Just a quick post for those of you who might be interested in great composition / concept art courses. Schoolism only offers a lower priced yearly subscription every September – it caps after the 1st 2000 signups. There are 18 courses that you can take all together.
I’m starting with Nathan Fowke’s Pictoral Composition course (LACAD, LA Figurative Arts Academy) it’s really helpful – for both traditional as well as digital artists. It’s a 9 week course, but self-paced – each week has about eight 10-minute videos. There is weekly homework and videos of other student’s work. The cheapest option is $144 which doesn’t come with video feedback and redraws from Nathan – but it can help people like me who are attending school full time or working full time. Even if you’re on the cheaper plan, you can look at his critiques and redraws of other students who are taking the premium course – at $1000-1500 per course, so there’s plenty to learn from just watching. Whenever you’re finished, you can switch to another class.
I’ll show one of my exercises in a following post, but here’s an example from Piet Mondrian that I liked. I had seen Mondrian’s geometric work, but I had never seen his early work and how his art evolved. The point Nathan was making with the Mondrian example was that he was exploring the internal structure underneath what was being seen – so he was continually abstracting and simplifying – but also keeping connections and relationships, balance, harmony etc. I appreciate all the thought and time that has gone into Nathan’s course.
School at RMCAD starts back officially tomorrow. My classes this term are Mastering the Pencil and 3D Design.
I finished my watercolor portrait workshop with Hamid at Gage Academy this past week, but I still wanted to learn more, so I checked out Scott Waddell‘s Art of the Painting video. It’s great! His demo is for oil, but most of his principles work for all classical painting. He starts off ‘posterizing’ the major lights and darks, establishes the values, then shifts into conceptualizing mode, carving the face in 3D in color. I found the method straightforward and much simpler than just trying take in all the information at once. Scott supplements his painting with video illustrations of the behavior of light on 3D surfaces.
I’m trying to paint from life every day to better my eye as well as technique. Today I tried out Urban Sketchers – Seattle and I think it’ll be great. They pick some great sites around Seattle and then at the end of the session, there’s a little share. About 20 people of all ages and backgrounds were there.
It’s part of a global non-profit organization that encourages people to sketch and paint. There’s no cost to join. Complete beginners are welcome. At the end people put their sketchbooks down for a show and tell. Professionals were sketching alongside amateurs and students.
I took a photo of our site before we left. When I got back I was amazed how much photos miss. I understand better why it’s good to paint from life every day.
I finished drawing this collie today from a photograph in a book I owned as a child.
Lately I’ve been trying to improve at drawing human heads and faces. I’ve just started a life painting class with Hamid Zavareei. It’s been a bit of a scramble for me so far. Here are some of the practice exercises.
Here’s a crow that I finished this afternoon.There’s a noisy crow family that regularly visit us. I recently got some beautiful Caran d’ache watercolor pencils that I heard about from James Gurney. They are much more pigment-rich than the Derwents that I was using and they’re fantastic combined with Niji water brushes when hiking or painting on the road in plein air.
I have a month off before school starts back in September, so I have a chance to do more recreational art and art discovery. Last week, Eastside / Evergreen Association of Fine Arts had a little painters get-together where some painters did demos of plein air outside, while others painted a model.
It was fun.. a real painting party. I don’t have anything to show you from this – I’m still getting a handle on landscapes, but here’s Steve Whitney’s little demo. I’m enjoying Mitch Albala’s Landscape book.
We also had a surprise visitor out by our pond yesterday. I don’t think he’s just admiring our koi. Fortunately the fish are now too big for him and the fishing line keeps other predators away.