Drawing/Tonal Studies


Ongoing at the Southern Atelier: Figure short pose-9:30AM -12:30PM, Figure long pose- 1AM-4PM

Senior Instructor: Charles Miano

First year students can expect to spend the majority of their practice on structural and mass drawing. Southern Atelier advocates a painterly way to draw. Mass drawing is an essential prerequisite for tonal painting. It is an atmospheric way to draw dependent more on tone than line. A focus on large masses of tone and edges conceptually working in layers eases an artist’s progress into painting.
This session remains an important part of the program for progressing painters.  It revolves around the simple idea that consistent practice in a forward moving direction yields fruitful results. Through specially designed exercises over time, students are improving their ability to see as an artist and translate what they see onto a 2 dimensional plane. Many principles of painting are learned through the consistent practice of Mass Drawing including but not limited to: shape, tone, edge, form, proportion, structure, rhythm, balance, gesture, anatomy, design and composition. All of these ideas are more readily grasped when a student does not have the added complication of color and paint handling.  By improving ones skills with charcoal one is improving their skills as a painter.

Through training students learn that enhanced visual perception is developmental. Tonal study reinforces all the ideas of mass drawing and blurs the line between working in charcoal and working in paint. In this class artists may work in charcoal or in a prescribed limited oil paint palette. A grisaille or monochromatic approach allows an artist to consider paint handling along with reducing a subject to simple mass relationships. Ultimately our goal is to translate the world around us by means of light. It takes an artist consistent practice to develop their ability to see and translate shapes of tone representing values of light in our pictures. An understanding of a system of value reinforces an artist’s capability to depict reality and will ultimately aid in the transition to full color.