Saturday, May 29, 2010

Interior Painting Workshop with Peter Van Dyke

This week I took the week-long intensive workshop, Interior painting with Peter Van Dyke, a young and super-talented painter who's a graduate of the Florence Academy. Peter's been teaching a few years at PAFA, often the cast drawing classes and animal drawing and I had Peter for animal drawing last semester. Peter's a funny guy, very laid back--yet very knowlegable and intense about drawing and painting. A few friends at school took his painting interiors class last semester and they spoke very highly of the class and Peter--and more importantly I like their paintings. Since I need an extra painting class for credit I signed on early. It honestly was a big crunch for me to do the workshop with the amount of freelance work I have in the studio--but sometimes you just bite the bullet and don't sleep much of a week or so to get something you want done. the painting at the top was my final painting in the class and the one I am happiest with.
This was the first painting I the workshop, I worked on it for a day and a half and then moved on to the one below. I really tired to unify each space, each tonal space, the inside and the outside and their temperature envelopes , warm/cool, but also the different between the two rooms.
This was the second painting I did in the afternoon after I finished up the first painting of the yellow chair. The sun moved quick and this was maybe 90 minutes-2 hours tops and i had to stop as the light changed with the sunset.
Friday we had a Dirty Palette Club meeting at school during the class, I figured why not kill two birds with one brush. The yellow chair again made a great subject with it's horrid, yet alluring yellow covering...I'll be updating the DPC blog later.

Peter's painting philosophy is to try and group areas of your painting together--to keep it as simple as possible, and then within those groupings to build contrasts and values changes, reunifying areas and an interdependency of those relationships. That as long as you can look at it, love--you can paint it. What are you choosing to do with the tone range? The energy of the touch, how you apply the paint should resonate with the whole painting. Simple, but simple isn't easy and requires you to think and sometimes to be brutal and mash thing together to reunify them after you've painted them in. I think I learned a few things and was happiest with my final painting, I think I caught the essence of what Peter was trying to teach us, and they way artists like Sargent and Zorn, two of my favorite artists worked.
Here is where Peter's stopped his painting demo, and below you can see how fast and direct he goes, working big and loose and never being afraid to unify or reunify areas together.
Peter uses a view finder to get his composition set up.
And then he blocks in pretty quick, always thinking of the big masses. Later if he feels something is off he will go back in with a pencil and redraw into the painting to replace or correct angles, etc.

Peter worked all over trying to keep the areas of value and the envelopes of color and value strong at this stage. It was a great class and I highly recommend both taking a class with Peter if you can but also checking out his work on-line, at his website at the John Pence galleryand the Eleanor Ettinger Gallery.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Interiors Workshop

This week i am taking a one-week intensive workshop painting Interiors with Peter Van Dyke at school. I needed an extra painting credit and I had hear a lot of good things about this class from fellow students so i decided to sign up. So far its been quite enjoyable and I did this little painting. It's basically done except for maybe a few touches and then I'll move onto another painting tomorrow. The class runs till Saturday and when I'm done I'll go into more detail about the class and Peter's thoughts on painting.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

1 Million Hits!

I just noted that I passed my millionth hit on my blog sometime this!! I know many site, like porn and news sites do that in a day probably--but my little blog is all grown up now. hurray for me!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Low Tide Delaware River

Yesterday the Dirty Palette Club had our second weekly meeting of the summer at a nice park along the Delaware River in Philly. This time it was just me and the gals as the other male members were busy or away. It was a nice day, hot, but I found a great spot under a nice tree and got to relax the old mental muscle from the stress of the weekly commercial grind in my studio.

I picked up a few landscape proportioned panels at the last sale at Dick Blick and tried out one of them. I packed a pic-nic lunch and just enjoyed painting as the tide rolled out and the ships rolled past.

Now its back into the studio for another long weeks drawing session. This is 10 x 20 in oil.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

27th Street Park Plien Air

Thursday I went out and spent a few hours in a local park with the Dirty Palette Club to kick off our summer painting session. It was really a wonderful day full of that silvery philadelphia light. this was a great little park on 27th street , the Markward Recreation Center. There was a lot of great views but you know the time is a wasting when you paint out doors so you need to get to work quick. I looked about and found a view I felt with good depth and contrast and where the shadows would work to make an interesting contrast and shape and went at it.

I had an old canvas that somebody left at school and had pre-primed which still left it chunky in spots, which added an extra sense of texture in spots which I think worked. I loaded a bunch more pictures up over on the official Dirty Palette Blog

Here is my rough into set the composition.

It was great to de-stress from all the commercial work for a few hours to release the brain drain of the past few weeks. I look forward to going back to this spot and doing a lot more painting in general in a few weeks when the commercial work slows a bit.

Sunday, May 09, 2010


Here is this week's Sunday strip and the rough for it. I ended up changing the first panel to get a wider shot of the room for the set-up. I do my roughs small then blow them up on my copy machine and draw the final page on my lightbox, using the enlarged layout underneath. I'm constantly adjusting things as I do my pencils and pencil only tight enough to get the drawing where i need it to go to ink.
This week's strip have a nice opportunity to do a cool long shot in the last panel, and get some blacks spotted to make it more dynamic.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Semester Done!

The final class drawing in Sidney Goodman's class, Sidney loves these crazy set-ups!

Cue Alice Cooper--Schools out!

My second year as a student in the Certificate Program at The Pennsylvania Academy has finally come to an end. I am now halfway through my journey to my certificate degree and then my next step to my MFA.

It feels great to be done, really, I couldn't wait for it to be done so I can move into my painting studio in preparation to my third year--and a summer full of painting. Looking back at this year I feel both proud and a sense of urgency, the desire to push on and over the next hill and mountain. I feel I grew a lot as a painter this year and I am hungry, famished to dig into this summer and paint as much as possible--too re-apply myself to the series of paintings like the commuter paintings and the Super-sad paintings as well as new ideas.
The final one shot drawing in Al Gury's class, about an hours work.

I feel I still need to work on my observational skills and to get better at drawing in service of the ideals of form and light. Also during the year you have to juggle so much else while a sudent/professional artist/ and teacher i ned to catch my breath a bit. I was happiest with the last big pastel drawing and really want to keep at that over the summer as I think its a great but very demanding medium. One thing I will not miss is drawing from teachers set-ups or hauling all my shit around with only what at times seemed the smallest locker in the world for storage. I enjoy all of my classes to a degree, and my teachers are swell, but I just want to do my own ideas now--the idea of drawing another person on a box just makes my teeth grind.

Overall the semester was really a big save for me, it started out with the real possibility of me not even being able to get back after the meltdown of a commercial project--the Martian Comic, which really tossed a hand grenade into my life, but through family and friends I was really able to get past maybe the darkest financial part of my adult life. The classes I really wanted didn't happens but I made the best of it.

I think the school is going through a big change as well with the BFA program, and not all to the good which is unfortunate, but my job is to keep focused and drain every drop I can get out of my time there.

My friends, my DPC crew also make my experience there fantastic and I think without them it would have been really, really tough in spots, having a great group of motivated-like-minded artists and friends is essential I think-, not just in school, but in life.

So with the sun setting on year year two and the new moon about to rise i look forward to mooning everybody in my third year!