Friday, March 29, 2013

Workshop in Edmonton

I have an upcoming workshop in Edmonton at the studio of illustrator Mike Sass. A rare opportunity to study with a both a classical painter and contemporary illustrator. Below is Mike's excellent blog post about it:

This May I will be hosting a portrait painting (oils) workshop at my studio in Edmonton.  This week-long course will be taught by my friend, Martinho Correia.
Martinho was the former painting instructor at the famous Angel Academy in Florence, Italy.  I personally consider this school the best place to learn the technical skills of classical realist methods and have taken many workshops on the processes they teach.

With a class limited to 10 students, we'll have 2 models set up with 5 artists around each model.  Students will go through a thorough process to produced a painted portrait from life.  Martinho will be the main instructor, but I will also be available to help, and you will have access to my studio for the week to witness my oil painted illustrations and process up close.

Click for info from Martinho's site.

We are excited to offer this course and I think it will be alot of fun.  I just want to underscore the opportunity this workshop provides, especially for Western Canadians who have limited exposure to this type of instruction and experience.  Both Martinho and I have traveled and studied extensively in artistic hotbeds at great time and financial expense.  To spend a week at my studio studying with us is a fantastic opportunity to absorb our knowledge with a small class size and in the inspiring setting of my working studio.  I would have killed to go to a workshop like this 10 years ago, but had to make many costly trips to build my knowledge of this craft.  For anyone interested in travelling to this workshop, I can help you with logistics like hotels, so just ask.

I have created a Facebook event for this workshop. Feel free to join this page for future info or to discuss and ask questions.

Contact my personal e-mail: for questions or to register.  Hope to see you in May!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Studying Art in Florence

Museum Secrets from the History Channel visited the Angel Academy of Art  last summer and filmed part of my workshop there for an episode on studying art in Florence. The episode airs April 4th in Canada. The trailer is here :
Their blog is here:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Scott McCloud and Understanding Comics in Lethbridge

This past Thursday, Friday and Saturday I was in Alberta's windy city, Lethbridge, taking a workshop with comic artist and theorist, Scott McCloud. His 2005 Tedtalk is one of the best:

 "Understanding Comics"  

As you can see from his talk, he is a fine orator. His teaching skills are equally excellent. The workshop was a combination of exercises and lectures.

During the first day lecture, Scott defined comics as a series of choices:
1. Choice of moment
2. Choice of frame
3. Choice of image
4. Choice of word
5. Choice of flow

There were two in-class exercises structured around how these choices could create clarity and/or intensity. Students were given various non-sensical situations that had to be translated into images. Mine, for example, involved an astronaut walking into a petting zoo, picking up a goat and throwing it at the moon. After the goat bounces off the moon enter Einstein on a camel who proceeds to shake the hand of the astronaut.
The larger project for that day was a 16 panel comic describing our life:

The morning of day two was spent looking at and critiquing the "Life" comics. 

Scott introduced us to the Grimace Project followed by a lecture on facial expressions and gestures. He then assigned us the task of translating various emotions and gestures into drawings. The last project of the day involved us picking a hawaiian word from a hat and translating that into a story. I chose Muumuu. I came up with an elaborate story involving Yoda, Zippy the Clown and Homer Simpson. Needless to say, I never finished.
Overall a fantastic workshop. Always nice to stretch the artistic muscles in a new direction. 
I will leave you with a snap of the Alberta prairies from my drive back to Calgary.