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.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I am incredibly lucky because I get to see and experience places that the average tourist would never have access to. The Opus Dei community is very strong here. I know a few people in Communion and Liberation, so I will have to check out their community as well.

Friday, June 4, 2010

A glimpse at the process of a commission

Dony's commission is really taking shape! Im learning
the process of a commission so early, its excellent. Truly, apprenticeships are the best way to learn art. I have been assisting him in modeling, which is getting the general forms up and in position. After this, we will continue to contemplate the work as a whole it will slowly come into focus - like a camera. In other words, we will slowly over time come closer and closer to the final image, with sharpness, detail and all. During this time we will have to be aware of the client's desires and make changes accordingly.

As for me, I am continuing with my ecorche, as well as drawing. I did a very good one of Dony's Crucified Christ, one in which he presents Christ without skin and fat to show only his bones and muscles, emphasizing Christ's humanity. The drawing I did emphasizes the form of the figure, and makes it pop off the page. This is probably the first time I was truly successful at this. I will put it up on next post.

Also I was invited to a party for families and individuals in Opus Dei last Wednesday. Gave me a taste of true Italian culture.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Some of my work

As I promised, here is some of my work. Most of these were done here in Italy, primarily from the masters and anatomical studies. The first ones are of an ecorche I am working on, or in other words, a clay model of a skeleton. Later I will start to layer the muscles on top. The last one on the page is an original composition by me, symbolizing St. Benedict and the raven. The raven is a common image in the Benedictine Order, for, as the story goes, St. Benedict was sent by the raven. The two before that are copies of paintings by Will Wilson. The others are studies from the studio and sculptures of Bernini and Michelangelo. I have more to come!