Friday, April 25, 2008

Discovery of the Atelier

So why doesn't anyone tell me these things...? I guess I'm doomed to discover 'em on my own.

What I thought I knew, I was wrong; what I thought was wrong, I knew. ...In other words. my "impulse" since teaching myself to draw, back a few years ago, in my 30's, was to very carefully learn to draw in a classical sense, whatever that means, I thought. I mean, I had no idea. I was just a nomad, a poorly-disciplined reader of philosophy and porn and vodka labels. But I was vaguely aware that learning to be an artist was something more than occasional sketches, or silly jobs making cartoons of tourists. And when I started making MONEY making cartoons of tourists, I was snobbish, thinking how lousy were the starving artists, who couldn't draw a face, yet had a degree in art, or who were unwilling to draw a face in a comic context, for mere financial gain. But I've come full circle, now. I desperately wish to be like the old masters, and I've discovered HOW, now. The old-fashioned way, through an ATELIER. I didn't know these still existed, but they do exist, and they're making a comeback. I've included with this post an entry from Wikipedia. Now, all I need do is FIND an atelier studio which is in a warm clime (so I can sleep in my boat) and which won't charge me much... Anybody got any ideas? ...Here's the Wikipedia post:

Atelier Method

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The Atelier Method is a method of fine art instruction modeled after the private art studio schools of 15th-19th century Europe. Taking its name from the French word for "artist's studio," the Atelier Method is a form of private instruction in which an artist, usually a professional painter, works closely with a small number of students to progressively train them. Atelier schools can be found around the world, particularly in North America and Western Europe.



[edit] Philosophy

Atelier programs teach a form of realism based upon careful observations of nature with attention to detail. A series of tasks (cast drawing, cast painting, drawing and painting from the live model, and still life, for example) are done by the student. Students must complete each task to the instructor's satisfaction before progressing to the next. This system is referred to as "systematic progression" or "systematic teaching and learning." The methods used by Atelier instructors may vary greatly from one studio to another; however, artists using the "Atelier" approach tend to be united in their desire to reintroduce classical methods and techniques to modern painting.

[edit] Methods

Because they lack a central governing body, Atelier instructors are free to teach whatever methods they wish. However, there are several methods that are common to most Atelier schools. Atelier schools and teachers generally agree that the practice of careful drawing is the basis of painting.

[edit] Drawing and painting from plaster casts

Student Cast Drawing after Ariadne. Mims Studios School of Fine Art, Southern Pines, NC.
Student Cast Drawing after Ariadne. Mims Studios School of Fine Art, Southern Pines, NC.

Atelier students often begin to draw or paint using plaster casts as subjects. These casts are usually faces, hands, or other parts of the human anatomy. Plaster casts provide some of the benefits of live, human models, such as the presence of natural shadows. They also have their own distinct advantages: they remain perfectly still and their white color allows the student to focus on the pure, grayscale tones of shadows. This is the method that contemporary painter Jacob Collins pursues at his schools, the Water Street Atelier and the Grand Central Academy.

[edit] Sight-size drawing

Sight-Size drawing is a method of drawing an object exactly as it appears to the artist on a one to one scale. The artist first sets a vantage point where the subject and the drawing surface appear to be the same size. Then, using a variety of measuring tools -- which can include strings, sticks, mirrors, levels, and plumb-bobs -- the artist draws the subject so that, when viewed from the set vantage point, the drawing and the subject have exactly the same dimensions. When properly done, sight-size drawing can result in extremely accurate and realistic drawings. It can also be used to draw the exact dimensions for a subject in preparation for a painting.

Contemporary realist painter Adrian Gottlieb notes that "while professional painters pursuing a full-time career will develop an 'eye' that precludes the need for measuring devices and plumb lines (tools necessary during the training period), the observation method itself is not abandoned - instead it becomes second nature. Sight-size can be taught and applied in conjunction with a particular sensitivity to gesture to create life-like imagery; especially when applied to portraiture and figurative works."

Monday, April 21, 2008

Wind Song, here I come...

