ART OF THE MASTERS Workshop

Hello, Artists,

gilbertsunnewsarticle6-2016

We are planning a workshop the week of November 14, 2016, which is our only opportunity window for quite a few months. Can you make it? We will also have a Free Prep Day on November 7, a week before the workshop, in order to help you get a wonderful start. The cost for the 5 days is $489.

Art of the Masters Workshop
When: Nov. 14-18, 2016
Where:  Gilbert, Arizona
Time: daily, 9:00 – 5:00

If you feel undecided, maybe now is the time to get off that fence and embrace your true art self. We promise that you will get more step-by-step art instruction in one week with us, than you will get anywhere else, even in workshops that cost more than twice what we charge. We also give you helpful handouts (most art classes don’t) because we want you to be able to remember and continue working on what we’ve taught you. To us, the most important thing is continuing the legacy of the Old Masters, and we are passionate about passing on their wisdom and techniques to others. We would love to have you with us!

And like Maestro Frank Covino always did, we offer $100 off the cost of your tuition for each of your friends that sign up for the class.

Below is a sample of first-time student drawing (24″ x 30″), in preparation for painting.  Amazing, huh!

P1110792

Here are things needed for the Free Prep Day:

Materials for board preparation, graphing, and drawing:
Ampersand Gessobord brand surface
metal yardstick and ruler
ultra-fine Sharpies, various colors (black, blue, and red are probably enough)
General’s charcoal pencils, soft
kneaded eraser
High quality photo of Old Master painting to work from, printed on 8 1/2”x11” glossy photo paper, one grayscale, one color–Art Renewal Center is an excellent online museum source– https://artrenewal.org/pages/search.php
blending stumps (tortillions)
Exacto knife
spray workable fixative
clear tape
acetate

Other helpful items:
transparent 18” triangle
India ink and sable liner brush
artist’s white tape, removable

Please respond below, and we’ll get right back to you!

Marsha and Karen
Art of the Masters

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ART OF THE MASTERS WORKSHOP

ANNOUNCEMENTArt of the Masters classical oil painting workshop, plus free additional day.

Karen Schmeiser and I are carrying on Maestro Frank Covino’s legacy by teaching workshops here in the Phoenix Metro. It was an important decision for us, and since each of us have studied with Frank for over twelve years and we both love teaching, we honor his memory by doing our part to assure that these Old Master techniques do not get lost.

  • Learn to paint like the Old Masters.
  • Receive the expertise of two instructors (Marsha Gilliam and Karen Schmeiser) as you learn the methods of the Old Masters in a 5-day workshop, June 27-July 1, 2016 Open to artists of all levels.  Get more instruction for your money.
  • Cost: $489.  If you check the prices of art workshops these days, you will find they cost nearly twice as much.  A supply list will be provided upon registration.
  • Also included at no extra charge is a free preparation day on June 20, 2016, to help you properly begin your drawing on your painting panel.

YOU can do this! The three most important things to bring with you are your patience, your determination, and an accepting mind.  Here are examples of what you can expect to achieve:

First painting by Karen Schmeiser:

KarenTheShepherdessBouguereau

Copy of The Shepherdess, 1866, after Johann Baptist Hofner

First painting by Marsha Gilliam:

MVC-004F

Copy of Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665, after Johannes Vermeer

The author and associate editor of the East Valley Tribune, Srianthi Perera, recently published this article about our upcoming workshop, and there is also an article about it just released in The Gilbert Sun News  https://issuu.com/timespub/docs/gsn_june_2016_issue:

MarshaNewspaperArticleEastValleyTribune5-29-16

We hope you will join us–it was a life-changing experience for us, and we hope it will be for you, too.

Sincerely,

Marsha and Karen

PAINTING WORKSHOP IS COMING UP

Hello, Artists~~

The author and associate editor of the East Valley Tribune, Srianthi Perera, just published an eloquent article today about our upcoming workshop.  Karen and I wanted to share it with you:

MarshaNewspaperArticleEastValleyTribune5-29-16

  • Learn to paint like the Old Masters.
  • Receive the expertise of two instructors (Marsha Gilliam and Karen Schmeiser) as you learn the methods of the Old Masters in a 5-day workshop, June 27-July 1, 2016.  Open to artists of all levels.  Get more instruction for your money.
  • Cost: $489.  If you check the prices of art workshops these days, you will find they cost nearly twice as much.

