Over seven hours, students explored colour theory, conceptual elements, tone, colour and composition in an artwork.
Students were given a number of ways to approach abstraction by looking for compositional ideas and manipulate shapes and forms. They began by creating collages using images from magazines, cut up paper, or by drawing from life using Still Life. These collages were then used to create the composition on their canvas.
This course provided a unique opportunity to explore abstraction and different compositional elements of an artwork. Take a look below at the incredible work that was produced during the workshop!
We had our talented regulars, plus a few new faces in our Painting Course this Term, and it was a fantastic class. Hilmi’s teaching is based on traditional oil painting techniques, using elements of Flemish painting with a contemporary adaptation.
This term they painted from still life for four sessions, and from a life model for five. Take a look at their brilliant work below!
The assimilation of new techniques into children’s art work.
I have returned to teaching a children’s class after two years focused upon developing the adults’ classes.
I came into this new children’s class with the intention of introducing some elements of ‘atelier’ or ‘academic’ style training for the children. This is the methodology that many of the adults who have attended our classes would be familiar with, that enables us to rigorously teach technique.
Whilst I intended to introduce the same elements as in our adult’s classes, those of you that know me, will know that I am heavily influenced by Steiner and Montessori educational philosophies. These philosophies emphasise intrinsic self motivation (self motivation), creativity and the natural rhythm of child’s development. Whilst these philosophies are not completely incompatible with the style of training I wanted to introduce, it certainly gives me a lot to consider as a teacher.
We have had our first two classes for the term and the results, in fact, the way in which the first week’s instruction was absorbed then reappeared, fully integrated into the second week’s work has left me speechless. Perhaps these children are just incredibly talented, but somehow, they have taken in the new techniques and used them to produce work which incorporates those techniques into their own powerfully iconographic style. The three examples below by Taku, Chloe and Tyla display a far more individual approach than I would commonly see in adults, yet all have used the techniques of constructing a sphere and use of tone that I had shown them the week before. They do this while still maintaining an aesthetic integrity; the work holds together as personal statement. The new techniques have been subsumed to the personal visual logic each child individually consistently maintains.
On the basis of these works, it seems that it is possible to teach technique to children without restricting their creative or personal expression. Taku, for example, maintains a powerful expressive line and an arresting visual impact over the foundation of the structural approach he had been shown. Chloe has a whimsical play with the line of the structural drawing. With the interplay of line and the rubbing of the charcoal, the groups of objects all merge into one whole, showing an interplay of relationships between objects. Tyra also uses value, or tone in a powerful way, inventing value for visual impact (the shadow wasn’t present in the arrangement she was drawing from).
I realise that while teaching what is essentially a limiting process to the children, I shouldn’t limit the children’s other visual processes and iconographies. The purpose of restricting would be to show the assimilation of the technique I am teaching more clearly. The problem being that by restricting other information children use in the image, I may be sending the message that other forms of expression aside from that being taught are are wrong. The eventual casualty of such an approach being the death of creativity, exploration and intrinsic learning.
For the age group in my class, (9 – 12 year olds), it seems I can teach technique and that the child experiences an adaption of the new technique into an existing canon of technique, creativity and visual language rather than a weeding out of those pre-existing elements. In so doing, they maintain their ability for powerful personal expression.
I’m very much looking forward to the work that is to come.
We have been asked for a long time now, when will we be holding art classes during the day?!
Well, we are excited to announce we will be running two new Drawing and Painting (Studio Art) classes during Tuesday and Friday mornings from 2017! Finally, we hear you say!
Artist Marco Corsini will be presenting these daytime art classes and they will run the same way as our popular evening Studio Art Class (don’t worry, he will still be taking our Tuesday night class)!
Marco’s Studio Art Classes are our longest-running and are the foundation of Melbourne Art Class. We welcome people from all creative backgrounds, skill levels – anyone who needs a space to be creative, become inspired, acquire specific skills, continue an artistic project – the list goes on. The unique element about this class is that we limit enrolments to only ten students, so Marco is able to provide critical feedback, drawing and painting tuition or just help you get your idea out of your head and onto the canvas.
To get to know Marco’s classes a little better, you can read about his Tuesday evening class here.
Our classes are held at Enderby Studio, 314 Church Street, Richmond.
