Friday, April 29, 2011


ACOPAL, the America China Oil Painting Artists League, has recently released their list of finalists and winners for their exhibition "Contemporary American Realism", which includes several notable GCA/WSA alumni and students. Finalists include:

Hudson River Fellow and Workshop Instructor Thomas Kegler

GCA Instructor and 1 of 3 ACOPAL Finalist Winners Joshua LaRock
LaRock also recently received a Certificate of Excellence at the PSOA for this portrait

On the topic of the Portrait Society of America, Water Street/GCA alum Nancy Fletcher also won a Certificate of Excellence at the competition with her portrait of Don Whyles:

Back on the topic of ACOPAL, several notable dignitaries from the fine art institutions in Beijing will be visiting GCA and Jacob Collins studio next month as part of the continued relationship between the Chinese and American art communities. We are excited to host our Chinese guests, and will report back on their visit next month. 

Edward Minoff's show opening

There was a great turn-out at Edward Minoff's solo show opening at Cavalier Galleries in Greenwich, CT last night! The gallery is located only a few blocks from the metro north train station, so it is very easy to get to from New York City. The show is up until May 11, so if you get a chance, definitely check it out. These big paintings need to be seen in person!

Edward Minoff, Sunrise No. 3, 2011 , oil on linen, 28 X 48 inches

Ted works the crowd

Allison, Connor, and Andrew

Devin, Lauren, and Erik

Zoe and I

Monday, April 25, 2011

Workshop Week Report: Value Workshop with Tony Curanaj

During our special workshop week (March 28-April 1) we all took a break from our regular schedules to focus on a particular area of study. While some students took Perspective with Sam Wisneski(see earlier post) and others studied anatomy with Andrew Ameral (see earlier post), the first year students studied value in the world and the Munsell color chart system with Tony Curanaj.
Mixing neutrals!
The first two days were spent mixing and tubing neutral grays, matching the paint to the corresponding Munsell chip. This proved to be a more difficult endeavor than we first thought,  since we were required to bring our neutral gray to an extremely exacting match to the chip, which proved to be slightly maddening. We began by mixing a pile of either flake or titanium white with burnt umber and bringing this pile to an exact value match to the chip. We then mixed a separate pile of flake or titanium with ivory black, also bringing this pile to an exact value match. We then began to mix these piles together in order to reach the correct hue of a completely neutral gray.  This was the frustrating part; since we were mixing large enough piles of paint to fill an entire tube, it was difficult to gauge how much the addition of the warm or cool pile would affect the main mixture.  However by the end we all felt we had a better grasp on mixing and understanding oil paint.

Checking it against the Munsell chip

On the third day, we painted Munsell value scales onto primed pieces of wood in order to use as reference, and we began painting. The real challenge began here, as we worked towards creating convincing illusions of value blocks. We used all of the tools at our disposal, including squinting down, our Munsell value scales, and our own intellectual reasoning based on our understanding of what we saw before us. We progressed from basics objects such as single value cubes, to more complex geometric shapes, as well as cubes sharing two or more values. The oil painting presented a lot of new challenges for us, which was both a little daunting and exciting. 

First day of painting our value studies
On the final day of the workshop, Tony lectured about the Munsell system and how it is possible to rationally calculate the values of lit objects from one's imagination. Armed with this new knowledge, we continued on to finish our final day of painting, where everyone proved to accomplish their best work of the week.
Four value studies from first year Ken Yarus

Thanks for the great workshop Tony!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Edward Minoff Solo Show next week

GCA instructor Edward Minoff has a solo show opening next week at Cavalier Galleries in Greenwich CT. This is an easy trip from New York City on the train, and the gallery is only one block from the train station, so no excuses! See you there! Thursday, April 28th 6-8 PM

Workshop Week Report: Anatomy with Andrew Ameral

During our special workshop week (March 28-April 1) we all took a break from our regular schedules to focus on a particular area of study. While some students took Perspective with Sam Wisneski (see earlier post) and first year students learned about value with Tony Curanaj (post coming soon!) the rest of the group focused on Anatomy with guest teacher Andrew Ameral. Back by popular demand after last year's workshop week, Ameral came all the way from San Fransisco to share his knowledge and passion for drawing with us.

In the class, students drew from two live models - a male in the morning and female in the afternoon. After getting a basic figure drawing finished, students then took transparent velum and drew the skeleton over the figure, trying to understand how the bones would look in that particular pose. A third piece of velum was placed over that to draw the muscles. Each day was full of slide shows and hand-outs from Ameral to help further the understanding of human anatomy. Here are some examples of what the class was up to:

reviewing a quick slide show on a model break

by Lauren Sansaricq

by Lauren Sansaricq

by Brendan Johnston

by Brendan Johnston

by Brendan Johnston

by Carla Crawford

by Carla Crawford

by Carla Crawford

Thank you Andrew Ameral! We hope you come back next year!