YOU can do this too,

Marsha and Karen

WE’RE STARTING TO TEACH WORKSHOPS–ALL LEVELS ARE WELCOME

ANNOUNCEMENTArt of the Masters oil painting workshop and Open House!!!

  • Learn to paint like the Old Masters.
  • Receive the expertise of two instructors (Marsha Gilliam and Karen Schmeiser) as you learn the methods of the Old Masters in a 5-day workshop, June 27-July 1, 2016.  Open to artists of all levels.  Get more instruction for your money.
  • Interested students are invited to an Open House, May 31, 7:00-8:00 p.m., where you will sign up for the upcoming workshop, receive needed info, and actually see painted models of what you will be creating. Light refreshments will be served.
  • Please RSVP for the Open House (see contact form below).

The three most important things to bring with you are your patience, your determination, and an accepting mind.

Karen Schmeiser and I have decided to carry on Frank Covino’s legacy by teaching workshops here in the Phoenix Metro. It was a big decision for us , but we feel that, since each of us have studied with Frank for over twelve years and we both love teaching, we owe it to him to assure that these Old Master techniques do not get lost.  Here is an example of what you can expect to achieve:

First painting by Karen Schmeiser:

KarenTheShepherdessBouguereau

First painting by Marsha Gilliam:

MVC-004F

YOU can do this too!

All the best to you,

Marsha

PART 5, CLASSICAL ACADEMIC APPROACH, MARBLE GESSO

Did you complete your cartoon transfer yet? (See Part 4)  Keep in mind that working from a photo is not a lifetime sentence–it is a great beginning and learning tool, becoming simply reference material later on as you gain skill and begin to build a morgue of artist references.

At this stage, you should have transferred what is in each acetate grid section, box by box, triangle by triangle, to each identical grid section of your painting panel.  If you begin to think about your drawing as specific objects, turn the panel and acetate upside down and continue.  This way, it helps you to stay in the abstract and be more objective.

PaintingProcessStep2

Are the acetate and panel drawings exactly the same?  When the acetate tracing and the panel look exactly identical, you can either erase most of your grid lines, or just leave them in case you need refer to them later at some point during the charcoal drawing and underpainting.  I usually just leave them.  If your drawing has been accurately reproduced, spray it with fixative so it won’t disappear on you.  Remember that the Old Masters taught and used this same grid method to execute extremely accurate drawings, so you are in the best of company.

Now, it’s time to move on to the marble dust gesso and gelatin padding, and inking of the drawing.  Your surface should look sculpted when complete, but only to the degree of the Golden Mean.  In other words, you should aim for about thirty-three percent or less, or sixty-six percent or more of your surface area “sculpted,” but never 50-50.  Of course, this will generally be applied in areas throughout, so you will have to guess the aggregate amount.  Also, make sure you emphasize the illuminated, higher-value areas only, areas you want to advance.  The lighter the area, the more gesso or gelatin you can add.  Darker-valued areas should remain smooth and recessional.

If you plan to add any gesso or gelatin for textures, do it now during the drawing/charcoal/inking stage. Remember that the process of sculpturing your work with the marbled gesso is completely optional.  I don’t do it for every painting, but whenever I do, I never regret having the additional dimension that oil paint alone can simply not provide.

