Oil painting has always been my passion. I have pursued it in the role of student, teacher, practitioner and judge to varying degrees. I spent the greater part of my time as a student at the NY School of Visual Arts and at the Art Students League (ASL) of NY. At the former, I studied under John Murray who was a proponent of the Riley Palette which is a pared-down, flesh-specific version of the more all-purpose, prismatic palette introduced by Frank Vincent Dumond and taken up by other influential educators after him, like Frank Mason and Arthur Maynard. I continued my studies at the ASL with many other influential teachers. From all of them, I synthesized somewhat of a personal approach of my own to going about painting. At the core of what I do as a painter, is a joy and excitement over the craft and the art of painting and drawing which I hope to impart to my students along with the tools and concepts which will stand them in good stead on their development as artists.
This class aims to help students take their drawings and oil paintings to the next level. It will attempt to do so by helping to sharpen their observational skills in order to create images which look like the thing depicted; and to inform their work with a clear understanding of the principles of good design, value (and color) control, edge-handling, form-construction, visual drama and overall pictorial coherence. The use of the controlled prismatic palette will be taught, but more open palettes will also be allowed. The staple studio subject will be the still-life but life models will be brought in for portrait and figurative studies when possible. Work will be done in the beautiful natural light of the studio. Individual instruction will be provided in the classic atelier fashion. An integral, phased approach to picture development will be promoted which will emphasize constructing the drawing or painting in incremental steps that progress from the general to the specific and the large to the small.