Figure and Landscape Painting Workshop:  Disegno e Colore

July 8th – 22nd. 2013

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Painters have been traveling to Italy for centuries to feel a sense of connection with the country’s rich artistic heritage and culture.  This painting and drawing workshop will help facilitate this connection by studying key practices of Italian Renaissance painting through an intensive and exploratory studio environment.

We will work closely together and focus our studio work on the central motifs of the human body and portraiture in the newly renovated Terrano Studio Center, and will also take full advantage of the intoxicating motifs to be discovered in Civita Castellana and the surrounding landscape.

For the first several days of the workshop students will work through a series of painting exercises and dig into the fundamental concepts of Disegno e Colore during demonstrations and lectures.  The relationship between Disegno (both drawing and design) and Colore (both color and paint surface) is helpful in understanding much of the work we will be directly exposed to in Italy.

“Disegno is the animating principle of all creative processes.” – Vasari    

Students will then develop a more sustained and personal engagement with a motif(s) and attempt to realize a work(s) of moderate size that involves both direct and indirect methods of painting.   Through this more self-directed and personal investigation, students will be encouraged to develop an increasingly clear conception of what drawing and painting ought to be to them.

“We work not only to produce but to give value to time.” – Delacroix

Lectures and Demonstrations:  The course lectures and demonstrations are broken into two large, interrelated concepts – disegno e colore.  We will look at many digital images of relevant master works, both new and ancient, to help us visualize, analyze and discuss the shape of our content.

1.  Disegno – Drawing/Design; we will study:

  • Methods for accurate visual measurement – including sight-sizing
  • How to recognize shapes through observation and draw them effectively
  • Techniques for judging value relationships across the field of vision
  • Approaches for constructing pictorial space and pictorial rhythm
  • Using geometry to create dynamic visual relationships
  • How to recognize and utilize key anatomical landmarks when drawing the body
  • Strategies on how to ‘find’ your motif in the landscape and ‘what to look for’

 …  and most importantly:  further development of an intuitive drawing practice – finding the spirit in the form

2.  Colore – Color/Surface; we will study:

  • How to organize and utilize a limited palette for a greater sense of harmony when working alla prima (at first attempt)
  • How to utilize indirect modifications of color, form and edges through techniques of scumbling (light over dark) and glazing (dark over light)
  • How to utilize indirect modifications of color, form and edges through techniques of scumbling (light over dark) and glazing (dark over light)

Drawing is the honesty of art.  To draw does not mean simply to reproduce contours: drawing does not consist merely of line.  Drawing is also expression, the inner form, the plane and modeling.  See what remains after that. Drawing includes three and a half quarters of the content of painting.” Ingres

Workshop Schedule:  The workshop will meet on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, beginning at 9:00 and carrying through to lunch.  We will meet again after lunch for a flexible afternoon session, when students will have the option to continue the morning’s work or explore individual pieces.

David will meet with students one-on-one and in informal group formats each afternoon to help support individual goals.  Group critiques will be organized roughly every two days or as work is ready to discuss.

Thursdays are free for bus excursions that will include, depending on the week, Florence, Rome, Bologna, Piero della Francesca Tour of Arezzo, San Sepolcro & Urbino.  Students will also have the opportunity to attend evening slide talks by faculty. 

To download Supply List for Figure and Landscape Painting Workshop click here.