Review of Rocca Calascio, 2015

Our second trip in three years to Rocca Calascio was another mix of great company, the cucina divina of Abruzzo, sublime vistas and the gracious hospitality of all at the Rifugio della Rocca.

My sincere thanks to:  Ludovica, Roberto, Daniela, Spass, Victoria, Kristin, James, Ruby, Mo and Oliver!

Pictures and video below.

Cheers,

Tim

[AFG_gallery id=’1′]

The Many Faces of a Portrait

In the Spring of 2014, the focus of Saturday morning’s portrait painting class was a series of three portraits with the model Andreina Mehtab.  Each began with a study of a sphere using multiple layers of paint over a varying ground color—one the natural color of the canvas, one an Earth orange mixed from Venetian Red and Terra Gialla and the last a darker ground—a process that was then repeated for each portrait.

Two truisms emerged:

  • Sometimes the start is much better than the finish;
  • Sometimes the time allotted is not enough time to finish, especially when you’re struggling to surpass what was a great start.

The gallery below shows a start and subsequent evolution.  There is a simplicity and economy in the start of the portrait that is lost over time.  The one benefit to a promising start is that it may inspire you to keep pushing.  It did for me, and, at the end of the course, I brought Andreina into my own studio to try and bring the work to a satisfactory conclusion.  This too proved to be more of a challenge than I had anticipated… but good to revel in the fight as much as the result.

You can see the final result on my website.

PADASOR’s First Painting Workshop in Washington, D.C.

The hit of the summer was the painting workshop that took place over two days this past August in Georgetown.  Masterfully organized by Maureen Murphy, the venue and on-site location were perfect and the audience couldn’t have been more enthusiastic and gracious.  My sincere thanks to all who participated: Maureen, Sharmila, Anne, Loraine and the model Carol.  A special thanks again to Maureen for all she did to put it together. Let’s do it again!

 

 

Gina and Michayla: Summer School in Rome 2013

A video summary of Gina and Michayla’s three-week summer school experience in Rome in 2013:

Testimonial: Private Lessons in Drawing

Elisabeth had started with me in a group painting class, but it was clear from the start that  some basic drawing was needed.  We decided she’d come for some private drawing in studio.  Here is a look at her work.  The first drawing was our starting point.  The rest was done over the course of 8 lessons.  Well done, Elisabeth!

I had never taken art classes before and I felt very nervous when I started. I wanted to take private lessons so that I could focus on the basics of drawing. Tim is an excellent teacher, he explained things clearly, at the right pace and he knew when to intervene and when to just let me get on with it. I really love the sculptural approach to drawing that Tim teaches, it’s very dramatic. The classes were a lot of fun and I surprised myself with how much I progressed. I’m looking forward to continuing.

—Elisabeth F.

Spring 2012 in Review

A look at the work from Caravaggio Part I – Flesh Illuminated and Velazquez Revisited – Painting alla Prima.

Complimenti a tutti pittori e pittrici! Ci vediamo a Settembre… Cheers, Tim

Destination Rembrandt in Review

My thanks to Rossana, Nadia, Franco, Paolo and Amel for a grand expedition.  Though careful steps were planned from lesson to lesson, it was always amazing to see the diversity of interpretation and execution.

There were several key technical discoveries:

  • Rich blacks were achieved with a mix of Ivory Black and Crimson Lake over layers of Red and Burnt Umbers;
  • Flesh was readily cooled and brightened with a Flake White (or Doak’s Flemish White) laid dryly (like a scumble) over layers of Yellow Ochre and Vermillion;
  • Crimson Lake and Ultramarine Blue (or Lapis Lazuli) mixed with Flake White made for much of the beautiful purples.

Perhaps the greatest strategic lesson was developing an awareness of the “hierarchy of the whole;” despite details, keep variety in the service of unity.

Below: some candid photos followed by a series of each student’s painting.

Testimonial: Copying Caravaggio

Il quadro del Giovanni Battista di Caravaggio l ho visto per la prima volta alla mostra delle Scuderie del Quirinale ed e’ stato amore a prima vista, credo di essere rimasta davanti a quel dipinto per almeno 20 minuti immobile con la gente dietro di me che reclamava il proprio turno. E’ difficile da spiegare, per chi non l ha mai visto dal vivo, e’ la perfezione!  I colori dell incarnato cosi’ reali, le forme armoniose del corpo che si staccano completamente dallo sfondo scuro , il volto assonnato , il drappo di quel rosso cosi’ ricco e corposo che viene voglia di toccarlo, la luce cosi’precisa e definita che illumina quel corpo cosi’ perfetto nelle proporzioni.  La cosa bella e’ che tutto ha un senso in quel quadro, anche il minimo accenno di forma e colore..pazzesco!  Dopo questo trip mentale ho deciso di realizzarne un falso.

Tim voleva affrontare l argomento flesh tones a studio, cosi’ abbiamo iniziato la nostra avventura.  Devo dire che, inizialmente, avevo solo una vaga idea di cosa potesse significare realizzare la copia di un quadro cosi’ complesso . Abbiamo iniziato con un disegno a carboncino su carta celeste, il disegno e’ stato poi trasferito , a grandezza originale, su tela di lino con una griglia.

KEEP THE EDGES SOFT e’ stata la frase piu’ ricorrente, Tim mi ha indirizzata verso un percorso di studio, direi, accademico. Sono stati preziosi i suoi consigli, la sua esperienza e la sua pazienza(perche’ con me ce ne vuole tanta).

Ho imparato a realizzare il colore dell incarnato, il chiaro scuro e la tecnica wet to wet, cioe’ utilizzare i colori su una superficie “bagnata” da un colore di base abbastanza diluito con olio di noce, questo permette(almeno da quello che ho appreso) di avere nel complesso un effetto uniforme tra sfondo e oggetto o soggetto del quadro, utilissimo direi to keep the edge soft.

C’e’ molta strada da fare ancora e molto da imparare…grazie Tim !!

Michela Ragusa
Novembre, 2011 Rome