I was invited to attend Wizard World Anaheim in April this year as a guest artist. This has sparked me to make an "Appearances" section to the blog. Right now I only have two scheduled appearances, but will post others as I figure out my schedule for the rest of the year.
Still life painting has always been one of my favorite classes. I know, most of you are thinking..."Really?! But isn't that a class for old ladies who like to paint flowers?" Absolutely not!
The number and variety of textures you learn to paint in one of those classes is great. If you're planning on working in illustration, concept, or fine art, it is one of the best classes you can take. I learned to paint various types of metals, colored glass, fruit, and other sorts of textured surfaces. Learning to paint differnet types of cloth: satin, velvet, linen, sheer, and more. All of this I took into painting my fantasy illustrations. Being able to paint the illusion of a certain kind of material adds so much depth to a painting.
I took the class most often with Meadow Gist and once with Jeff Watts. Each week would be a new 3hr study. Sometimes we would even do gesture paintings of 40-60min studies. During these studies I was also learning another level of dexterity with the brush. The nice thing about still life as well as landscape painting is that you have more freedom to experiment with brushmanship, color, and design. A portrait has to look like your subject, but a still life painting can be pushed and pulled in lots of directions with more room for error. This way of thinking allowed me to take more chances. Sure I failed a lot, but I also gained a confidence that I think, allowed me to take chances in my illustration work.
I've taught the class myself a couple times since I started teaching at the school. This has helped me reinforce a few things in my own work.
I was introduced to Dan Gerhartz's work not long after I started training at The Watts Atelier. I've been a big fan ever since. He's a fine artist from Wisconsin. I've been lucky enough to see a few of his originals. I've always liked his sense of lighting, his bold brush strokes and the richness he gets in his colors. I've been waiting for him to come out with a book and this one does not disappoint. The book is 175pgs with plenty of full page color images. The reproductions are crisp with plenty of close up shots of various images. Every dozen or so pages he gives a couple of paragraphs of insight into what he's thinking when he executes a particular painting.
If you're a fan of fine art and like his work, you'll want to pick this one up. If you're into fine art and you've never heard of him before, check out his work. You can see more of his work and purchase the book from his site, www.danielgerhartz.com