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.
The Michael LaConte Gallery is wonderful, cultivated venue for contemporary art in Chicago. He is my representative in the midwest and deals regularly with national and international clients. A portion of my works are available to review online via the respected dealer website: 1st Dibs. The link can be found here.
For those in the Chicagoland area the gallery is open via appointment and located at 1819 West Grand Avenue, Chicago 60622. The phone number is 773 865 4788.
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.
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.
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.
Please excuse the quality of the photo below. It was taken with my phone and I did not have time to stretch the paper.
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.
In conjunction with the figure drawings, I have completed a couple of imaginative studies. The one above is of Dionysus and the one below is of a Faun. A work of art should function by itself without much explanation. My particular interpretations are meant to express a specific psychological state within the context of the represented archetypal subjects. Obviously a certain knowledge about Dionysus and ‘Fauns’ enriches the experience and makes the psychological ‘play’ all the more interesting.
These are not typical (stereotypical) depictions of their genre. That is because they are misunderstood. The realities of the classical pantheon represent a psychological investigation that are ever more relevant in today’s world where the individual’s odyssey has lost its significance.
In addition to portrait painting, I teach figure drawing at the Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy. This time around we did a series of large pencil drawings with a focus on observed anatomy and construction. The class is intense as it involves extended poses that last at least a week with 3 hours of model time a day under natural light. An expended method of sight-size is used. (For those not familiar with the sight-size method please check out Darren Rousar’s concise explanation here at www.sightsize.com.) The easels arrangement reflects the standard sight-size approach and aids the students with the initial measurements. Very often during the duration of the project, the sight-size is ‘broken’ and the easel pushed back to give greater distance from the work and help the student study the ‘big shape.’ There has been a debate over the merits of the sight-size method versus the comparative system in under life size work. However, I feel that the two methods are not mutually exclusive. When sight-size is taught correctly under the guidance of a properly trained artist comparative measurements are constantly being utilized.
It is important to remember that developing observation skills and translating nature into 2 dimensions is the ultimate goal of any drawing course. Recognizing relationships between elements seems to be the most difficult skill for the aspiring student to acquire. The human figure is constantly in flux. The most common complaint from the beginning art student is in regards to a perceived alteration in the model’s pose. But the fault is usually found in the drawing, not the model. No single mark, angle or line is ever ‘correct’ all by itself. The accuracy and beauty lie in the relationship created between a series of marks. Small, natural and inevitable shifts in a model’s pose help us study and understand the true form of the figure. The language of drawing(as informed by the Old Masters) enable us to express this idea of Form that we perceive.
The images shown are the 4 studies that I completed while teaching.
After 5 weeks of long poses we spent the last 5 days dedicated to sanguine drawing. Each pose lasted a day or so. I even showed the class how to prepare the sanguine sticks as well. It is a very difficult medium to do well. Sanguine technique bridges very nicely the world of line with tone.