Monday, February 28, 2011

Student work Feb 2011

by Katie Whipple, graphite and white chalk on toned paper

by Seeram Rohan Mangroo, graphite on paper

by Seeram Rohan Mangroo, graphite on paper

by Colleen Barry, oil on canvas

by Colleen Barry, oil on canvas
by Colleen Barry

by Pierre Bombardier, sculpture in clay

by Pierre Bombardier, graphite on paper

by Devin Cecil-Wishing, sculpture in clay

by Devin Cecil-Wishing, plaster cast of sculpture in clay

by Brendan Johnston

by Emilie Lee, oil on canvas

by Victoria Herrera, oil on canvas

by Connie Netherton, oil on canvas

by Connie Netherton

Colleen Barry teaching a group of students in the afternoon figure painting class

Tony Curanaj giving a critique to Shiwehn Wu

Sculpture students finishing up the last day of the pose on friday

Brendan Johnston paints with a short handled brush

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Core Program Studies - "Tippy Casts"

The "tippy cast" studies are an integral part of the first year afternoon block-in class. We work on the "tippy cast" drawings for at least a few months, four afternoons per week.

A "tippy cast" is simply a feature cast (nose, eye, lips, ear) that has been turned on a strange angle, so that the the object has been reduced to a more abstract physical representation of shadow and light shapes. "Tippy casts" are extremely useful to learn how to see shapes, distances and other basic measurements accurately and rapidly. We are meant to finish each study in four hours, and I have personally found it to be an exceedingly helpful exercise. Most students find that their ability to judge tilts, shapes and distances improves greatly during the months that they spend on these studies.

Andrew Bonneau's finished nose tippy cast
and eye tippy cast in progress
If you wish to do "tippy cast" studies in your own studio, it is important to find a point behind the feature cast to line up with a point on the cast. For example, in the above image you might line up the top left corner of the eye cast with a particular white speck on the wall. Then, when you draw you must make sure that you always return to this viewpoint. That way the shapes always remain the same; even a small change in your vantage point results in great differences in the shapes, distances and tilts, which will confuse your drawing. The idea is to attain total accuracy in these drawings, which is hard enough to do without the shapes changing the whole time!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Scott Waddell's Webisode #4

Scott Waddell teaches in the core program at GCA. He also teaches portrait painting on tuesday and thursday evenings - a class that is open for anyone to enroll in. Scott also teaches a workshop this summer from July 5-16.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Leonard Porter Reception

cordially invites you to attend a viewing
of a new set of the fourteen traditional
For the Church of Christ the King
Vernissage Reception: Friday February 25th from 6 to 8pm
Open Studio: February 25, 26 and 27 from 11am to 5pm
153 West 27th Street, #800, New York City

For the Church of Christ the King
By Leonard Porter
The Fourteen Stations of the Cross allow the faithful
to walk and pray along the path of Jesus' Passion, His
final hours from condemnation by Pilate to entombment.
This new set, recently completed by Leonard Porter will
be installed in New Vernon, New Jersey shortly. Please
join the artist for this opportunity to view the paintings
before they leave New York City.
For more information, please visit

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Valentine's Day Party!

Pictures from our party on Monday:


Even the casts are feeling the love

Facepaint anyone?

Valentines cards!

Twister too (I lost)

Gerome in the Subway!

I was excited to see this advertisement featuring a painting by Jean-Leon Gerome in the subway the other night! Gerome was a French academic painter and sculptor whose teaching and work has influenced the way we approach our curriculum at GCA.

here is a picture of the whole painting:
Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904) Bashi-Bazouk, 1868-1869 Oil on canvas - 80.6 x 66 cm
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Essential Line: Drawings From the Dahesh Museum of Art

The Dahesh Museum of Art, in conjunction with Syracuse University, currently has a fantastic show of academic figure, cast and narrative drawings displayed at the Lubin House/Palitz Gallery in Manhattan. The Dahesh graciously extended an invitation to the opening reception to students of the GCA, which proved to be very worthwhile.

The show is small, however it is made up of quite a few excellent drawings. The works ranged from initial concept sketches by Alma-Tadema all the way to a fully-rendered Bonnat piece entitled "Jacob Wrestling with the Angel."

 The initial concept sketches by Prix de Rome winners were also very informative concerning the process of beginning a genre painting, and I personally found the sketched studies of Moroccan men by Georges Clairin to be truly inspirational.

For those of you who do not live in NYC or otherwise cannot make it to the show, you can see many of the works featured on the Dahesh website: .
However, if you do live in or near Manhattan, I highly recommend attending the exhibition. It is not often that 19th century drawings come on display, and there is a lot to be learned simply from viewing these works.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

student work Feb 2011

by Shihwen Wu

by Brendan Johnston

by Andrew Bonneau (Andrew just joined us from Australia last month and this sketch page is a great example of the Bargue drawings that new students work on when they first start studying at GCA.)

by Andrew Bonneau

by Emilie Lee

by Justin Wood

by Carla Crawford

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Feb 8th Lecture

Please join us FEBRUARY 8TH at 4:30 PM for a free lecture. Natural Pigments director George O'Hanlon will discuss painting mediums and color palettes.

*Each lecture will take about 1/2 hr. Please RSVP if you wish to attend:

"Painting Mediums Historical and Modern"
How oil painting mediums can be used to create many different painting
effects. What are historical oil painting mediums like and how do modern
mediums compare to them? Through recreations of many oil painting medium
recipes from the 15th to 19th centuries, Natural Pigments answers this
question. We compare their handling and performance characteristics, such as
viscosity, rheology (paint consistency), yellowing and flexibility. The
results of this research is presented in ways that can help artists to
understand the purpose and use of mediums in their own work. The
presentation will be followed by questions and answers. This presentation is
designed for oil painters.

"Rational Approach to Color Palettes"
The approach to color used by the old masters working in the 15th to 17th
centuries was both intuitive and based on an empirical understanding of
color interaction. Although modern color theory was not developed until the
18th century, the old masters had already laid the foundation in set or
rationally ordered palettes. The set palettes of the old masters is
discussed, in modern terms according to Denman Ross, in this lecture and how
it can benefit painters today.