Daytime Art Course Dates
Term 1 Tuesday mornings: Feb 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, Mar 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th (8 sessions)
This first half of Hilmi’s Painting Class for Term Two focused on one composition with different Still Life objects, and we are so proud of the works they produced.
The class is focusing on oil painting techniques, with students encouraged to develop an understanding and technical proficiency in painting using a classical approach modified for contemporary use; using some of the elements of Flemish Painting technique a faster contemporary, approach. You can see their incredible progress here. The first image is the underpainting, and the second is their final work.
During the second half of the term they are working on painting a Life Model – we are looking forward to seeing what our talented students produce!
We recently held an Abstract Painting Workshop with Irene over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.
Students followed a process which took them from creating a collage from coloured paper and some found magazine images to the undertaking of an abstract or semi-abstract painting in oils or acrylics.
Painting from collage allowed the students to experience the entire process of making an artwork, even when there has been difficulty in starting an artwork before. During the course, the students learnt about the elements and principles of design; conceptual elements; tone, colour, composition and narrative; and how to unearth deeper and more meaningful aspects of an abstract piece.
You can see Karin’s process below:
And here are some other final pieces from the workshop:
We would like to thank these students for sharing their incredible work! If you are interested in a painting course at MAC, we are currently offering general courses in oils and acrylics. You can also explore abstraction (or anything you like!) in our Studio Art Course on Tuesday nights.
Hilmi’s Painting Class for Term One focused on one composition with different Still Life objects. Students could choose what would feature in their work, including shiny porcelain vases, old books, pottery and painted wine bottles. They were also challenged with a backdrop of creased sheets.
The class focused on oil painting techniques and students were encouraged to develop drawing skills, conceptual understanding and technical proficiency in painting using a classical approach modified for contemporary use. Hilmi used some of the elements of Flemish Painting technique, which he has previously taught in a three-day workshop, with a faster contemporary, approach.
We are very proud of what our students have achieved! Below are their works in progress – we hope you enjoy them!
Still Life – a collection of inanimate objects – does not inspire everyone, and after drawing the same curved vase ten times, beginners often want to move on to “more exciting things” like the human figure, portraiture, landscapes, abstract work etc. However, Still Life is an important genre for every artist; through it you explore line, composition, value or tone, space and nearly every type of texture, just to begin with. It can be the foundation of your art practice, or a complete and fascinating subject in itself, plus many of technical problems in painting can be resolved with Still Life practice.
If you study the Masters – both modern and classic, many works are Still Life paintings. In other works, Still Life plays what you think may be a minor roll, but as you begin to study them, you begin to realise how important it is to the painting as a whole. Artists such as Giorgio Morandi dedicated himself to working with Still Life throughout his own life with the enigmatic results still delighting viewers today. Picasso famously commented on the anxiety in Cezanne’s apples being what held his interest in the work.
“It’s not what the artist does that counts, but what he is. Cezanne would never have interested me a bit if he had lived and thought like Jacques-Emile Blanche, even if the apple he painted had been ten times as beautiful. What forces our attention is Cezanne’s anxiety – that’s Cezanne’s lesson.”
Clearly, Still Life can be a extremely powerful genre in the right hands.
Why should you draw and paint Still Life?
Did you begin drawing cylinders and cylinders and more cylinders until they began to resemble cups and vases and wine bottles? Think about all the lines in a Still Life – the fragile petals of a flower; the curve of a lamp in front of a hard-edged wooden box. The smooth skin of a dotted pumpkin, with deep grooves all meeting at one point; the tiny crosshatches on a folded piece of hessian on which a delicate teacup sits. This is where you learn how to draw a wealth of lines and render different surfaces and textures. It takes discipline but these skills can then be transferred to Life Drawing and portraiture, or whatever you would like to explore.
Lights and darks
A Still Life composition is where you can truly learn how to render lights and darks; value, also called tone. It is challenging but a place where every beginner should start and every seasoned artist should return. You can explore tonal range in Still Life – from the crisp white folds in a cloth to the deep, dark shadows cast upon it by a vase – and all the values in between. This is where you really learn how to “see”. A tip from our teachers is to squint at the subject in front of you – this can help you see the difference between the lights and darks more clearly. When painting Still Life, you quickly learn about colour mixing and how to mix a black (which you find out in our painting classes), and how to handle paint.
