Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fall Schedule for Mary Mulvihill Classes

The schedule for my Fall classes is below.   The session starts October 13th and ends December 16th.  Classes do not meet during Thanksgiving week. Each class meets nine times and is $315.

Drawing and Mixed Media (Dry)
Tuesdays - 10/13, 10/20, 10/27, 11/3, 11/10, 11/17, 12/1, 12/8 & 12/15
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
This drawing class is for all levels.  Exercises for beginning students focus on line, value and perspective using graphite and charcoal.   Intermediate students will also use colored pencil, Nupastel, pen and ink,  pastel pencil and dry-brush gouache.  The goal is explore many aspects of drawing while improving skills and the understanding of line and value (and a little bit of color).

Water Media and Mixed Media (Wet)
Tuesdays - 10/13, 10/20, 10/27, 11/3, 11/10, 11/17, 12/1, 12/8 & 12/15
1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Prerequisite:  My drawing class or the equivalent.  This class moves the student from drawing to painting using watercolor,  fluid acrylics, mixed media or collage.  Exercises will explore various media using a combination of drawing and  painting.  Color theory and composition will be introduced.

Advanced Painting - Oil, Acrylic & Pastel
Wednesdays - 10/14, 10.21, 10/28, 114, 11/11, 11/18, 12/2, 12/9 & 12/16
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
For intermediate and advanced students of oil, acrylic and pastel who have an interest in developing painting to a professional level. Students should be comfortable with drawing, color mixing and light theory.  Focus is on drawing, composition, paint quality, color and light.  Lectures, demonstrations and critiques are part of the class. New students should enroll in Painting Fundamentals. 

Painting Fundamentals - Oil, Acrylic & Pastel
Wednesdays - 10/14, 10.21, 10/28, 114, 11/11, 11/18, 12/2, 12/9 & 12/16
1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Prerequisite:  My drawing class or the equivalent.  This class is for students new to painting and for those seeking to improve their skills.  Instruction will be tailored to the student's level.  Lessons focus on materials, technique, drawing, value and color mixing.  Lectures, demonstrations and critiques are part of the class. Students should be comfortable with drawing before beginning painting.

To register please contract me through the email address in my Profile.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Golden Acrylics

The demo at TVAL was quite amazing.  Chris Cozen is a technical encyclopedia.  I knew that Golden was the cutting edge on new acrylic products and applications, but they have left Liquitex in the dust.  Many, many grounds, gels, mediums and textures.  What stood out for me ...

A ground called fiber paste that contains paper fiber.  When applied to canvas or panel, it feathers out with a deckled edge like watercolor paper and becomes a ground for drawing media ... pencil, conte, pastel, oil pastel. So, a way to combine drawing with painting in some new, truly mixed media applications.

The Golden Opens, GO's, of course.  The finish on them is quite unlike conventional acrylics.  They have a soft, satin, pearlized sheen.  Quite lovely, even an encaustic look.  The open time makes them workable for many hours and makes worries about acrylic drying in your brush a thing of the past.

Digital grounds that can be applied to any surface to make it printable on your digital computer.  Print on cheese cloth, tin foil, lace ... anything.  It's an unbelievable boon for collage artists to incorporate photos or background images/layers into their work.

Just some new info I didn't know about when to use matte medium and when to use gloss ... and why one might choose one weight medium or gel over another.

Something else I didn't know, mix acrylic with a medium or gel to extend it until the final layer ... then move to pure pigment.  It cuts the cost of using acrylic considerably because mediums cost less than pigment.

One thing I guess I did know, that I'm an oil painter at heart.  More than the few examples I mention above, acrylic has become an amazing, versatile product. But nothing I saw tonight had the glow of oil paint.  Cool textures, innovative applications, wonderful mixed media choices - yes ... but when you want the patina of an old master painting you will have to get out the oil paint.  But, that's me.  If your interests lie with what acrylic has to offer there is no limit to the applications Golden has developed.  For contemporary work it is very tempting.  I'm getting some of that fiber paste!  I want to try to combine drawing media on the fiber gorund with fluid acrylic washes ... especially for life drawing.

It was a wonderful presentation and I have so much more to share with my acrylic students.  Thank you Golden and Chris Cozen.

TVAL is going to have a 5 hour workshop on the GO's, with Chris, so if oil painters have been wondering ... it would be great for travel studies.  Maybe even more portable and easier to use than water miscible oils.  I am going to try a few of the GO's.

Reference Books on Horse and Animal Drawing

"Horse Anatomy" (Dover), $3.95 - John Green
32 page coloring book, anatomy ... most cluck for least buck.