Here is an example of Rubens’ Roman charity painting, “Cimon and Pero,” where I extensively padded on the marble dust gesso to varying degrees on the man’s muscles in the light.  You can see why it is so important to study your anatomy and know the shapes of the musculature.  On the daughter, I added extra gesso to the face, breast, forward arm and hand, and on the dress folds, only on areas of light and those nearest the viewer.  Gelatin was added to stone areas only.  It is finely granulated, totally permanent and used just as it is, right out of the box.  It can be used in gesso or mixed directly in the paint, and creates a more crude surface–perfect for things like rocks, stone and bark:

Colony Website Pics1 020

If you zoom it on your computer, you can actually see where I have added marble gesso (those areas appear whiter) on this painting in progress of Titian‘s “Venus at her Toilet.”   I have built up gesso on the pearls, hair, face, the sternocleidomastoid, the breasts, abdomen, hip, arms, hands, jewelry, the angel and wings, and spent a great deal of time on the tiny trimwork of her wrap.  It’s an amazing tactile experience to literally feel the shapes as you run your hand over the painting and yes, it takes time, but it is so much worth the effort:

TitianVenus

Remember that not just any old plastic-y gesso works for this–you MUST have quite a bit of marble dust in it AND have a surface with tooth to apply it to.  You can make your own, or buy Bonded Marble Gesso from Frank Covino.  Several other companies are emulating Frank and finally beginning to make it also.

Working on a marbled board allows you to scrape, carve, and shape without ruining your surface.  Just remember that this gesso dries very quickly and becomes quite hard (like marble), so whatever your plan is, you should execute it as soon as the gesso is touch dry.  For instance, when I build a muscle, I keep adding coats with an older bristle brush until it’s the thickness I want.  Then, I sand it thoroughly, paying very special attention to the edges, as soon as the gesso will let me.  If you let it cure and come back a couple of days later, you’ll find it nearly impossible to make the edges smooth–it’s just too hard to work at this point.  Remember that paint will not cover up whatever textural accidents or sloppiness you leave.  The texture will still telescope through the paint, so make sure you are thorough with those edges.

All the best,

Marsha

P. S.  Just a note to remind you of the upcoming workshop

Hello, dear readers.  Here is some information I just sent out to all members of The Arizona Renaissance Art Guild, and I would like to share it with you as well.  We are having a one-week workshop where we intensively work on our paintings for one committed week.  If you will be in the Phoenix area on October 7-11, 2013, we would like to invite you to attend and perhaps make some new painting friends.  Respond to this post if you are interested.

Dear Artists:

Great news!  Karen has confirmed the dates for the Arizona Renaissance Art Guild’s one-week workshop. So, are you ready to paint those gorgeous works of art???

It’s PAINTINGPALOOZA time, one whole week to devote to your Classical painting for about $60 – $85 (total for the week), where we artists help each other make our work better and better.

The workshop is scheduled for the week of October 7 – 11, 2013, at the museum.  Workshop hours each day are from 9:00 a.m. until ?.

Signing up is simple–just send us an email and please include your phone number in case we need to contact you.  We have space for a maximum of 12 people. The more people that sign up, the less the cost!

There is no need for you to send a deposit ahead of time: just RSVP via email to confirm your attendance, and then pay your share when you get there.

And as always, if you see someone who didn’t get this email but who should or wants to be on the mailing list, please feel free to forward this on to them and us so that we will be able to include them in our next mailing.

Call if you have any questions.  Looking forward to hearing from you soon,

Karen and Marsha
Arizona Renaissance Art Guild

PART 4, CLASSICAL ACADEMIC APPROACH, THE CARTOON

Although you are copying an Old Master and placement has already been decided for you, here are some thoughts to keep in mind in the future when you begin composing your own work:  if you leave a large space above the head, you will signal to the viewer that the person you are depicting is diminutive, whereas, with less space above, you will give the impression of a taller, more imposing figure.  This knowledge is especially useful psychologically when you want to make a woman seem more feminine, or a man more masterful.  For example, you would probably not want to paint a commissioned portrait of a farmer, a CEO, or a king, with a lot of space above their heads.

Drawing well requires an extensive understanding of proportion, so to help you get a headstart on drawing and line, we will adopt the OMs’ method of using a graph to facilitate a highly accurate enlargement of your chosen painting.  Then, as you progress in skill and knowledge of the “rules,” you can begin to break them because you will find you need these guidelines progressively less and less.

