure Studies: Fall 2013

Seated figure study, graphite on paper, 50cm x 70cm
Seated figure study, graphite on paper, 50cm x 70cm

The winter vacation has arrived for the scholastic year.  In addition to being a time of rest we pause to reflect upon our work.  Every fall I introduce the first year students at Charles Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy to figure and cast drawing.  Beginnings are extremely important as first impressions(lessons) undoubtedly influence our subsequent ideas.

Standing figure study, graphite on paper, 50cm x 70cm
Standing figure study, graphite on paper, 50cm x 70cm

I discuss my approach to figure drawing in another post that can be found here.  There is another post about imaginative pencil studies here.  The images posted here are the drawings that I produced while teaching the course.

Another seated figure study, graphite on paper, 50cm x 70cm
Another seated figure study, graphite on paper, 50cm x 70cm
Standing figure study, graphite on paper, 50cm x 70cm
Standing figure study, graphite on paper, 50cm x 70cm
Standing figure study, graphite on paper, 50cm x 70cm
Standing figure study, graphite on paper, 50cm x 70cm

Please excuse the quality of the photo below.  It was taken with my phone and I did not have time to stretch the paper.

Male standing figure study, graphite on paper, 50cm x 70cm
Male standing figure study, graphite on paper, 50cm x 70cm

Another Recent Figure Study

image

While teaching figure drawing at Charles Cecil Studios in Florence I draw along with the class. This is a charcoal drawing that I am finishing up in the advanced class. It measures 50cm x 100. After the final touches it will be fixed and mounted on board where the seam will become less apparent.

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