Tuesday, March 26, 2013

GCA Ushers in Spring with Workshop Week

Our Spring Workshop Week (typically the last week in March) offers both full and part time students the chance to take a break from their regular studies to focus on something different. Full time students are enrolled in one of three classes; Value with Tony Curanaj (1st years), Drawing from Reproduction of Old Master Figure Drawings with Colleen Barry, and Copying Paintings at the MET with Will St. John.

Also on offer are two regular workshops: Portrait Sketch with Ted Minoff and Travis Schlaht, and The Spanish Still Life with John Morra - both these workshops are being held again this summer.

The sunny, blustery day outside is turning a little moody mid-afternoon. Strains of spanish guitar music sound from the North Studio and country music ambles from the Cast Hall. Will St. John and the painters are under the watchful eye of Hazel Rodriguez at the MET, and students studying portrait have the benefit of having two teachers at once!

Enjoy the photos below of students at work this week:

Core students: first day at the MET... 3 days left!

Andrew Bonneau copies a portrait by Greuze
Shihwen Wu copies Portrait of a Man by the Workshop of Velazquez
(Shihwen is only student who has copied at the MET before)
Anthony Baus copying David's Death of Socrates in the middle of a huge tour group!
Crowd moves on, sharing turp with Rodrigo.
Brendan Johnston strikes a pose between the original and the copy. Juan de Pareja, Velazquez.

Katie Whipple examining Raphael's Madonna and Saints.
Katie under investigation. Her canvas is properly stamped.
Niki Covington copying Veronese's Mars and Venus United by Love.
Will St. John instructing Sarah Bird.
Sarah Bird Copying The Death of Harmonia by Jean Baptiste Marie Pierre
Liz Beard copying Tintoretto's Portrait of a Man.

First Year Core Students Study Value with Tony Curanaj

L to R: Grant Perry, Audrey Rodriguez, Athena Gibson
Andrew Payne
Katie Engberg
John Brogie
L to R: Mark Hill, Alex Berrios, & Jessica Artman

Core Students Copy Old Master Drawings with Colleen Barry

Colleen Barry instructing Zoe Dufour
Rebecca Gray
Sam Worley
Seeram Mangroo
L to R: Seeram, Rebecca & Carl Martin-Sandvold

Day 1 TNT Portrait Sketch Workshop
(TNT = Ted and Travis)

L to R: Travis Schlaht and Lisa Ferber

Day 1 Demo by Ted Minoff

Greg Clark, Joyce Colburn

Day 1 Demo by Travis Schlaht

Day 2: The Spanish Still Life Workshop with John Morra

Karen Haidar's Still Life
Carolyn Brancato
Lynn Reardon
(Her disclaimer: grapes not real!)
Regular Part Time Student Martha Crow
Howard Greenhaigh

Friday, March 22, 2013

Apply to Enter GCA's Summer Drawing Competition! Application deadline: April 15

Ten draftsmen will compete for 40 hours over five days to draw one figure from life.

New York, NY, March 22, 2013 - The Grand Central Academy of Art (GCA) will be holding its second figure drawing competition, June 3 - 7, 2013. Applications are due by April 15. The draftsman who executes the most beautiful drawing will be awarded the $10,000 grand prize accompanied by the title Apelles. The $3,000 second place prize includes the title Protogenes, and an additional competitor will be awarded a $2,000 third place prize. This competition will take place at the Grand Central Academy, 6th Floor, 20 W. 44th St, New York, NY, 10036.

From L to R: 2010 Competition
1st place drawing by Darren Kingsley, 3rd place drawing by Carla Crawford, 2nd place drawing by Will St. John
This Figure Drawing Competition hopes to gather together the greatest draftsmen to work on a single figure drawing over the course of five days. Drawings will be done from one model and one pose.

Drawing skills are the bedrock of good painting, and the foundation on which form and color can most truthfully be expressed. It is incumbent on the artist to routinely sharpen and develop these skills from life. The intent of this competition is to bring greater prestige and honor to those artists who have devoted time and energy to honing these abilities. It will be a pure test of drawing skills.

The Grand Central Academy of Art Classical Figure Drawing Competition
Monday – Friday, June 3 – 7, 2013
Grand Central Academy of Art
20 W 44th Street, 6th floor
New York, NY 10002

How to Apply:
Participants will be selected on the basis of an online portfolio submission consisting of five images, including at least three figure drawings. All artists, from students to professionals, young and old, are encouraged to apply. There is a $25 entrance fee, and a $75 finalist fee. Applications are due April 15.
To request an application, click here.

