My Foundation students continued studying colour. After their long three hour paintings last week, I had them attempt four 30 minute paintings. See my above examples. There was a huge improvement in the energy of the classroom. My students stepped up to the challenge and the development from their first to last painting was obvious.
Here’s the incredible work from my student Sophie Williams. Throughout the term I have been greatly impressed by her ability to learn quickly and willingness to take risks. This painting is a great example of her understanding of painting with mass, material handling and colour.
My Anatomy class finished their long project today. I think more than anything they learned just how much there is to learn. Many of my students want to do another term dissecting the figure.
The term is flying by an we've already moved on to colour! This week I had my Foundation students work with a limited palette. Every term students can't wait to get to colour. But when they do, they are shocked by how much more they really have to learn before they will understand it.
My Anatomy students continued with muscles of the torso this week and will be moving onto muscles of the arms next week.
My first comic conventions, the MCM London Comic Con and the London Film &Comic Con were hugely disappointing. I would call them pop culture festivals and were more about buying branded superhero merchandise than comics. I mentioned this to an exhibitor and his advice was to go to Thought Bubble in Leeds.
I went for the first time this last weekend and the festival was everything I could have wanted. There were hundreds of artists, great speakers, feedback and a perfect example of how amazing the comic community is.
There were amazing talks by artists on their work and the industry. It’s always great to see how humble and down to earth most artists are. I got some great advice on establishing myself in the industry and making a profession out of comics.
Speaking to artists and writer was an incredible resource. I learned some tricks of the trade and think I’ve been sold on the program formerly known as Manga Studio. Photoshop is just too cumbersome for the pace that I need to work.
The feedback and insights I got from established editors and publishers was invaluable. I had my portfolio reviewed by Shelly Bond of Vertigo and got to watch portfolio reviews from the 2000AD art competition.
There was a whole host of other workshops, fringe events and more that I would have gone to were there more hours in the day.
Basically Thought Bubble is everything you want and need in life if you’re into comics. Go!
My Foundation class moved on to oil paint this week. I haven’t oil painted in three years and didn’t realise how much I missed it until I put my brush against the canvas. Here’s my first painting of the day.
My anatomy students moved on to muscles this week – and they thought the skeleton was hard. Ha!
I spent the last week with my nose buried in my work trying to get ready for the Thought Bubble Comic Festival so here’s my weekly post on teaching at London Fine Art studios a week late. More on my experience at the festival and sleep deprived hallucinations later.
My foundation classes had their last class of charcoal drawing and I couldn’t be more ready to move on to oil paint. It’s been ages since I’ve got to get the paint out and I’m starting to realise how much I missed it.
I had to make an intervention with my foundation students this week. A healthy amount of self criticism is good. Students who think everything they do is good and refuse to take a critique are pointless to work with. On the other side of the spectrum, students who are overly self critical never build the self confidence to move forward. I’ve been dealing with a third variety and it’s taken me some time to wrap my head around it.
Often when I approach a student to give a critique they say their drawing is horrible, terrible, a monster, etc. before I’m even able to get a word out. Then follow up each point a make with a reiteration. At first, I thought this might be a cultural difference – Americans are over positive and Brits, overly self-deprivating – but I always thought there was something odd about it. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s some sort of ego protection. By dismissing their work, they are separating it from themselves and failing to focus on their process having a problem which created the poor work. This moves the critique away from their actions and on to something that is not them.
I had my limit of ego protection last week so I pulled the class together and told them to leave it at the door. Be self critical. It will enable you to develop but make sure it is in a way that is about aiding progress, not hindering it.
My anatomy class was much more straightforward. We did our last day of skeletal anatomy and will be moving on to muscles this week.
I gave them a pop quiz on the anatomy we’ve gone over so far. Punishment for getting a question wrong was public shaming via the Shame Bell Mobile App. I highly recommend it for motivating students.