Friday, June 1, 2012


Summer is always an exciting time for me at Gage because it means that I get to teach intensive introductory courses in foundation subjects and also offer some unique courses that are based on some pet passions of mine.
As a student at the Pennsylvania Academy there was often much discussion of, what in the medical field is referred to as, "continuity of services".
What this most often means for an art student is that one can create a series of progressively more in-depth courses with a particular instructor which will tie together and create an immersion in certain principles or an area of expertise which must be repeated in order to be mastered.
While I wholeheartedly believe in studying art a-la-carte and taking advantage of the great and impressive variety of knowledge and wisdom available, it is a great idea, at some point, to move seamlessly throughout a set of courses taught by a particular artist that represent a total approach.
Drawing exercises which easily lead into painting and painting exercises which form a continuation of drawing are what I believe in, teach and practice.
It is great to able to offer this particular set of classes which can be taken individually or as a short series or in preparation for longer classes in the Fall.
Following is a list of what I will be teaching.

Tuesdays, 6:30-9:30

In this course students will get to work on 4 foot high drawing boards to render a 2/3rds life-sized, full-length figure drawing or a life-sized, partial figure.
Here is an image of some students (in my Portrait Studio course) at work on the boards.
The approach in this course will be tonal, meaning that students will work on brown kraft (or any other tinted) paper with a combination of charcoal and grey scale pastels to render the forms of the figure completely.
Here is an image from my regular Intermediate Figure Drawing course which approximates the intended effect of this course  (although this photo depicts a 40 minute study).
 This class will include the execution of smaller, preliminary gesture, block-in and tonal studies before a beginning the large scale drawings.
The pose will last for the full length of the course (5 weeks).
The clarity and sense of form that one can achieve by drawing a figure on a large scale is considerable and if you have never tried it, I strongly encourage you to give it a try.
Numerous demonstrations throughout will cover materials and techniques as well as method and goals.

Thursdays, 9:30-12:30

In this course students cover the planes of the head, the features and working with a limited palette to a fuller palette.
Practical color theory and mixing, palette management and medium usage are covered repeatedly and throughout the course.
Frequent instructor demonstrations SHOW you exactly what the goals of each exercise are and convey a lot of information which can not be verbally given.
Here are some images of student work and student's at work from this course.

Saturdays, 10:00-1:00

A thorough introduction to drawing portraits and ideally suited to those wishing to progress on to painting the portrait.
The approach of this course is tonal with an emphasis of seeing shapes of tone and understanding form and structure.
Here are some examples of student work done in this subject.

Saturdays, 2:00-5:00

A course which covers the strategies and most effective techniques and material usage for rendering a portrait study in a limited amount of time.
The emphasis is on alla prima painting (or painting in one go) and frequent demonstrations break down how best to approach this way of "drawing with paint".
The planes of the head, practical color theory, palette management, medium usage and rendering features are some of the major points which will be covered repeatedly.
Here are some images of students at work in this course.

Tuesdays, 1:30-4:30

As part of Summer session B at Gage (later in the Summer) this is the same course that is offered in Session A.

Tuesdays, 6:30-9:30

In this class we will cover the essential information for rendering the figure from life, i.e., proportion, balance, gesture and the large, core forms of the torso, pelvis and the extremities.
The approach is simple and clear and the goal is to see from large to small, seeing large shapes in their correct position in space and adding detail.

Frequent demonstrations and hand outs which cover and review each lesson and include material for independent study make up this essential introductory course.

Thursdays, 9:30-12:30

A great chance to recreate the works of this perennial favorite and one of the most influential masters of painting.
In a clear and logical series of steps each student will be given hands-on experience in understanding and developing a copy of the work of Caravaggio.
There is no way that these ideas and techniques will not influence the way that you paint (as they have been influencing other artists for centuries) and make your work richer and more dramatic at the same time that they provide you with additional options for approaching subject matter.

Hope that you can join us!

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