So this is the deal: It's official, I'm moving onto Wind Song in June. It's in Apollo Beach, on Tampa Bay, if you don't remember. Of course, this has been the plan all along, but I'd thought I'd remind everyone. My apartment lease is up at the end of June, and I just now emailed Barbie and "reminded" her of my plans: when my lease is up, I'll be moving onto the sailboat. And that's the plan, and it's only 8 weeks away! Man, this is SOON, I just realized. Whew! I need to get busy. I mean, if it weren't for my bum shoulder, I'd be working EVERY DAY. But that ain't gonna happen. I'll do what I can for now, and when it's time to go, I'll go.
To be honest, I don't have any real work lined-up in Tampa. Hmm, maybe murals, but, oddly, I've felt terribly non-committal to murals. In fact, I've been doing NOTHING toward 'em, of late. Maybe I can draw caricatures at Busch Gardens, but I haven't talked to those guys, and I don't think Dion even knows who I am. And, heck, maybe they wouldn't even WANT me. Or I can draw caricatures at the beach or something. Or, if things get REALLY bad, financially, or whatever, I can always throw-off the dock lines and sail away, and fish, and beg, and/or whatever. I figure I can always walk door-to-door and paint pretty pictures on mailboxes., no, REALLY, I would do that.
And, yes, WIND SONG, the smallish 24-foot sailboat is gonna be my new home, NOT the bigger boat. That deal didn't work-out. But that's fine. I don't need another bill. Part of the POINT is to get away from bills. I owe the IRS about $10,000, mainly because I refuse to deduct ANYTHING. I say, "Fuck you, HERE YA GO, take this, this is WAY too much, but you CANNOT audit me, because there is NOTHING to audit!" I'll pay the full amount and be happy, just so they can't mess with me. It's rather satisfying. I give 'em $150 a month, and they don't bother me. ... And one day, in 4 or 5 years, I'll have it paid-off. (My four years of caricaturing in Orlando has been both a gigantic blessing and a gigantic curse.)
Beyond that, there's much to say, and there's nothing to say. I'm sitting alone in my apartment. I think I must want it that way. All else is a kind of messiness of the soul, you know: friendship and love. ...I guess that's the best way to put it. ...Damn, I'm an idiot.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Is my thinking fundamentally flawed?

All my life, more or less, especially during my adult years, I've considered mankind to be a fine, good entity. Mistakes will happen, but, I have thought, the goal of the good is universal. Now, I am thinking, such speculation is incorrect. You see, the Internet has opened all sorts of knowledge, and I've been reading A LOT recently, and watching the videos of the History Channel, among others. I'm finding terrible things in our history. Things of history which are virtually without controversy. Things which define us as evil, more or less. And I'm not talking about NAZIs, necessarily, but about the United States, and ancient Greece, and the fella next door, and my own soul. The perils of optimism seem to be overtaking me....
...To be continued... ...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

...and here's one from Saturday

I like the guy, but not the to speak. She is far too awkward, but I got a nice likeness on her boyfriend, and his drawing/painting is more natural and lively, especially the coloring. ...I'm really trying to focus on lively, impressionistic coloring, or as much as is possible in the short time frame of caricatures and the limited palette of naples yellow red, vermilion, and burnt sienna... and a couple of primaries, more or less...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A photo of me at the helm of Moon Song ...

Helped move this boat a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to Captain Richard for the photo. ...Click photo to enlarge (with some browsers)...

Still sick, but getting better...

I felt half normal tonight, but drew badly, then did better. Here's one of a little girl from tonight, plus one from AK a couple of weeks ago (which I just discovered on my camera)... Look at the similarity between the little girl in the one pic, and the man in the other pic. Same nose, and similar hue/value relationship in the middle third of the face... I mean, I SUCK. ..."To DARE, that is the calling..."

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Couple More from Last Week

Disney All-Star Resorts caricature stand work from last week. Thought the boy's drawing was cute, but poor likeness, and the girl's pic was good likeness, but in a weird way... I'm always surprised that any of us can get decent likeness when knocking these things out in 15 minutes (or less...)...