This blog is set up to give my students access to information relevant to the content of the classes I teach at UVU and BYU. I will be posting links to blog posts, websites, and news that will be of particular interest to them, as well as digital downloads of my syllabi and in-class handouts. I will also be posting student work and in class demos. The posts can be sorted for relevancy by the labels list on the left side. I've also integrated my Twitter account on the left hand side for quick links that aren't deserving of larger articles.
Today we moved past the black and white landscapes that we've been copying into still lifes. With this series of copies I want them to do them in two tones while keeping within the one hour limit. They also selected their own images to copy, while before I gave them a selection of simple atmospheric landscapes to choose from. The limitations of the two color palette can be seen in my selection. I chose a Chardin still life that includes a green apple and some yellowish tones, but I went with a blue and an orange as my base colors, neither of which can give me those two colors. By using the value scale that Chardin has and by maintaining the temperature relationships, I can still approximate a copy that gives a similar sense as the original.
As part of my digital painting class this semester, we're doing one hour speed paints. The first part of the semester we are doing speed copies, later on we'll be doing more imaginative and original works. I'm priming them with black and white atmospheric simple landscapes. The set we're starting with is on the digital painting handouts page. Today I copied "Gray November" by Bruce Crane.
After introducing my students to customizing their wacom tablets and styli, they requested a demo from me. Their first assignments in the class are to do master copies, so I selected van Dyck's "van der Geest" portrait. The first two are to be in black and white, the second set in duo tone, and the third in full color. This comes from the second set. I selected a dark blue equivalent of Blue/Cold Black and an approximation of Transparent Red Oxide. These I put up in the upper left hand corner for reference and then quickly blocked in the lights and darks and modeled the turnings. After initially setting up that palette in the corner, I primarily selected colors from the picture as I worked. The brushes and papers I used come from the sets in the Digital Painting Handouts section of the blog. While I worked I answered questions and showed off various websites from different digital painting masters. I probably should have paid closer attention to the drawing, but either way, this is where I ended up at the end of class. Click to see full size image below
I've seen a lot of posts on the importance of animal drawing and various methods by various artists lately. Here are a number of them that I've collected. Let me know if you have any other great artists and resources that I should include.
First off, a few links to interviews of creature designer and paleo-illustrator Terryl Whitlatch.
I teach figure drawing at the 100 level at Brigham Young University. We focus a lot on the form figure and a simplified version of anatomical structure in this class. Students initially begin with the line of action, an armature, basic form figure, anatomical contours and notations, and simple light and dark value structure. We've just started applying enveloping and comparative measuring techniques using the head as a basic system of measure. This first image is an example of the process. The black conte was used for the underlying aspects and I saved the red conte for the contours. I had them break the drawing down into 20 minute segments for a one hour drawing. The First 20 was used to place the Line of Action, the head heights and widths, and the envelope. The Second 20 was used to lay in the armature and the form figure. The Third 20 was used to put in the contours and values. I spent about 10 minutes on this drawing, working up to each level quickly and then going around to check and see how everyone else was doing.
We start out each class by warming up with quick gestures. We start at 3 minutes and work our way down to 10 second poses. This is a sample of one session progressively going from 3 minutes to 10 seconds.
In these drawings you can see the underlying armature and line of action and how I apply them.
I like to show Mignola's work to my students because of his application of simple black and white design (notan) to clearly show what's going on in an image. He allows the lights to merge together and the darks to merge together to convey mood and meaning. Keeping them absolutely distinct clarifies the narrative and creates more engaging imagery. This is an especially helpful consideration when developing their thumbnails and should be kept in mind during the entire development of a picture.
Hi Res zoomable images from major art museums worldwide, not completely complete yet, but some amazing work available to see here! I've added the link to this page to the left hand Utilities/Reference section.
Israel Hershberg is a painter educated at the Pratt Institute and the State University New York in Albany. Recently founded the Jerusalem Studio School in Israel. He has recently been featured in a couple of blogs on painting.
I added to the handouts pages for both Digital Painting and Head Rendering. To the Digital Painting Handout page, I added my paper set, which includes the mars textures, canvas textures, and various other useful papers. To the Head Rendering Handouts page I added a Drawing Procedure list, that I will also hand out in class. This hand out is not intended to be the final word on the ways and means of drawing or painting the human head, but is rather a general list and gives the order of general method that I follow. Additional considerations or models may be necessary depending on the circumstances you find yourself in.
Duane Keiser has been doing "a painting a day" project for several years now. Though, now he does take some breaks. He looks for interesting small images to paint daily in a single session. Afterward he takes a picture and sells them on eBay. This is a recent great one that he did. The red kettle is quite striking.
Below are my notes that I used to explain to my BYU freshmen figure drawing students the basics of using cylinders to express volume and how they can learn to control their use of soft and sharp lines. We started out using an armature to learn the basics of triangulation and proportion when drawing the figure (see stick figure bottom right hand corner). Learning to use the armature is a painful, but necessary, process to help them get a basic sense of proportions that then allows them to move much more quickly and with greater sensate accuracy through the rest of the semester's content. My cylinder is a one placement/four movement notation. You angle the conte crayon to the main axis of the form and push or pull up, then softly across then sharply down/up, and finally softly across.
I like to spend a portion of each class drawing, during the final drawing session I speed up the poses from a few minutes to a final set of ten second drawings. I try to use the process I want them to understand during that time period, so you will see a Line of Action, Volumetric Placements, and final anatomical details (time allowed details, that is) in each of the drawings.
From Frank Stockton, some interesting thoughts, that I think may be especially valuable to my digital illustration students, but I think are generally important to any student of the arts whether they are pursuing commercial illustration markets or the fine arts.
While I may disagree about whether you may or may not need any digital experience in school (I do think it can be very helpful, though...I do TEACH digital illustration), I do agree that the most important thing you can study is design and composition (I would add drawing to that list as well). Any media is simply a tool in the hand of a visionary.
Those two elements Drawing and Composition/Design are the most important strengths I see lacking in the students that sign up for my class. And unfortunately, they're not ones that the curriculum can solve, especially the drawing part. It is one of the reasons that I emphasize walking through the image making process of thumbnailing, generating and collecting reference, creating a comp and then doing the final. This gives the student the experience of learning about the processes of composition, researching and developing design possibilities within a project of relatively limited subject matter. Plus it's a lot more fun than regurgitating rote projects. This also gives students the opportunity to see how their weaknesses impact their ability to generate work and then what they need to practice and learn to become proficient.
If you'll dig through his blog, you will find many examples of how Mr. Stockton developed his imagery.
Having a profound understanding and a protracted development period of Drawing and Design is what makes the difference in a student who graduates with a professional portfolio ready to pursue their chosen career and a student who has to likely set themselves up for a future that they didn't think they were choosing (see megastore night stocker).
Jeffrey Hein has started posting again, or rather, one of his students has been assigned to post for him. It looks like there are a lot of exciting things going on there. I had the great fortune of studying under him a few years ago.
I spent about the last 45 minutes of class demonstrating a black and white digital copy of a master painting in my Digital Painting course at UVU. I used the limited brush set that I gave them to demonstrate the variety you can get from a very limited number of brushes.