- Pericles, Charcoal Cast Drawing
- John Dolan, 2nd Year
Our students begin their study reproducing in pencil the lithographs of 19th century artist Charles Bargue. These drawings, commissioned by the master painter and teacher Jean-Léon Gérôme, once served as a visual aid for beginning students. Their detailed reconstruction allows the inexperienced eye to observe successful ways of processing and simplifying complex forms. At this point new methods are introduced allowing for greater proficiency in executing these challenging exercises. Having produced several accurate copies, students advance to the next level.
Moving from a flat image to a three-dimensional object, students begin to draw plaster casts of antiquity with charcoal on white paper. This next crucial step allows for a deeper analysis of methods discussed in the previous stage. Strong focus is placed upon a convincing impression of light, air, depth and texture. This exercise often takes months to master. The finished product should attain an illusion of reality indistinguishable from the subject itself as seen from a distance.
The daily life drawing class plays an equally important role in honing the skills and becomes the stronghold of our comprehensive program. The portrayal of the human figure in all its subtlety is perhaps the most difficult task for any artist. The drawing of the model provides infinite opportunities for improvement while allowing the instructors to express advanced concepts. It is here that the student develops greater sensitivity to the proportions of the human body, learns to capture gesture and likeness quickly and effectively, and grapples with the fleeting effects of natural light which define the subject in its surroundings.
Drawing assignments continue for one or two years before simple painting projects are introduced. When rudimentary lessons are well assimilated, more advanced training commences with each student proceeding at an individual pace. With our guidance, students develop a sound strategy necessary to meet each challenge set before them. Overcoming obstacles soon becomes a welcome routine as they take increasing joy in seeing the results of their labor.
The final stage of study at the Ravenswood Atelier is the painting of still life. This exercise allows students the creative freedom to cultivate heir own aesthetic by incorporating elements of design, composition, and color.
Students improve their technique with daily critiques until they are proficient enough to solve problems by themselves. Individual students may then be invited to remain at the school to instruct first year classmates and to reinforce their own newly acquired skills by application both in theory and in practice.
We invite you to visit the STUDENT GALLERY