Drawing the Still Life with Charcoal with John Rise
Friday & Saturday, July 26 & 27, 10am - 4pm. $175, supplies needed. $50 non-refundable, non-transferable deposit required to hold your place.
Join John Rise, drawing and painting teacher, as he leads this investigation into the use of charcoal as a drawing medium. For student work visit Instagram and for his work visit www.johnrise.com or Instagram. The workshop will include a slide presentation on the art historical precedent and use of charcoal. John will provide a lecture and demonstration about paper preparation, including information about materials and methods, drawing tools and how paper is made. Several original French academy drawings will be on exhibition as examples for study and research.
A drawing, to be successful, must possess two qualities:
- The drawing must command the attention of the viewer from a distance.
- Once the drawing has attracted the viewer from across the room then the viewer must be visually rewarded as they more closely inspect the drawing.
Drawing with charcoal can accomplish those qualities - this workshop will focus on those objectives.
From Mr. Rise: Historically, charcoal may be the oldest of media used. Cave paintings made with charcoal have been discovered in Spain and Southern France. Charcoal from fire was ground and liquefied and blown onto the wall images. More recently, charcoal was the drawing and study medium for the artists in the French Neo-Classic ateliers. Charcoal was used in figures studies because of the versatility to blend and explain form.
The French symbolist painter Odilon Redon relied on charcoal as his medium of choice. French Romantics Eugène Delacroix and Théodore Géricault used charcoal as the medium for their preliminary studies. French post-Impressionist Georges-Pierre Seurat drew extensively with charcoal. French painter who led the Realism movement, Gustave Courbet, used charcoal when planning his large compositions. Contemporary artists today, Bailey Doogan, Alice Leora Briggs, Vija Celmins, Edgar Jerins and Jenny Saville use charcoal both exclusively and as a mixed-media inclusion to make their paintings more powerful. Charles Sheeler used charcoal in his Precisionism drawings. Michael Leonard carefully grains the surface of his drawings with charcoal.
At the same time, still life as a subject for artists has been a part of art history from the beginning of painting. The Greek Pliny wrote of the competition between Parrhasios and Zeuxis, the greatest painters in Athens, to determine whose painting of still life object was the most lifelike, and therefore the most realistically painted. Further, art historians point to Giotto's Arena Chapel as the earliest existing example of painted still life. We are surrounded by ubiquitous objects that offer themselves as viable subjects for serious drawing. Norman Bryson even wrote a book on the commonality of, and importance of, the still life (Looking at the Overlooked). So, like charcoal, the still life has been with us forever.
Students will use charcoal (and a limited palette of soft pastels for color) as a medium to make a finished, complete artistic statement. Utilizing both additive and subtractive techniques we will investigate the following:
- building a full value range.
- use of value to successfully explain edge, form and space.
- use of value to establish focal point in composition.
- strengthen our composition with light (and absence of light).
- manipulate the drawings tools to best explain and highlight texture, mark-making and surface tensions.
Level 1: Beginner – This class is appropriate for beginner to advanced painters. Covers the basic techniques of the medium and offers individual assistance. No prior experience is required.