Thursday 30 June 2016

Color for Painters - A Guide to Traditions and Practice by Al Gury

Color for Painters: A Guide to Traditions and Practice - This richly illustrated book by Al Gury covers the history of Western painting including modern approaches to colour: the composition and use of various pigments; exercises to mix paint and step by step demonstrations.

Al Gury is Professor of painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards and has been designated Master Teacher by The University of the Arts in Philadelphia as well as American Artist Magazine.


A few sample pages are shown below.

Carlo Russo Yarns (study in complements) 2009 oil on linen 

Scumbles - translucent White is scumbled over pure colours

Masters of colour: LH page Matisse - Still Life with Vegetables 1905 
RH page - Hans Hoffmann Rising Moon 1965 

Colour wheel suggestions 
Gury suggests trying various triads of prismatic colours and make shades and tints of each to explore the full range of colours possible.

* Please note that this post contains affiliate links to Amazon. This means that if you purchase an item through the links provided, I may receive a small commission – there is no extra cost to you but it helps support me as an artist.

Tuesday 28 June 2016

Teaching - what it means to me

This started out as a quick post to say I have a couple of places in the weekly classes, then it got longer and longer... so make a cup of coffee and relax...

Although I trained as an art teacher, over the years there were relatively short periods spent teaching art. After leaving Art school, I took whatever work was available. I worked in a Reference Library, and then landed my first teaching position coupled with working in the school's library. When I tell you that I was teaching Maths to Grade 7 you'll realise that I was desperate for work. Fortunately the Maths teacher returned from long leave and the school wisely moved me to teaching English to newly arrived immigrants. Subsequent teaching - art to years 8 and 9, at another school, was a lot more in line with my training.

The Ice cream Cone #WAXnext - watercolour and graphite - reference from Sktchy

Now many years later, I'm teaching teaching art full time. I'm running a Studio from home. I love every minute of every day.

My Teaching Model

When deciding on a teaching model for the Studio, I worked on the premise that adults would be best served if they are able to retain their individual identity. I had no wish to teach prescriptively - in other words there would be no handout of the same reference to each person. There would be no " now take out the cerulean blue and this is how we are going to paint the sky..."

Since the Studio is small there is place to accommodate  6 artists. Each artist is able to work in their medium of choice, whether it be watercolour, oils or acrylics. Alternatively they might decide to draw for a term, exploring a range of mediums from graphite to charcoal to playing with ink. Each artist decides on the theme for their own work and works at their own pace. (Admittedly I do tend to say: "Time to wrap this one up and start something new - you can't stroke this one for another three hours")

When there is a workshop the teaching is much more structured. Then new techniques and mediums are investigated in a formal class with step by step instructions.

Moving out of your comfort zone

Part of my way of teaching involves stretching the artists. I do believe that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Regularly, I encourage trying new methods of working as well as new materials. This can be confronting to those who like the comfort of always working in the same way.

I believe that developing critical skills; learning to assess your own work;  looking at the work of fellow students with a discerning eye; learning how to give constructive criticism is invaluable. I believe that artists need to learn how to change and develop an artwork effectively rather than have a knee-jerk "my work is rubbish" type of criticism. 

When you're a beginner or have returned to art after a long break you can have many insecurities. My aim is to provide a venue where skills can be learned or rediscovered. The Studio has a closed Facebook Group where work completed or in process can be posted. Carol's Studio Group is a sympathetic environment where the artists can post work without exposing oneself to criticism from the world at large.

Making friends

When I moved to Australia the list of people I knew was very short. In addition to my family I knew only a couple of their friends. In establishing the Studio, not only do I have the means to support myself but I now also have a network of friends. The Studio participants too have made lasting friendships and developed a sense of community. The famous coffee break (with coffee from nearby Deja Bru) is an integral part of the Studio experience. And you can still get free tea if you want it...

And the point of this post...

Class Vacancies for Term 3 13th July to 18th September 2016
EDIT 30-06-2016 Wednesday Evenings  6.00 pm to 9.00 pm - places still available
Thursday Mornings      9.00 am to 12.00 pm - Please note that this place has been filled

Monday 20 June 2016

A tribute to Orlando

This weekend the Sktchy app paid tribute to the victims of the massacre in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando with the Weekend Art Extravaganza themed #WAXpulse. Artists around the world united in support of those who lost their lives in this terrible shooting. 