Friday, April 15, 2011

GCA in Harlem MIddle Schools

For the past year, the GCA has been offering a free after school class to ten students from two middle schools in Harlem. The course is taught once a week by Carla Crawford and is an introduction to classical drawing techniques for kids who’ve had no formal training. Students began by learning how to block-in from Bargue plates. Working from these, they’ve acquired the basic skills of drawing shapes, lines, tilts, and comparative measuring. You can see the progress of one 13-year old student here:

Students have also been introduced to the idea of form. They’ve completed a munsell-type value chart and still lifes of eggs—which was a challenge, but great for learning all about the effect of light on an object, form shadows, cast shadows, and reflected light. Using this knowledge students are beginning to complete the modeling on their bargue block ins. We’re so excited about this class and the students who are taking it.

example of work in progress by a 14 year old student

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Instructor Edward Minoff's Extended Seascape Painting Video Released

"Stormy", 32x48 inches, Oil & Gold Leaf on Linen, 2011.

The extended version of Edward Minoff's American Painting Video Magazine Seascape Painting Video has just been released. It runs about an hour, with added footage, commentary and a greater focus on procedure and technique. It features an in depth discussion of the different studies done outdoors and how they are used back in the studio to work up to a larger seascape painting.

It costs $20 to download, and is available through the APVM website on the lower left on Edward Minoff
gallery page:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Workshop Week Report: Perspective

Last week was our annual spring workshop week when we take a break from our regular routine in the cast and figure studios to get a little crazy. This year we split into three groups each focusing on one subject: Anatomy, Perspective, or Value. I was in the mind bending Perspective workshop, taught by Sam Wisneski. In this workshop we covered basic rules of one and two point perspective, with an emphasis on how to take an imaginary idea from thumbnail to compositional sketch using perspective. Here at GCA we spend a lot of time learning to draw, paint, and sculpt the figure, without much concern for the figure's surroundings. This workshop was an excellent way to prepare students for taking that next step - composing a scene that might combine multiple studies. I think I can speak for the whole class when I say that we were freaking out with excitement at what we were learning!

Sam Wisneski teaching the perspective workshop

an example of an imagined scene drawn for the class by Sam Wisneski

basic perspective exercises

more colored lines = more impressive

an imagined scene being worked out on a perspective grid

Huge thanks to Sam Wisneski for all his time and patience!

Golden Ratio Lecture by Ryan Brooker

Anyone who missed Ryan Brooker's lecture on the Golden Ratio last week can watch it right here:

The Golden Ratio from Benjamin Cave on Vimeo.

Monday, April 4, 2011

New Beaux-Arts Atelier information session

Tuesday April 5th at 4:30 PM Richard Cameron will give a short talk about the new Beaux-Arts Atelier - a one year intensive program in the study of architectural design at the Institute of Classical Architecture and Classical America. Please follow the link read a full description of the program - which includes a term in Rome and internship placement.

Stop by the South Studio at GCA tomorrow afternoon to find out more and ask questions!

Application deadline is May 15 2011!

The original New York Penn Station before it's demolition in 1963

some of Benini's initial sketches for the Navona Fountain

students sketching outside the New York Public Library

Friday, April 1, 2011

April 12 lecture on paper

Join us for an hour long lecture at 4:30 pm on April 12th. Anna Ryan will be joining us from Strathmore Papers to talk about how paper is made, different paper weights, how to effectively compare paper types, how to store finished drawings, and how to select the best paper for your technique. Samples of different Strathmore papers will be available for free to take home! To ensure that we have enough sample papers for everyone attending the lecture, we need you to RSVP by April 5th at

Νέες κατηγορίες σε GCA!

Η GCA παίρνει μια παράκαμψη από την αρχική αποστολή του και θα ξεκινήσει τη διδασκαλία των ακόλουθων κατηγοριών από τον Σεπτέμβριο:
Ερμηνευτική Χορός - Jacob Collins
Twitter ένα σχήμα - Τεντ Minoff
Νέα Hairstyles για Εκμαγείων - Tony Curanaj
Ήμουν Γυμνάσιο Disco Champion - Chris Waddell
Κοιλιά Παλέτες - Τζος Larock
Γλυπτική με Bell - Jiwoong Cheh
Υποβρύχια Watercoloring - Scott Waddell
Πώς Δρ Pepper Με βοήθησε Γυρίστε το έντυπο - Nick Hiltner
Ρύζι Crispies σε Πήλινο σας: Πλεονεκτήματα / Μειονεκτήματα - Mason Sullivan