Monday, July 26, 2010


Well, we went to Venice for the weekend. When I first got out of the station and onto the streets, I was blown away. The city is so beautiful, with the canals winding around the towering buildings, and the streets twisting and turning like an ant colony. Its unbelievable that an entire city, with piazzas, large churches and towers are all help up by wooden beams. I took a lot of pics so that should say it all.

I also put the drawings I did here. I drew San Marco, a painting by Johann Liss and Titian's Assumption of the Virgin Mary. With these drawings I was able to reconcile the academic training of Russians with what Dony taught me, which is contemplative and emotional. This is only because I prayed a lot about it, and eventually everything just clicked in my head, and I made a leap. This is all thanks to Dony and the amazing opportunity he gave me. If I can get back, there are many more opportunities with his sacred arts academy he is planning. I've learn so much on this trip, and am on my way to become a master!
The last pictures are my ecorche that I finished. I forgot to put it in the last post. Its a little damaged due to the heat. It started melting!
This is my last post from Florence this trip, and overall it was an amazing experience, both artistically and spiritually. I hope to return soon to continue my work with Dony.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Well, I said I would be going to Venice this last weekend, but plans changed. Instead I will go this weekend, my last weekend here. I do hope, however, to get back by Fall to attend classes at the Russian school, granted I find the financial means to do so. Please pray for me. Thanks!

We have continued work on the commission at a speedy rate. The figures now are really taking on individual personalities and the overall composition now has a strong solid flow. The figures also now have a much better relationship to each other. It is very interesting to see how these kinds of things develop in a commission this large. Dony had not anticipated these changes, but they are making the composition much stronger. No relief has been done like this for a long time, probably about 150 years with the last being San Gaudens! After this he will be ready to do individual portraits and features.

On monday I will post pictures and talk about my Venice trip. It will also be my last post in Florence as I leave tuesday. But hopefully we will be able to remedy that soon if I can make it back for school!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Drawings from course

Well, the two week course is finished, and I learned a ton. For example, I learned how to constructing form, how form effects light, nailing proportions, and the Russian method to drawing. We did a portrait, hands and feet study, two figure drawings (one incomplete because the model quit) and a study of a cast ecorche head. What was great about Prof. Vitaly is that he would draw on my drawing, and I would pick up what he did and try to imitate it, even though at first it wasn't great. It's the best way to learn. I think the course was an incredible experience and I soaked up so much from it. It has giving me a new way to think and prepared me for the Russian school. This rigorous academic training complements what Dony has taught me, which is the emotional side of capturing the energy and spirit of the figure.

On another note, tomorrow I am leaving for Venice for two days. I will tell you all about it on my return.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Russian academic course

I am currently taking a Russian academic drawing course, which is very tough but very good. I am learning allot from it and trying to soak up as much as I can. Professor Vitaly teaches at Repin and is a true master. This course is a very rare opportunity because of this, and it is the best drawing instruction anyone can get. Here's the information: He is teaching us the Russian approach to drawing, including structure, quality of line and nailing proportions.

Unfortunately I dont have pics yet of my work I have been doing, but hopefully by the end of the week I'll have them up.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Some changes

Well, the clients decided to change a few things, namely to move the Virgin Mary to the center with the tabernacle, as to calm down the composition. It was little too strong, and Dony and I both agree this change is much better. The idea for the tabernacle, consequently, has changed. Instead of God the Father, Mary will be holding the tabernacle. Dony has begun a clay sketch for this.

Heres an update on some of the art I have been doing. The still life is done in pastel, and there is a study of St. Francis by Ribera done with pencil. I am almost finished with a study of Caravaggio (finally, a Caravaggio!) and I will put that up in the coming week.

And just for fun, these are fireworks from a few weeks ago celebrating the Feast of St. John the Baptist, who is the patron Saint of Florence.

Friday, June 25, 2010


The commission is really coming together. Today the clients visited and gave the okay to continue with the direction we are going. Now comes the fun part: giving the figures individual facial features, expression and detail, as well as putting on drapery. Everything is coming into focus!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


This past week, I started oil painting. Osamu, my roommate, is a fine painter and has been kind enough to teach me oils. I am doing a copy of drapery from a painting of the Virgin by Jean Hey from the 1400s. The first step was to do a study in drawing, which is in an earlier post. The next step is to grid it out, in order to enlarge it. I chose a simple board, instead of a canvas, because it is cheaper. I prepared the board with layers of Gesso, to smooth the surface. With an enlarged copy of the drawing, I transferred it to the board. Once I had the drawing ready, I began painting the sketch to make it permanent. I will have more to show soon.

I did a couple drawings over the past week as well. One is an anatomy study of the skull and hands. The other is a study after Ribera, one which is currently on display at the Pitti Palace.

Sorry it took so long to post, I have been very busy. Ill post again soon.