Sunday, September 20, 2015

Week Three of "Drinking the Kool-Aid" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

This is week three of my six week study of copying a painting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  My reason for choosing the Lute Player to copy was to study the intense expression of the face.  So what do I do on week three...avoid it!  Since the eyes are so telling in the painting, I wanted to do a study of them but couldn't quite get to it last week.  The pope is visiting Philadelphia so the museum visits will resume the following week.

I adjusted the masses in the second pass of color in the background, feathers, lute and jacket.  Once I have the step completed in every area I will begin correcting them in relation to each other. At times it was a challenge seeing the darker areas of the painting.  Binoculars are recommended for close up views of the shadows hidden by the dimly lit room.

The photos below show where my painting stands now.  See you in two weeks!

Week 3 vs Week 4

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Week Two of "Drinking the Kool-Aid" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

After asking the advice of one of my teachers at Studio Incamminati, my approach for the second week at the museum began with a small value study.  If you didn't read what I did in week one you can catch up here.  Before adding color I wanted to be sure I had a clear vision of the lights and darks in the painting.  Value studies are meant to be the simplest shapes of light and dark with the basic position of the big proportions.  My aim was to have two values in the dark and three to four in the light with a goal to squint to see the correct value.  This study took about 40 minutes.  On to color...

8"x10" Oil on Linen Panel

My palette consisted of the traditional Studio Incamminati set of colors.

Alizarin Crimson
Cadmium Red
Cobalt Blue
Pthalo Green
Burnt Sienna
Cadmium Scarlet
Dioxazine Purple
Pthalo Turquoise
Cadmium Green
Cadmium Yellow
Indian Yellow
Raw Sienna
Cadmium Green Light
Cadmium Yellow Light
Permanent Rose
Titanium White
Cadmium Orange
Cerulean Blue
Perylene Red
Ultramarine Blue

I tried to state the simple color masses in the first pass of light and shadow.  My choices are based on the first impression of the color I see at a quick glance in each area.  As much as I tried to get the first color notes correct I waited until all the colors are stated to really begin adjusting them.  They influence each other and this affects the choices you make when adjusting them.  I should have stopped and taken more step photos along the way but in trying to work instinctively, I neglected to document my progress.

First Pass

The three questions I ask myself when comparing colors to see their relationships are:

Is it lighter or darker? (Value)
Is it warmer or cooler? (Temperature)
Is it brighter or duller? (Saturation/Intensity)

This is the result of a full day working the colors back and forth.  I pushed the colors are far as I could to bring them up before the next pass is added on week three.  Then I will adjust the masses of color in relation to each other more.  As I tried to mix what I saw in the hat I couldn't seem to arrive at a color I was happy with.  In researching artists in this era, they had Prussian Blue on their palette so I incorporated that into list of colors.  That seemed to work so I will keep using it next week.
First Pass of Color Completed

Close Up

My biggest challenge for next week is being able to see the dark areas of the painting.  The room is dimly lit and that makes it hard to see the eyes and hair.  I plan on using binoculars, we'll see if that helps.  

Monday, September 7, 2015

"Drinking the Kool-Aid" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Part of the 3rd year curriculum at Studio Incamminati includes the requirement of painting a master copy at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Students are challenged to find a master painting on exhibit, and copy it through a series of six on-site painting sessions.   I chose the "Lute Player", by Theodor Rombouts, after making several trips to examine the lighting, traffic, and narrowing down the paintings I found most interesting.

Theodor Rombouts c. 1620, Oil on Canvas

Museum Label:  "Lute players were often ridiculed for the inordinate amount of time they devoted to tuning their instruments. The intense look of this street musician seems to underscore the difficulty of the task and suggest that perhaps more than musical harmony is at stake. Showing a musical instrument being tuned was a veiled reference to striving for harmony in love. Stringed instruments could also symbolize temperance, especially when shown in the company of a tankard and a pipe, as here." 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Level Two - Studio Incamminati

It's hard to believe my studies at Studio Incamminati are half finished.  Level three is about to begin in a few weeks so I thought I'd share some of the work done last year.  These pieces I felt pretty good about.  

Graphite Drawing, Fall Semester

Figure Color Study, Warm Light

Figure Color Study, North Light

Graphite Drawing, Spring Semester

Still Life

Form Painting, Spring Semester

Figure Color Study, Warm and Cool Light

Structural Drawing

Cast Drawing, Fall Semester

Form Painting, Fall Semester

Looking back on level two, I have to say that I learned an incredible amount of information.  Before enrolling in Studio Incamminati I kept making the same mistakes over and over.  My goal was to learn to see and this opportunity has given me the skills to grow as an artist.

Check out my blog entries I wrote for school.  

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Level One - Studio Incamminati

After completing my first year as a full time student at Studio Incamminati, I thought I would share a bit about my experience and a few drawings.  It was an incredible year and I saw how much more there is to learn.

Our work began with learning to see simple light and shadow shapes using straight lines and angles to construct form.  My biggest hurdle was trying to cultivate the proper posture and work habits that help you see those forms.  We were told to stand back and squint and keep your arm straight out in front of you in a fencing type stance.  I can't tell you how many times I wasn't doing that and immediately saw it in my drawings.  

Our first still life charcoal drawing was composed of simple boxes that increasingly got more difficult.  Simple shapes were replaced by more advanced items which lead to more complex designs.  Fabric, irregular shapes (like skulls), glass and textured items all added to the challenge.  

We copied Bargue drawings for nine weeks, one day a week to learn to judge angles and proportion.  As painful as they were, I can say that it did help.  Some were more challenging that others but all helped strengthen my seeing skills so it was worth the effort. 

Ecorche drawings were done from life using red chalk to illustrate the muscles of the body.  This concept was completely foreign to me but we had anatomy books to use as reference material for laying in the different muscles.  

In figure drawing class, the concept was the same.  Squint to see large shapes in light and dark.  Initially we worked on getting the gesture and worked our way down to smaller shapes.  The goal is to eventually work toward the effect of raking light on form.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Day 16 - 30 Paintings Challenge

8 x 10 Oil on Linen
Available on Etsy

This is my latest painting from the 30 day painting challenge.  I've been doing a lot of drawing these days so I thought I'd share a charcoal self portrait I did as a homework assignment.  This is my first attempt at anything like this and it sure was difficult staring at myself in the mirror trying to see the large shapes. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

30 Day Challenge

As much as I was committed to painting 30 paintings in 30 days I've decided to modify my plan.  I truly believe in painting every day but not necessarily finishing a piece.  Since the challenge began I enrolled in a figure and portrait drawing class at Studio Incamminati and a portrait painting class with Natalie Italiano.  I'll be posting some of my drawings soon...stay tuned!

The reason I signed up for the challenge was to push myself to paint every single day, no matter what.  But I didn't take into consideration how much time I would need to devote to work on my drawing skills.  I still plan on finishing 30 paintings but it will take more than 30 days.