Prior to the Twentieth
century it was common for would-be artists to secure a place
in the studio of a professional artist. The standard training
of a new student would begin with copying from master engravings
and then moving on to charcoal studies of classical sculpture.
The drawing of plaster casts of classical heads and other body
parts lit with a single preferably natural light source is good
starting point for the study of realistic painting. In addition,
such training benefits artists in general in fostering the focus,
discipline and patience adaptable to other media and styles.
The goal of cast
drawing is to train the eye to see correct values and shapes,
to learn to control the application of the charcoal in order
to render three-dimensional form and to see and maintain the
unity of the composition by observing the subject and the charcoal
drawing from a vantage point of equal distance. The absence of
color focuses the student on the values and the one light source
simplifies the transition from light to dark.
The atelier training
allowed students to go at their own pace, each having access
to a cast or other objects that they could continue to work on
until a level of proficiency was reached. Their training was
overseen by the teacher on a continuous basis with regular critiques
and demonstrations of the sought after effect.
In the fall of 2005,
I began instructing a small group of students, providing them
with an atelier-like training situation. Their instruction began
with simple white objects and has progressed to plaster cast
I am looking forward
to welcoming additional students in the future. Specifically,
I would like to make available abbreviated sessions during the
summer to teens interested in this type of training. Please contact
me if you have any questions or interest in my classes or check
back to this page for future additional information.
I should also like
to add that while I prefer to paint in what I would call a naturalistic
style, I am very accepting of others applying what they can learn
from me to their own individual approach to their art. I appreciate
a wide variety of art styles: traditional to modern; realistic,
abstract or nonrepresentational; occidental, oriental, or native;
self taught or otherwise trained. As a student of Art History
(I have a B.A. in Art History from UC Berkeley and an M.A. in
Art History from UC Santa Barbara), I have a broad understanding
of art movements throughout history that I can and do refer to
in demonstrating a point in class.