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Bails Blog

1st Day Of Portrait Class At The Atelier Reminded Me Of 3 Important Things!

Atelier Model, Charcoal, September 17th, 2019

Hello friends!

This week, I completed my first of fifteen, two and a half hour, portrait classes- at the Atelier! (The Atelier in Minneapolis offers a form of teaching/learning that has been pasted on from generations. That is to say, I will be learning a technique of drawing that was influenced by French Impressionists and 19th Century European art)

First, before I got to class, I decided that I was going to work with classic charcoal. After arriving to the studio, I worked on choosing the angle and spot I would draw from for the next fifteen weeks (I’m really digging the lighting, contrast and angle from my perspective). The teaching artist gave one demo, six artists started on their base drawing, while the instructor quietly gave individual pointers. To end and prepare for the next week, easels were marked with yellow tape to ensure the ability to pick up exactly where leaving off.

Ultimately, I’ll follow the comparative measurement method, and work on the same piece, from the same model, throughout the course. Approximately the same amount of time will be dedicated to this project as Milo, the dog drawing. 🙂

Day One, take aways:

  • find the most prominent lines and angles in the subject
  • capture basic shapes and shadows
  • rely mostly on squinty vision to constantly relate the first two to one another

These fundamental reminders are gold! Forgetting to be conscious of these when drawing is like forgetting to have proper breathing techniques when running a marathon. Sometimes you don’t think you need reminding but when you get it, all of the sudden you feel yourself adjust, be more aware and notice an improvement. 🙂

I’m so excited and so thankful to be taking classes at the Atelier! More to come 🙂

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