Our world seems to be overcome with hate and bigotry. Living here in Australia where measures have been taken to curtail widespread gun ownership, we find it hard to understand  America's reluctance to curtail the sale of high powered automatic weapons. It seems that money talks louder than human life.

How many more mass shootings are needed before something is done?

Grey Henson
Graphite and watercolour on Canson 300gsm watercolour paper

Thank you Grey for providing the reference on Sktchy for my drawing.

Friday 17 June 2016

Foto Friday

A few weeks ago I was driving home as the sun was setting. As winter draws nearer the sunsets become more and more beautiful. No words are needed...

Thursday 16 June 2016

TBT and Colour - Travels though the Paintbox by Victoria Finlay

Today I'm going to do two things: 
Firstly a TBT to a previous post, Mysterious Ochre  and secondly to talk about another favourite book: Colour Travels through the Paintbox by Victoria Finlay.

In the post I write about visiting an exhibition at GOMA which reminded me about the book. You can read the full post here:Mysterious Ochre

If you are as fascinated by colour as I am, then this book is for you
Victoria's book delves into the fascinating world of colour; the history; the origins of various pigments; the composition of colours; the folklore and mystique surrounding many colours. My copy as you can see has been well used with many pages marked for future reference.

Victoria travelled the globe in her research to unearth the full story behind the colours we use and love. There are stories of her adventures in Europe, Australia, Chile, India, Afghanistan and Mexico so,it's as much a travel book as a book on colour.

This, however, is not a "how to" book in the colour mixing sense so you won't find the traditional approach to colour wheels and colour theories.

Color: A Natural History of the Palette This edition is, I think, the same book but with a different title. Frequently books are published in another country with a new title - confusing I know! 

While looking for this book I stumbled across another more recent book by Victoria Finlay - The Brilliant History of Colour in Art. It looks wonderful! Please note I don't have it, (yet) and so cannot give you my thoughts on it. Maybe I will be able to soon.

Monday 13 June 2016

WIP for Sktchy

This last weekend the #WAX - Weekend Art Extravaganza was #WAXwip - work in progress.

Coincidentally, in the Studio, I had a couple of artists working on small portraits starting with a colourful background. 

Often the fear of the blank white page gets the better of you and you need something to break that obstacle. My favourite solution is to "mess - up" the canvas with some random colour. Then I can go on and improve on the original under painting.

This portrait was done as a demo in the class. 

Two birds with one stone and all that...
So here are some progress shots from the demo: 

Random colour across the canvas

Quick lines to find the face 

Adding some values to find the dark/light of the portrait

On Sunday morning I worked on the portrait a little more - perhaps 40 minutes in total. By this time the surface had quite a lot of paint. I decided to stop and allow some drying time.
A lot more could be done - the fingers remain very vague and the eyes could also be refined but I've decided to post this so it's still a WIP. 

Monday 6 June 2016

A favourite Art book - Making Color Sing

I often get asked to recommend art books so I'm going to add a few of my favourites here. Please let me know if you have a special book you love.

Making Color Sing, Practical Lessons in Color and Design by Jean Dobie was first published in 1986. My copy is over 20 years old - it's very well used and has been a constant reference in my Studio. after being out of print for some years a 25th Anniversary edition was published, with updates by the author.

The content has stood the test of time and provides excellent information on colour which can be applied to any medium. In particular the chapter on "Mouse Colors" is so useful when mixing diverse greys.

The content has stood the test of time and provides excellent information on colour which can be applied to any medium. In particular the chapter on "Mouse Colors" is so useful when mixing diverse greys.

Showing how wonderful greens can be mixed. 

Glazing colours for vibrant results.

*Please note that this post contains affiliate links to Amazon. This means that if you purchase an item through the links provided, I may receive a small commission – there is no cost to you.

I have decided to discontinue the Google+ advertising on my blog. I felt that I wasn’t able to control the content as I wished and could be seen to be promoting products I could not endorse.

All the books and products mentioned on this page are ones that I have bought, and are those that I use and recommend.