All Posts by jescantonelli@gmail.com

Oil Painting Process

This excellent video by Youtube expert MrPicment is an entrancing example of building up a composition using a very dark, textured background, and then adding lighter tones to create the final portrait.

The process of adding layers of color is one of my favorite things about oil color. In acrylic painting, by contrast, you most often directly lay down exactly the color that will be seen in the final painting from the get-go. What you see is what you get. In oil painting, the artist is uncovering a mystery, one glaze at a time. This video example in particular reminds me of lifting one veil after another until we finally meet the woman underneath.

Oil Painting 101

I am forever indebted to world-renowned photographer George Krause for the incredible show he has brought to Bellas Artes in San Miguel de Allende: The Sfumato Nudes of San Miguel. Not only are these beautiful nudes a well-done expression of the vulnerability, charm and strength that exists among all ages and shapes, but is is also an INCREDIBLE opportunity to sketch and paint the nude form!

I have taken every extra minute I have had the last week to camp out with my art materials in the show. I’d like to take the opportunity of this excellent show to go step-by-step through the same process we go through in oil painting classes.

Step 1: Highlights
Begin on a tinted canvas. It does not matter particularly what shade the canvas is painted, only that it is not excessively light or dark. We aim for a mid-tone, so that the highlights (the bright whites and lighter tones) and lowlights (your dark darks) will pop out strongly from the mid tone that you begin with. This helps paintings move along quickly. Also, working with a mid-tone influences the subsequent colors layered above them. A warm red such as I have begun with below, will lend it’s warmth to the final painting, even if we cover every centimeter of red with paint.

George Kruass

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So You Think You Can’t Draw?

I don’t know when it began or where, but there has been a devious lie circulating for ages about artistic ability. People believe that you are either born with artistic talent, or not. I haven’t heard of a single scientist coming out with evidence that drawing skill has been linked to the 15th chromosome, or that it has to do with the same gene that signals for dark eyes, and yet people take it as a fact that you are naturally an artist, or you are doomed to a life of stick-figures and self-depricating jokes. How to draw mountains demitri martin However, as you can see above in this thoroughly scientific graph by comic genius Demetri Martin, drawing skill is directly related to the amount of time spent practicing it.

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Sketching San Miguel Part 2

We will continue to capture the city this week in new locations with exciting new Interior sketch San Miguel de Allendesubjects.

Each class is 2 hours long, with a little under one hour of drawing lessons and warm-ups, then one hour on location.

Thursday, Jan. 29th, 1:00-3:00pm– Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 20, meet at the fountain in the center courtyard. Class focus: Learning from the Maestros. In partnership with B’nai Or Gallery, we will study in the tradition of renaissance masters: by copying the great works of local artists in San Miguel. We will choose one or two paintings to study in depth, and may also find time to sketch the Parroquia from the back patio, which offers one of the best views in town.

Armando Martinez B'nai Or Gallery

Friday, Jan. 30th, 1:00-3:00pm– Bellas Artes, Hernández Macías 75, Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, GTO. Meet at the fountain in the inner courtyard. We will begin with warm up drawing drills, review linear perspective, then break into small groups to sketch the lovely architecture of the building, which includes a stunning mural from Mexican mural master Siqueiros.

Saturday, Jan 31st, 1:00-3:00pm– Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 20, Arts and Crafts Fair. Each student will be given $50 pesos to buy one item which we will use to do a group still life. Class will meet outside of the Instituto, and after we shop for our objects we will sketch on the back patio. Brave souls who care to try to sketch amidst the bustle of the fair will be welcome to sketch in the vendor area as well, where the layers of booths stacks and bursting with goods would make an excellent composition.

Classes are $600 pesos for 3 days, or $250 pesos for drop-ins. Please sign up here

 

Location change and Update for Sketching SMA Classes

Dear Artists,

There will be a location change for Day 1 and 2 for Sketching San Miguel, Monday Jan. 26th and 27th.

We will NOT meet at Cafe Rama on Monday, the 26th. The first class will begin at Via Organica, same time, 1pm-3pm. 

On Tuesday, the 27th, we will meet at Cafe Rama–just a little switcheroo.

We apologize for the inconvenience!

Schedule:
Monday, Jan 26th, 1:00-3:00pm-Meet at Via Organica, Margarito Ledesma Street # 2, (one block from the Calzada de la Aurora), Colonia Guadalupe, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato.
Via Organica Website

Tuesday, Jan 27th, 1:00-3:00pm– Meet at Cafe Rama, Calle Nueva 7, Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato.
Cafe Rama Website

Wednesday, Jan. 28th, 1:00-3:00pm– Meet at the Gazebo in the center of the Jardin, the main square of San Miguel where the gorgeous Parroquia is located.

CLASS UPDATES

Classes for Sketching San Miguel, Mon-Wed, are now closed. Classes are 10 students or under in order for each student to get personal attention from the teacher.

Due to popular demand, classes will be offered Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of this week, from the 29th to the 31st.

We will be exploring even more of this beautiful city. Siqueiros Mural

Thursday, Jan. 29th, 1:00-3:00pm– Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 20, meet at the fountain in the center courtyard. Class focus: Learning from the Maestros. In partnership with B’nai Or Gallery, we will study in the tradition of renaissance masters: by copying the great works of local artists in San Miguel. We will choose one or two paintings to study in depth, and may also find time to sketch the Parroquia from the back patio, which offers one of the best views in town.

Friday, Jan. 30th, 1:00-3:00pm– Bellas Artes, Hernández Macías 75, Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, GTO. Meet at the fountain in the inner courtyard. We will begin with warm up drawing drills, review linear perspective, then break into small groups to sketch the lovely architecture of the building, which includes a stunning mural from Mexican mural master Siqueiros.

Saturday, Jan 31st, 1:00-3:00pm– Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 20, Arts and Crafts Fair. Each student will be given $50 pesos to buy one item which we will use to do a group still life. Class will meet outside of the Instituto, and after we shop for our objects we will sketch on the back patio. Brave souls who care to try to sketch amidst the bustle of the fair will be welcome to sketch in the vendor area as well, where the layers of booths stacks and bursting with goods would make an excellent composition.

Classes are $600 pesos for 3 days, or $250 pesos for drop-ins. Please sign up here

Supplies in San Miguel De Allende

Three days of amazing are just around the corner, with Sketching San Miguel kicking off this coming Monday, Jan. 26th!

All you need to bring to class is a sketchbook and pen and pencil–or perhaps the materials you prefer if you are a seasoned sketcher, such as charcoal or pen and ink.

I highly recommend El Pato for all you art supply needs. This excellent store carries fine art materials at discount prices.

El Pato

 

They have a wide selection of sketchbooks available.

I recommend any of the following:

These simple Sketchpads are great for beginners, and very reasonably priced

These simple Sketchpads are great for beginners, and very reasonably priced

This bound sketchbook is waiting for you to fill in the blank pages, at only $162 pesos--just over $10!

This bound sketchbook is waiting for you to fill in the blank pages, at only $162 pesos–just over $10!

These beauties include 2 sketchbooks, but for the price of 2 sketchbooks. Great quality!

These beauties include 2 sketchbooks, but for the price of 2 sketchbooks. Great quality!

I recommend a sketchbook larger than a standard sheet of paper, but choose the size that you are most comfortable!

Sign up for classes here, or send me any questions you may have in the comment section on the sign-up page!