Now that you have collected your painting supplies and materials, it is time to do an acetate overlay cartoon, or line drawing, over your 8″ X 10″ reference.  Then, you will transfer that same cartoon onto your painting board.    Both the acetate AND the board will be gridded.  Remember those algebraic equation days where what you do to one side of the equation, you do to the other side?  Well, the same idea applies here: what you do to the acetate, you do to the board, no matter how short a guideline may be.

The Cartoon
Work from your grayscale reference from the grided transfer and cartoon, through to the rendering stages.  When you “scale up” your reference material to fit your painting surface, the proportions of that reference material must be maintained; otherwise, you will have a final drawing that is out of proportion with perhaps ears too big or fingers too long.  Here is an easy procedure to ensure you get it right.

Procedure for Enlarging Reference While Maintaining Correct Proportion
Let’s say you are working from an 10” X 8” photo reference, and you want to paint it as a 26” X 20”.
1. Divide the long length of your desired enlargement by the long length of your photo reference to get a ratio:

26 ÷ 10 = 2.6″

2. Multiply that ratio by the short length of your photo reference.  This will tell you what your enlargement’s short side should be in order to maintain correct proportion:

2.6 X 8 = 20.8″

Your painting size will be 20.8″ X 26″

In this example, the size you wanted was 26″ X 20″ but the closest you can get is 26″ X 20.8″—so what can you do?  You have a choice at this point of either:

a) increasing your desired painting size to 26″ X 20.8″ (which would leave you with an odd size for framing),
b) rounding down to 26″ X 20″ (more standard size), or
c) decreasing the photo image content by leaving off a small bit of the sides.  This would be a very slight adjustment and probably worth it to be able to maintain a more standard size frame.

The Graph
Once you have the correct proportions, use a thin-point red or blue Sharpie and draw a rectangle on the acetate that corresponds proportionately to the size of your board and place it over your drawing.  Use pieces of masking tape to secure each side or corner.

  • Very lightly draw a big “X” on your surface from corner to corner.
  • Draw a cross through the center of the “X.”
  • Connect the cross around to make a diamond.
  • Finally, divide the graph into fourths by adding two horizontal and two vertical lines.

PaintingProcessStep1Grayscale

Lay another piece of acetate on top of the grayscale reference and grid.  As with the gridded acetate, also tack this one down with tape.  Trace the figure, including as many detailed features as possible.  You can use dotted lines or denser lines to indicate shadows or clothing folds.  If you make a mistake, remove it with alcohol and a cotton swab, as mistakes made at this stage will only look even more pronounced in your enlargement.  Strive for perfection–it will pay off and save you time later on.

*You can take your cartoon outline further, if you find it helps you, by turning it into a value study.   Do this by continuing to draw on the acetate to create a value study with lines–closer together indicates darker–farther apart creates lighter areas.  When your acetate drawing looks exactly like the reference and you would deem it a good drawing by itself, you are ready to begin transferring it to the painting surface.

On your board, and just as you did on the acetate, draw an “X”, then a cross, then a diamond, then divide it into fourths, both horizontally and vertically.  You can use charcoal or pastel pencils for this.  Do not use graphite because it can telescope through oil paint over time.  You can draw additional lines to aid you, connecting any two points at any angle.  Use as many of these as you need to help encase difficult areas like eyes, nose, and mouth.  Keep in mind that whatever you do to the board, you do to the acetate. Note where I placed my extra lines:

PaintingProcessStep2

We’ll continue with inking and gesso/gelatin buildup in later posts.

All the best,

Marsha

P. S.  Just a note to remind you of the upcoming workshop

Hello, dear readers.  Here is some information I just sent out to all members of The Arizona Renaissance Art Guild, and I would like to share it with you as well.  We are having a one-week workshop where we intensively work on our paintings for one committed week.  If you will be in the Phoenix area on October 7-11, 2013, we would like to invite you to attend and perhaps make some new painting friends.  Respond to this post if you are interested.

Dear Artists:

Great news!  Karen has confirmed the dates for the Arizona Renaissance Art Guild’s one-week workshop. So, are you ready to paint those gorgeous works of art???

