Friday, September 29, 2017

Winter Drawing Boot Camp 2018

Every January and July we offer a Drawing Boot Camp that introduces artists to the classical training methodology at GCA. Artists with experience are also welcomed in Boot Camp to focus on sharpening fundamental skills. We're happy to report that starting this year we will be increasing the number of awards and providing two scholarships each session for a 50% reduction in tuition.

Read about our 2017 scholarship recipients' experiences below.
Alex Ford drawing the portrait
"All of the instructors that I worked with at GCA were not only operating at the highest level within their own work, but were also incredibly adept as teachers. It's one thing to be able to show someone how well you do something, it is completely another to help someone to be able to do it themselves. That's what GCA is best at. There is no mystery, no confusion just a concise and logical method of approach that was tailored by the instructors to meet my individual needs."
Figure detail by Alex Ford
"The other aspect of my time at the Boot Camp that stands out in my mind is the overwhelming sense of community at GCA. All of the instructors, staff and students made me feel completely at home throughout my stay. They treated me as I were one of their own, always making sure to include me in any events, lectures and parties. I made some truly valuable friendships while there and can't wait to go back for another visit.  The GCA Boot Camp inarguably and drastically improved the quality of my work. The Boot Camp was one of the most fun, challenging and rewarding experiences I have ever had."
     -Alex Ford of Minneapolis, 2017 Winter Boot Camp Scholarship Winner
Cast Drawing by César
Artists have the opportunity to continue working on their casts after class for a few more hours each day.
"The first week was about cast drawing, an essential part of all training in classical drawing. I was excited to start my first cast drawing ever. I had the chance to do a cast of an eye, which I thought was a great way to begin with a symbolic item of path and direction...The second week we had the portrait workshop, an excellent week where I could ask for intensive direction, since this was an important subject for me. I felt comfortable as well as challenged, all those little nuances, and particularities of the human face to be translated by a correct use of technique and representation."
Studio figure drawing by César
"The third week was really fun, drawing the figure is exquisite. A great opportunity to polish what I learnt the previous weeks, plus I got to demand of myself to grow in every line and every value or form rendering to achieve not only a better likeness, but a better understanding of the figure and beauty of it. The fourth and last week of the Boot Camp was nonetheless one of the best experiences I've had...I could work with a complex scenario, it was about composition and figure but also about perspective and performance. How to represent that much, in the few hours we had at our hands, but without diminishing the quality? So every line, and movement must count, I thought to myself."
     -César Meza Anguiano of Mexico, 2017 Summer Drawing Boot Camp Scholarship Winner

The Scholarship application and Registration is now open!

Winter Drawing Boot Camp 2018
January 8 - February 2, 2018
Mondays - Fridays - 9am - 4pm
(Note: Week 2 is Tuesday - Saturday in honor of MLK Day)
Week 1: Cast with Devin Cecil-Wishing
Week 2: Portrait with Katie Engberg
Week 3: Figure with Brendan Johnston
Week 4: Studio Figure with Anthony Baus
with Special Events each week!

View the full course descriptions and register online.
Take 2 weeks: Save 10%
Take 3 weeks: Save 15%
Take all 4 weeks: Save 20%


2 Scholarships are available for 50% off the total studio fee for taking the full Boot Camp.
Deadline to apply for the Winter Scholarship: November 1st at 12pm
Notification by November 10th

View & Submit the Scholarship application.

Additional Winter 2018 Workshops will be announced by October 4th.


Summer 2018 Workshops & Summer Drawing Boot Camp Scholarship Application will be announced in early December. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Artist Spotlight: Todd M. Casey

The painting below titled “Limoncello” was painted and donated to the Portrait Society of America for their annual Mystery Art Sale. Each year they ask a list of artists to donate a small 6 x 9 painting that gets auctioned off with the proceeds benefitting their student scholarship fund.
I paint using both the direct and indirect methods. For this painting, I chose to paint indirectly. Therefore, I set up a drawing to work out the composition and size and then scan the drawing into the computer and scale it to the correct size. The drawing is printed to scale and transferred to panel/canvas with the oil paint transfer method (similar to carbon paper method or Saral).

When setting up my panel, I knew that I would have a very warm painting with a lot of yellow and green, so I chose to also have a warm undertone under the painting. This allows me to be looser with the paint so that the warm undertones can poke through areas of opaque paint over the top. You can complement the color to balance it as well (I often do a neutral grey #5 toned panel) but I wanted to try warm with warm. This was toned with burnt sienna.
After the drawing is transferred, I normally set up my value range by putting in the darkest dark (background) and the lightest light (napkin). This helps me complete the painting in the middle of those 2 poles and I can judge all values based off of these 2 markers. Also, a high chroma object will stand out more against a black background so I often set up my paintings to have this 1-2 punch. It focuses on the object and really makes it pop.

Next I begin by rendering a high chroma object to set up my chromatic hierarchy. I knew that the liquid in the mini carafe is lower chroma than the lemon so now I have room to gauge this off of. Sometimes I do a quick grisaille to set up the value range but I’m often too excited so I just go for it.

I started with lemonade as the liquid in the container because I try to use props that are more economical. But I ended up buying a bottle of Limoncello as the liquid didn’t look believable enough. 
From here I put in some color notes on each object to show the value/hue and chroma based off of what I set up already. After this, its smooth sailing as the painting is pretty much set up and just needs to be put all together. At the end I work on edges and make sure the color is compositionally balanced and if not, I’ll tip things slightly.

Todd completed his classical training at both the Water Street Atelier and Grand Central Academy in 2010. He's returning to teach the upcoming 3-day workshop: The Still Life Sketch at GCA October 10 - 12. Visit our website to read more and register.  Visit his website to view more of his work.