Top: a diagram of the "chiaroscuro sphere" showing the
five aspects. The drawing of a pear above demonstrates the application of chiaroscuro to a real-life object.
Student Example: "Marlon Brando," Student Work, 16-years old, graphite on paper. This is the work of the same student before and after instruction.
First and foremost is our commitment to teaching academic realism. Artists working in this way undergo training in methods that date to the Renaissance, including lessons in value, anatomy, figure drawing, portraiture, still life, composition, and techniques of oil paint. The most famous of the art academies was the Académie des Beaux-Arts established in the 18th century in Paris.
With the rise of abstract and non-representational art in the
20th century, realist painting ceased to dominate the art world. However, the skill required to make realist art has experienced a resurgence in the 21st century. Contemporary Realists use their time-honored skills in dynamic new ways.
The Living Creatively method emphasizes:
Increasing powers of observation
Cultivation of individual creative vision
A holistic approach to each student's goals,
level and interests
Encouragement in a safe environment
One of the first things students learn is chiaroscuro, or the study of value. This technique was developed by the masters of the Italian Renaissance and is key to creating the illusion of three dimensions on a flat surface. This skill is used today by Contemporary Realists, animators, game designers, and special effects professionals. Understanding this fundamental technique will improve your drawing 100%.
In a message from Kurt Vonnegut to high school students who wrote to him for advice:
“Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpture, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what's inside you, to make your soul grow. Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your life.”
Willis. Tiffany. "A Teacher Asked Her Students to Write to an Author. Kurt Vonnegut Wrote Back This.” Liberal America. 30 March 2014. Web. Accessed 07 April 2014.
Guided tutorial downloads on individual subjects are now available for sale on the Sessions and Products page.