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-   -   Seeking advice for training (http://portraitartistforum.com/showthread.php?t=8318)

Justin Snodgrass 12-21-2007 07:13 AM

Seeking advice for training
 
Hello all,


I sort of rumbled my way into the forum with my projector and this thread . From all of the great input and discussion there, I was snapped back to reality and to the drive that led me to my BA in the first place. So, now I am at a fork in my path and was hoping to get some input and advice as I work out my best options.


First off, I have been doing some form or artwork off and on since I was a boy. I received my BA in Fine Art from California State University in 2004 and have since dabbled in a little bit of everything: filmmaking, sculpture, computer animation, photography, and yes portraiture. Though I had the opportunity to draw and sculpt from life while obtaining my BA, it certainly was not extensive training. My original drive to attend art school was my love of figurative work. Somehow that was all lost in the midst of school and life (and children). I have a good start and am still but a "spring chicken" at 33 years old.


I would like to focus on figurative work. This has always been the type of work that inspires me and that I have enjoyed creating. I have always been one to jump right in and get started, but being a stay-at-home dad, attending school full time again is not an option. That being the case, I am planning on setting up some type of curriculum for myself.


Here is a list of sorts (brainstorm really) of things that I have come up with so far.


Sight size drawing:
The closest I have come to doing sight size drawings is completing studies from magazines and from Burne Hogarth's books. I really like the idea of working with some Bargue plates to hone my seeing ability. This seems to be the starting point with many ateliers. I just need to look into the actual technique a bit more. I'm planning on purchasing Bargue's drawing course in the near future, so hopefully it will provide some insight.


Cast drawing:
I found a cast thread on the forum with various links for buying casts. Ouch, that could add up. Good thing they can be rotated. I really like the idea of cast drawing since I can do it at home in my studio and as time (kids) allow.


Life drawing:
There is a local community college located nearby that offers a life drawing class. I'm not sure how the instructors are, but I have heard that they typically use experienced models. I'm sure it would be worthwhile practice either way. I was invited to join a privately run open studio some time ago. I believe they meet once a week. I will have to dig up the phone number.


Workshops and Ateliers:
I noticed that the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art offers a part-time "Studio Sessions Program". It would be an hour and a half drive one way, but that is certainly doable (I am in Redlands, Ca by the way). I can also keep and eye open for workshops in my area, and attend as they pop up.


Books and Videos:
I just started reading Classical Drawing Atelier. Bargue's drawing course is the only other item that I have on my "wish list" so far.


Obviously, the one important thing that I would be missing in all of this is having a consistent set of mentors and instructors.


Any advice, opinions, and input would be greatly appreciated. Info about other ateliers, workshops, or open studios in my area would be great as well.


Thank You,

Justin

Allan Rahbek 12-21-2007 07:44 AM

I think that you should join any group that has a good model and post the results here for critique.
If you ask for it, we can be really mean ;)

Mischa Milosevic 12-21-2007 07:46 AM

Justin, it is plain to see that you have thought this through for you have named most all the important steps one should consider.

Being that you would like to tackle figurative work and that this appeals to you then you should consider a good instructor. It is one thing for a artist to do good work it is another to be able to pass that what he/she knows to others. So, a safe bet is a good balance between the two. Being that you are not able to travel far then look on line the ARC web page is a good start and find the best instruction that you can. Do not shortchange your self here for the foundational drawing must be solid and the best that you can get is the way to go.

As for the Bargue plates there is much on this forum to get you started even to receive critique. I have worked with a number of people, on line, walking them through the first steps. Even here personal instruction a tutor is a must have but the first plates can be accomplished even long distance and its the cheapest. When I was at the academy it cost me close to 5000 every three months but then I did not have the responsibilities that you have. Still, you can get the best there where you are if you think all this through and it will not cost you nearly as much as it cost me.

One more thing if the chance comes up and you are able to take a short corse outside your area then I personaly would consider Zhaoming Wu I think he teaches in Frisco and Anthony Ryder and I think he is In Fenix or near by. They are close to you and they are top notch instructors and artists. Each has a the same approach but a different finish. Look them up and see if this appeals to you. Each is a superb draftsman which should be your basic and the foundation of your study.


I hope this will help.

All the best to you

P.S. it is not how good the model is rather the instruction and the approach that should take presidence

John Reidy 05-13-2008 07:51 AM

Justin,

My two cents worth are to seek out an instructor whom will teach you ART and not style. Seek the fundamental truths of the art of figurative drawing first.

Second, join one of those groups that offer models and then draw, draw, draw and then draw some more.

We are capable and willing to critique and offer advice but I think that teaching is something that must be done in person.

Enjoy the journey. It is your passion and some day you may get paid to do what you love.

Donna Johnson 05-13-2008 10:28 AM

Hi Justin,
I did the drive from Redlands to LAAFA and I thought it was worth it. You might also consider Glenn Vilppu at the Animation Guild in NoHo. It is not quite as far and much more affordable. I don't think you could find a better anatomy teacher on the planet. ;) He uses live models in all of his classes (and a skeleton). I only say that because I actually went to a "week long pose from life class" (in another state) and got a skull instead. :D
Donna

Justin Snodgrass 05-13-2008 01:38 PM

Thank you for the great info and advice Donna and John. We recently moved into a new home and I have had to put things on hold as we finish the house and unpack boxes. The only painting that I have been doing lately has been on drywall. The new house has an empty room that I will be using as a studio though, so I can't complain too much.

I have also heard that the DA Center for the Arts in Pomona has on-going life drawing sessions every Thursday for $8. I also heard that Scripps in Claremont might offer drop in sessions as well. Anyway, I still need to look into those more.

Thanks again for the great info and advice. Hopefully I will be back soon with some drawings for critique.

-Justin

Justin Snodgrass 09-26-2010 03:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Donna Johnson
Hi Justin,
I did the drive from Redlands to LAAFA and I thought it was worth it. You might also consider Glenn Vilppu at the Animation Guild in NoHo. It is not quite as far and much more affordable. I don't think you could find a better anatomy teacher on the planet. ;) He uses live models in all of his classes (and a skeleton). I only say that because I actually went to a "week long pose from life class" (in another state) and got a skull instead. :D
Donna

I just wanted to stop back by this thread to say that I am currently attending Glenn Vilppu's life drawing and anatomy classes at the Animation Guild. What a fantastic person and teacher. Thanks for the advice Donna. It took me a while to take it, but I did eventually get around to it.

Edit: I forgot to mention that I also checked out the open studio at DA Center for the Arts (Pamona, CA). It was well worth the $8. Very casual and so far so good with experienced models. Anyway, thought I would mention it for those located near the area.

Donna Johnson 09-26-2010 11:44 AM

He IS the best! You will never regret it. :)


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