The GCA will provide easels and tabourets. Finalists are asked to bring their own drawing materials: drawing board, white paper (required), graphite, charcoal or carbon pencils. Tones and graphite/charcoal washes are not allowed. Scale is 18 x 24. 

Judging Criteria:
The judging will take place in 2 rounds:

The first round of judging is based on a point system (1-5) with the following criteria:
1. correct proportion based on the model
2. correct or natural gesture again based on the model
3. correct understanding of anatomy
4. the modeling of a consistent finish
5. correct observation of the light effect

The second round of judging is based on artistic strength:
Those 4 or 5 drawings exhibiting the greatest strength in these areas will move to a final round wherein the judges will decide the winners based on what they consider to be the greatest overall success considering artistic strength.

Join Us For Public Viewings:
The competition room will be open daily, 1-2pm, for viewings of the drawings-in-progress. An Awards Gala will be held on Friday evening, 7-9pm. Refreshments will be served. These events are free and open to the public.

The Story of Apelles and Protogenes
Apelles and Protogenes were renowned painters of Ancient Greece during the time of Alexander the Great (4th Century BC). They were rivals and also advocates of each other’s work. Stories tell of their daily precise practice of outlining, and the laborious fine finish they brought to their work, whether drawings or paintings.

Their rivalry tested who could draw the finest, steadiest line and has famously been recorded in an anecdote in Pliny’s Natural History.

Apelles travelled to Protogenes’ home in Rhodes to make the acquaintance of this painter he had heard so much about. Arriving at Protogenes’ studio, he encountered an old woman who told him that Protogenes was out and asked for his name so she could report who had enquired after him.

Observing in the studio a panel Protogenes had prepared for a painting, Apelles walked over to the easel, and taking up a brush told the servant to tell Protogenes “this came from me” and drew in color an extremely fine line across the panel.

When Protogenes returned, and the old woman explained what had taken place, he examined the line and pronounced that only Apelles could have done so perfect of work; Protogenes then dipped a brush into another color and drew a finer line above the first one, and asked his servant to show this to the visitor should he return.

When Apelles returned, and was shown Protogenes’ response, ashamed that he might be bettered, he drew in third color an even finer line between the first two, leaving no room for another display of craftsmanship.

On seeing this, Protogenes admitted defeat, and went out to seek Apelles and meet him face-to-face.

(Retold by Guillaume Apollinaire)

About the Grand Central Academy of Art:
Founded by Jacob Collins, the Grand Central Academy of Art provides rigorous instruction to students seeking a traditional art education. The academy models itself on the progressive methodology of historic ateliers. Each stage of drawing, painting, and sculpture fits into a larger curriculum built to give students the skills necessary to create classically inspired works. Students can absorb this information in the four year, full-time Water Street Atelier, and through a variety of weekly classes and summer programs, all geared toward those who are dedicated to realist art. The academy also sponsors lectures, competitions, exhibitions and public discussions, adding another dynamic to this vibrant community. Its location in New York City makes the Grand Central Academy a natural center for today's classical arts renaissance.

The Grand Central Academy is part of the Institute of ClassicalArchitecture and Art.

About GCA Competitions:
Each year in early June, GCA will hold one of three competitions on a rotating basis, either Figure Drawing, Still-Life Painting or Figure Sculpture. A jury will award first, second and third place prizes of $10,000, $3,000 and $2,000. At the end of each August, GCA will host a more informal competition for Portrait Sketch. A jury will award first and second place awards of $1,000 and $500.

To learn more about The Grand Central Academy of Art, visit

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Works in Progress in the Figure and Cast Halls

 Here are a few paintings and drawings in production throughout the last few weeks.  Check back in for the finished pieces at the end of the month.

Andrew Bonneau

Connor de Jong

Liz Beard

Anthony Baus

Katie Whipple

Andrew Bonneau

Rodrigo Mateo
Seeram Mangroo
Mark Hill

Athena Kim
4 hour portrait - Audrey Rodriguez
4 hour portrait - Charlie Mostow

4 hour portrait - Connor de Jong
4 hour portrait - Leanna Chipana

4 hour portrait - Rick Piloco
4 hour portrait - Brendan Johnston