In art classes the Still Life is often arranged for you, although you may have the opportunity to choose which part of the composition you want to draw. Drawing and painting Still Life will help you identify how a composition can be modified for a particular effect. You can experiment with different compositions, create focal points and guide the viewer’s eye through compositions.
We had a full class for Term 3 Painting and our students produced some incredible work which we are very proud of and would love to share.
Four sessions over the ten weeks were dedicated to painting from one life model, in an ongoing pose. Painting the figure is difficult but a wonderful way to develop as a painter. Marco is able to guide students through the drawing foundations of the painting through to the final techniques. The focus in these session was on establishing fundamental processes for painting in a short time. Marco helped students create fleshy tones, finding the lights and darks, and using colours you wouldn’t normally associate with flesh. He was also aware of the different painting techniques of his students, and made sure his tuition only enhanced their personal style. You can see the different works produced below:
Long-time student Felice has a background in folk art which meant that she has a good mastery of certain brush techniques which have gradually expanded with her recent participation in the course.
Megan has been with Melbourne Art Class for a couple of years now and is a prolific oil painter. Megan returned to painting after many years away and has become an extremely effective painter.
Monika is a Graphic Designer by day but maintains a love for painting and continues to develop her painting technical skills. She has a natural disposition to describing the figure through painting.
This term we have introduced a short painting course – Painting from a Life Model with Marco Corsini. During this seven-week course, students will be encouraged to develop drawing skills, conceptual understanding and technical proficiency in painting.
When: Saturdays, 7th November to December 19th, 9am – 11.30am
Where: Enderby Studio, 314 Church Street, Richmond.
“Marco teaches traditional/proper painting techniques and methods from the basics, taking time to explain all facets of painting. I find the content inspiring and extremely beneficial to my art practice. I trust in Marco’s experience and knowledge and appreciate his very personable style of teaching.”
Other Worlds, is a collection of landscape paintings that embody the subtleties of the natural world; the changing light and weather, the evolving colours and the textural intricacies of the environment. But it’s the depth within the landscapes, the movement, and the emotional response that standout.
The landscape that surrounds Tasmanian artist Philip Wolfhagen, has been penetrating his being for a long time. They are triggers for new works, sources of colour and light, and they are a connection to the past and the present. Landscapes, and elements within the landscapes fuel his imagination and solidify a starting point. From here, with the inclusion of classical music, beeswax, and a primary colour palette his evocative and perceptual paintings begin to develop.
The Serpentine Path 2015, a group of three paintings on linen with oil and beeswax, depicts impressions of the undulations in the land. Rocks, shrubs and paths and a never-ending horizon complete the picture. The subdued colours of browns, greys and greens are blended to create contrast, depth and texture all at once. For Wolfhagen, a landscape isn’t about precision and accuracy but rather a representation of the natural world, in which he harnesses the atmosphere, the mood and the light. His paintings are emotive and represent a snapshot of a fleeting moment in nature.
The large scale Other World No.1 2015 draws the viewer into the landscape. The shear size is like a window you could move through. Strong shades of browns and oranges in the foreground are gradually teamed with greys and blues that fade into the distance. The painting commands stillness as the eye moves into the distance. It is as though Wolfhagen’s landscapes urge the viewer to stop and take notice.
Discussion between author and Philip Wolfhagen
I have read that music plays a very important part in your painting process. One of the standout features in your paintings is movement, is it your engagement with the music that enlivens your paintings?
I would say that listening to music keeps me aloof from the act of painting. It is a means to maintaining a separation; it promotes more rational thought processes, and is a caution against too much self awareness. It is possible that the influence of the music translates into movement, if not in the image itself, then certainly in the accumulation of gestures that comprise the image.
Another standout feature is the depth you create in your landscapes. Does the depth represent the deep feelings you have with the natural world and the deep respect for the historical and cultural past?
The illusion of receding space is a vital element in my work because each successive painting is representative of a journey; a never ending reinvention of self. The passage from ones own position to the always shifting vanishing point is inexhaustible in its potential for meaning.
Philip Wolfhagen Other Worlds 1 July-1 August 2015
Karen Woodbury Gallery
Level 1/167 Flinders Lane