"An Atlas of Animal Anatomy for Artists", $12.95 - Ellenberger and Baum     $10.35*
Anatomy plates for major animal groups, Stubbs anatomy plates.  Advanced cluck for moderate buck.  Start with the Dover coloring book and work up to this.

"How to Draw Animals", $11.95 - Jack Hamm     $9.50*
Info, info, info on all kinds of animals.  General anatomy, gait, proportions. Not a  technique or style book, but packed with drawing related animal facts. No anatomy plates.

"The Art of Animal Drawing: Anatomy, Action Analysis, Caricature" (Dover), $9.95 - Ken Hultgren
A gesture approach to sketching animals, seeing the action and rhythm in the animal.  Hultgren was an animator, so some of the examples are animation, but the rhythms apply to realistic animals,too.  No anatomy plates.

"Animal Painting and Anatomy", Out of Print - W. Frank Calderon    $7.5o*  Amazon Used
Best all around book about animal drawing.  A little bit of everything.  Lots of text.  Illustrated with his drawings.  No anatomy plates.  Not for the faint of heart.

"The Artist's Guide to Animal Anatomy", $19.95 - Gottfried Bammes     $14.95*
Academic textbook on animal drawing with an emphasis on mass and planes.  No anatomy plates.  A serious book for the committed artist.

"The Anatomy and Action of the Horse" (Dover), $12.95 - Lowes Luard     $11.00*
Emphasis on movement and what the muscles do and why.  The Vanderpoel of the animal world.   Has anatomy plates.  Lots of text.

*Amazon discount price

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wednesday Painting Class - September Syllabus Update

Since comments to blog posts don't float to the top and this was buried ... a change to the September syllabus.

It's been just too much to do both at once. So, we will continue with the horse paintings and anatomy through September and pick up the Holbein study in October as the lecture focus. October will be a "free" month for subject matter. Artist's choice ... focus on something you would love to paint for the FAA show coming up in November.  Gather your reference over the break. We'll start from comps and work forward to create a masterpiece in October!  I say let's take FAA by storm.  :)

The Toybox Drawing Exercise

Graphite Drawing by Della Alwardt

A recent assignment in the drawing class is called the Toy Box.  The directions are to take an object, throw it on the table any side up and draw it as you see it.  Take a second object, do the same, but place it on the paper behind the first object.  Part of it may not show.  Draw a third object.  As you fill the paper the drawing will give the impression of looking down into a jumbled toy box.  I modified the exercise to include thinking about the negative space not filled by objects as part of the design.  The students then did several drawings that adapted the original assignment.

This graphite drawing is by Della Alwardt, one of my Tuesday morning drawing students.  She juxtaposed two objects that would not normally be seen together.  She thought about the negative shapes that were created when the objects intersected the four edges of the design space.  She did a great job!  The abstract positive and negative shapes make a good composition.  It holds the viewer's eye as they discover the giraffe tucked under the leaves.  I am very pleased with the outcome on this project.  

Friday, September 11, 2009

Monet's Waterlilies on Exhibit at the Metropolitan

There is an article in today's New York Times about Monet's waterlily paintings on exhibit at the Metropolitan. Don't miss the slideshow that is associated with the article.  I wish I could go to New York and see Monet's paintings!  

Think about how many years of Monet's life went into this project.  His entire artistic career was preamble. Being an artist is about the process, not a single pretty picture on a wall.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Velazquez Rediscovered

There is an interesting article this morning in the New York Times about a Velazqeuz portrait in the Metropolitan.  For those who were working recently in class on a portrait, notice several things.  

Look at the highlights on the nose.  The highlight line along the nose is not simply a straight line.  It follows the turning edge of the nose; it follows the form.  It provides information about the nose.   The nose is made up of several forms, not one.  There is the nose itself, with a front plane and two side planes, the ball of the nose and the two wings of the nostrils.  Each of the forms follows the rules of light theory.   In the Velazqeuz portrait, in addition to the highlight line on the nose itself, the ball of the nose has a highlight. What about the nostril? Notice the up-plane of the nostril.  There is a stroke of lighter value that indicates this plane.  It is not a highlight.  It is an upturned plane receiving light from above and while lighter than the surrounding planes is is usually not as light in value as the highlight.  If the subject has a very pronounced nostril form, the nostril can have both a crest line and a highlight.

Pay attention to the keystone of the brow, near the bridge, where the nose ends and the brow begins.  There is a plane change at this point and the highlight line ends here.  It is very important to be correct about this point because misplacing it will indicate that the nose is longer or shorter than it is - even when the drawing is correct!  

Lastly, notice how little detail Velazquez used on the shadow side of the face. There is really very little there beyond the shape and value of the combined shadow planes.