It’s PAINTINGPALOOZA time, one whole week to devote to your Classical painting for about $60 – $85 (total for the week), where we artists help each other make our work better and better.

The workshop is scheduled for the week of October 7 – 11, 2013, at the museum.  Workshop hours each day are from 9:00 a.m. until ?.

Signing up is simple–just send us an email and please include your phone number in case we need to contact you.  We have space for a maximum of 12 people. The more people that sign up, the less the cost!

There is no need for you to send a deposit ahead of time: just RSVP via email to confirm your attendance, and then pay your share when you get there.

And as always, if you see someone who didn’t get this email but who should or wants to be on the mailing list, please feel free to forward this on to them and us so that we will be able to include them in our next mailing.

Call if you have any questions.  Looking forward to hearing from you soon,

Karen and Marsha
Arizona Renaissance Art Guild

STUDIO SPACE WHERE YOU ARE

As much fun as it isn’t, you just have to make a little studio space wherever you can.  I am on my third (+ a temp or two) in the past ten years, and am eagerly awaiting my fourth, being built to specs by my husband and myself.

We live on ten-acres in the desert.  Today it was 114 degrees so, of course, I stayed indoors.  We are building our own house and if I find something that needs changing, we can do it ourselves.  We’ve worked on this a long time, paying as we go, so money is always the issue (as it is for 99% of us).

Anyway, as a result of this state of continuing construction, I started out in a little corner of our household goods storage trailer, and here was my first painting space, among the washer, dryer, boxes, and books:

Studio1

I quickly ran out of space so we enclosed the screen porch attached to the front of our travel trailer, turned it into a 7’x12′ kitchen, and the art moved in, quickly appropriating any extra cooking and eating space we had gained.  Here it is with all the paintings I was working on at the time, complete with new red shoes and the first half of the Laurel and Heidi show:

Studio2Kitchen

And here is the second sleepy half, Heidi:

Colony Website Pics1 002

Finally, we decided we really needed that kitchen space so we restored a derelict 10’x16′ adobe (Surprise!  The Golden Mean, 1:1.6) that came with the property, tearing out its wooden floor to find everything from rattlesnakes, to our missing jobsite Sharpies and paint stirrers stolen by the pack rats (I can understand the Sharpies, but how DID they get that long stick under that floor??).  We replaced the floor with concrete, added interior beadboard walls, replaced the roof, added a door, two windows, a window AC unit, and special artist lighting.  My husband now uses half for his temporary hamshack, and I use the other half as my studio.  This penultimate 8’x10′ space is all mine–I’m moving up:

Studio3

Studio4

Studio5

Studio6

Then, my husband had a job in San Diego for a month, so I transported the supplies and my “feel good” paintings to our huge downtown loft accommodations.  I didn’t know how to handle that much room so what did I do?  Crowd in a corner, of course:

Studio6Temp

Studio7Temp

However, this is the quintessential upstairs studio I’m waiting for, although you have to use your imagination right now–but we painters have pretty good ones, no?

ArtStudioBathroomSnack

Bathroom, and balcony for sketching and painting in the Arizona winters.

MarshaPeekingNewStudio

Me, peeking around the balcony wall.

ArtStudioFromHereToFarWindow

The studio spans the distance from balcony to dormer window, although the subfloor isn’t yet complete.

ArtStudioGuestBathroomSink

Here you can see the span. The dream studio will be about 25′ x 38′, plenty big enough for me!

StudioSunset

Unretouched Arizona sunsets from the studio.  Aren’t they amazingly beautiful?

StudioSunset1

And finally, during our Arizona Renaissance Art Guild workshops and our Frank Covino workshops held at the Gilbert Museum in Gilbert, Arizona, my space and that of all my artist friends, looks like this:

P1020401

PaintingCovinoWorkshop5-2013

If you would like to join us sometime for one of our week-long workshops, or for our monthly Colony “paint togethers,” just let me know through this blog.  We have a workshop coming up and as soon as I have solid dates, I will let you know.

All the best,

Marsha