Monday, December 31, 2012

Scott Waddell Video

Scott Waddell has released a downloadable art instruction video called "The Art of Painting: An In-Depth Look at How an Artist Thinks and Sees." In the hour-long workshop, he develops three paintings: two female head studies from observation, and a multi-figure composition from imagination.

The tutorial takes the viewer through the process of drawing and painting these images in oil from a live model.

Waddell is an instructor at the Grand Central Academy in New York, and has studied in Florence.
In explaining the first drawing steps, he shows how he first observes the shapes in 2D and then reconstructs them with knowledge of 3D structure.


(Video link) Here's a highlight reel. Waddell periodically cuts away from real-time close-ups of the process to explain the thinking behind each painting decision. There are some really helpful animations analyzing light and shade, perspective, anatomy, and color mixing, enhanced by Waddell's carefully scripted voiceover explaining logic behind his decisions.

Waddell's painting methods include a preliminary "poster study" to establishes the tonal shapes in simple, flat terms followed by an "underpainting pass" and "form pass" as he refines the final rendering. The videos are well-shot and rendered in HD WMV format, playable on Mac with a special player software. Audio quality is very good.

The process yields startlingly realistic results without any intervention of photography, but it's not for everybody. If you like intuitive, loose, or improvisatory styles of painting, this won't be your cup of tea, but if you want a clear explanation of how painting is taught in many contemporary academies, Waddell is an excellent teacher.
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"The Art of Painting: An In-Depth Look at How an Artist Thinks and Sees" by Scott Waddell. $35.00, 56 minutes.
Previously on GJ: Scott Waddell's Free Webisodes

8 comments:

RobNonStop said...

Impressive, I’m definitely getting this!

To play .WMV files (Windows Media Video) on a Mac you can use the popular free video player VLC (VideoLAN Client):
http://www.videolan.org

Andrew said...

Having been taught by Scott, I can say he's an excellent teacher. I would highly recommend this video.

Dustin Neß said...

Scott never answered my 2 e-mails a while ago. Perhaps you can answer me: Does this video tutorial also outline and show basic color mixing regarding skin colors?

Greetings from Germany

James Gurney said...

Dustin, hopefully Scott will check in and answer, but yes, the camera shows several closeups of his color mixing as he explains how he arrives at the proper hue, value, and chroma.

Matt Hedlund said...

Thanks for passing this info along. I purchased the video and found it to be a good resource, especially with regard to color. I'm not crazy about the super tight Atelier style of art making, but still found the video to be useful and instructive. A lot of thought and innovation went into the production of this video - I really appreciated the use of animation to visualize key concepts.

Another aspect I greatly appreciated about Scott's video was the affordable price point. It's not uncommon to see other art instruction videos priced much higher.

I guess art instruction videos have been around for a while, but with the internet and computer imaging etc, I reckon we're seeing some exciting new avenues for art education opening up.

Dustin Neß said...

Thank you for your answer, James. In relation to the other comments it seems to be a good idea to purchase them.

Janet Oliver said...

Just bought and downloaded. In the Russian tradition of doing on New Year's Day what you hope to be doing for the rest of the year, I'm going to watch and LEARN.

Dustin Wilson said...

I love stuff like this. It's really nice seeing how others paint. I was taught very similarly to this when it comes to sketching and then doing a poster study. However, when it comes to the painting process itself it's drastically different where we painted the shadows at once, added color to it after it dries, and then glazes and highlights as we went from there.

I've largely moved to digital painting these days, but all these techniques still apply. Great how different approaches can achieve similar results. Excited to try out his method.