Sunday, July 24, 2011


Hey people,

Sorry for not updating in an extremely long time, but I have been very busy getting ready for my finals. I can't really remember where I left off, so I'll start off on Monday and just go over all last week in one giant swoop.

Monday was fairly uneventful as always. Woke up, worked out, went to painting class. I did another small self portrait and then moved onto to seeing an art exhibit right outside the bobli gardens. The works were right before the 18th-19th century explosion of expressionism. It was a great glimpse into the transition away from renaissance strict regulation to form and into the more abstract way of painting. It makes me want to take a class on 18th century art. If I have time I might. Although, I have to say, I am really excited to take Japanesse art history when I get back and Chinese painting in the winter. Anyway, after that I pretended to paint in the gardens. I am not very good with water colors and as a result the piece did not turn out very nice. I think I will burn it and start over. Then it was off to open drawing session until 10. The model didn't show up so we rotated modeling between all of the students. The front desk promised us a make up session wednesday (which means I had to again stay after till 10 pm)

Tuesday was an interesting day. The previous thursday had been crappy because my drawing just kind of sucked. The first half was spent drawing from a model, which wasn't out of the ordinary anymore. I drew in pencil and made a descent, not great, piece. Jon liked it well enough, and I was satisfied. The second half was slightly more interesting. Jon couldn't book the model again for the afternoon, so he wanted to take us to the Boboli gardens. Having gone a million times I complained and asked if I could go to the wax museum again to draw. Jon agreed and I drew from the different models there for about three hours. Made some descent studies that I decided I could use for my final. I decided I wanted to do an anatomy drawing that looked like the Veturvian man. That way I could dissect the body at different angles and still really be able to focus on details. I pitched the idea to Jon in the afternoon and he seemed fine with it.

Wednesday was somewhat eventful. My friend Michelle had come to Florence with her sister, so I spent the morning getting breakfast with them. It was nice to see her, especially because she has left me forever by becoming a real person and graduated college. After that, it was another day of painting. We started working from the model and painting from that. I did not think I would like that, but I enjoyed it more than I thought it would. Then we went to the Bobli gardens again where I sat in the front and practiced with my ink for a couple hours and then decided to go early and get ready for another open drawing session. The open drawing session went pretty well. I was really happy with the piece I made and was excited to show it off to Jon and the class the next day.

Thursday Jon walked in and saw my piece and said it looked nice. This was sufficient for me. Then he decided it would be a good idea to go over everyone in the class and discuss their strengths and weaknesses and hear proposals for finals. He started by writing down everyone's name and putting a check, if they were doing a good job in the class, or a question mark if their work was less than what he considered par. Two of the beginners got checks, and two of the three intermediates got check, myself not included. I got a question mark and a period. Two marks of punctuation, since apparently one was insufficient. To elaborate he was really on the fence about my performance. I had made some great stuff, and if the other intermediates were not so far above my level I would have been fine. None of the advanced received checks. None of them were even on the fence. They all received confirmed question marks. Then we started the final proposals. Andrew went first discussing his desire to simply the pattern of shadows into shapes. It was an interesting idea, not really grad enough for my taste, but a good idea. Then I think Gabe went up and proposed his small drawings of different animals. Alyssa and Lauren, the two intermediate girls who should have been advanced, gave a great proposal that he animate the animals (since he was interested in animation) and show them running or moving. Gabe took the advice to heart and changed his final project. I think it will be really great if he can pull it off. Then I went. I proposed my life sized anatomy idea and people generally seemed to like it. The told me not to use pencil though. They said that I already knew how to use that medium (very well as shown in my previous night's anatomy drawing) and should try something looser, like ink. I decided I would try that and experiment with medium. Jon then gave me a couple of good artists and advised that I make the piece a self portrait and try to put myself in the piece as much as possible. So, I decided to do half of the face with my own, and make the proportions match my own. Then we went onto the other people: Nico, Alysssa, and Lauren. Nico's project did not intrest me in the slightest so I wasn't listening. Alyssa's piece had to do with faces and expressions, which I still don't think is grand enough for her. Laurens piece is drawing butts of statues to try and get the personality of the piece to come out with just the figure of the butt. I like the idea, a bit vulgar for my taste, but it is a good idea all the same. After that I did some research, got some pics of nice anatomy pieces, and then set up my station. It took all morning to move tables, set up the paper, and fix a giant broken mirror (I can't really explain that other than the fact that it was in my way and I had to move it and I needed to fix it in order to move it). Once my set up was finally neat and orderly it was time for lunch. I got lunch and then when the beginners left again I started on my piece. I started working in my sketchbook trying different mediums together. It started with charcoal and ink, but that did not go well because the charcoal wouldn't erase as neatly as I would have liked. So I fell back on pencil, but compromised by inking over the pencil with the bamboo pen. The bamboo pen is very loose and difficult to control, but it makes very dark marks and is very useful for getting overall gesture. Then I decided I would go back in with a slip nib pen I had purchased. I then went to work on getting the overall figure. It took until 9 pm, but I got the overall figure in outlined in pencil, with all the proportions right. Then I went home to Ellen's home cooked meals (which are awesome) and then went to bed getting ready for Friday.

I decided to come in early the next day, in order to work on my piece. I started the head and penciled it all in. Then I inked it with the bamboo pen, and then outlined it in fine pen. It took a good two hours, but it turned out really nice. I decided not to color it yet, and just color it all at once after everything is inked in. Then I went to painting class and began my large self portrait (it is huge). I have gotten pretty good at painting in self-portraits and the piece was coming in nicely. I didn't have time to finish before the model came in, and decided to leave the rest until Monday. The model came in and I started ruining my painting. All my hard work done the previous day was getting painted over by my shit painting of today. Gary, the teacher, came in and fixed a couple points pointing out I had all the correct proportions yesterday but was adjusting them for no good reason today. After he was finished I colored in some areas and it came out nice thus far. I have one more sessions on Monday with the painting, so we will see how it goes. Then, I spent my Friday night relaxing and reading, since SACI was closed and I couldn't work on my drawing any more.

Saturday was awesome. I woke up around 9 and decided I wanted to find the pool my friend Amiee had talked about. I found it online and decided to go there in person. I bought a cheap suite and goggles and went to the pool and after much confused gibberish I got to swim for an hour and a half. It was really nice getting back in the water and I will definitely be getting back in monday, wed, and fri if I can. Then it was time to walk to school and do some more work on my drawing. I got a lot finished: three of the arms, two of the hands, the chest, and the rib cage. I still need to do some fixs up and it is not as nice as I would like, but it is alright. I don't really have the time to freak out over details, but I am trying to make sure every aspect of it is correct. After that went home, dinner, sleep. Today I will be working on the piece until the upper body is finished and then no more. That way I can do the pelvis monday morning and then the lower body Tuesday and start coloring Tuesday. I might even be finished by Tuesday afternoon, but no guarantees. If I do finish that early I am not sure what I will do. I guess that will give me time to finish my paintings for the final. yay?

Anyway, that is the update. I will try to be better about updating this thing, but with finals coming up there are no guarantees.


  1. too bad you didn't have time to sight see. (maybe next time you'll do a smaller item, and save time for yourself :D )

  2. You should provide an update/close out.