I would like to share more with you about the online classes I took through The Art Students League of New York’s E-telier.
Continuing on with my studies, I took a “The Figure In Watercolor”, with Marcelo Doldoce after Ms. O’Neil’s class (see previous article). Mr. Doldoce’s online class was another excellent learning experience. For the specific month I was in, we spent our time working on the portrait.
To start with, we did exercises in identifying values (lights and darks). Toward the end of the month, we started working with color. And, we painted from live models (online) and used master paintings. Hmm, I thought, I need to learn how to draw a portrait before I paint one.
So, after one month, I switched to a portrait drawing class. However, before I finish with Mr. Doldoce, I noticed that he moved on from the portrait to the full figure as the class progressed. Furthermore, I learned a lot about the portrait in the class. That is to say, by focusing on value shapes, I started to see the portrait as a series of shapes, instead of individual parts.
I am sure I would have learned how to paint a portrait and figure with Mr. Doldoce if I had stuck with the class long enough. A couple things I thought were particularly good. Marcelo was good at encouraging us to break down the portrait into value shapes, as noted above. Also, he had us start with grayscale studies, then move on to mixing color. Put another way, the class developed in a logical manner.
Finally, I liked the way Marcelo combined having us paint in class with doing watercolor demonstrations. As is the norm with all the online classes I’ve taken through the Art Students League, the instruction, feedback, support and critiques were great.
But, as I said, I felt my skills at drawing a portrait were lacking so I enrolled in Yuka Imata’s class “Portrait Drawing”. I thoroughly enjoyed her class and it was quite the workout. Ms. Imata has designed her online class such that students draw from an online model during class. Then, she has a rotating system for giving one-on-one feedback or critique. It worked well and I felt good about the instruction. It was a wonderful class and I felt I was making progress in drawing the portrait.
I still felt my training and drawing skills were lacking. And, after three months, I thought I ought to really learn how to draw. So, I thought I’d give Mr. Eric March’s class “Fundamentals of Drawing”. Mr. March was a great instructor (do you see a theme developing?) and I got quite the drawing workout.
For the month I was in his class, we worked on perspective. And, it was illuminating! I liked the way he mixed in lessons from master artists with the lessons on drawing. For example, I had not paid attention to one point perspective. But, Eric showed us how one of the Dutch masters used one point perspective in his paintings; it was exciting!
Also, I thought I knew two point perspective. Well, I did and, more accurately, I did not. I had just scratched the surface. I am including two images of two point perspective drawings that I did in class. The first one is the featured image and the second one is included below. I loved doing the drawings; they were such a good learning experiences!
At about this time, I had another project I needed to work on so I took a break. When next I enrolled, I took a class on portraiture from Mr. John Varriano. But, we will talk more about Mr. Varriano in the next installment of my time at the Art Students League of New Year online classes, (E-telier).