Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Here’s a sketch of David, working in our creature design class last summer. He’s one of the regulars at the Grand Central Academy in New York. The sketch about 3 x 4 inches, drawn with water soluble colored pencils.

David told us his hat is made out of material from discarded couches.


Steve said...

My hat, made of harvested cotton plants, is off to you, Jim. To accomplish such varied tones and clarity of line -- to conjure up such life -- in 3 x 4 inches is amazing. Thanks for the inspiration.

Tim said...

Lets hope its not New York sidewalk couches, hell be full of Bedbugs!

Evan T said...

love this piece! How is grand central academy, James? would you recommend it as a good school for illustrators and designers? I've been researching several schools and it looks pretty nice.

Super Villain said...

i remember getting to watch this painting being made. and i can say it was right on. i think i may have video of david seeing this for the first time.

not sure if you made the annoucment yet but sign up for your workshop in delaware is open and filling up. for those who are interested in going, sign up fast!

cant wait for my second symester at gurney creature art school!

Victor said...

Hey, I think I go to school with that guy!

My Pen Name said...

Evan T:
I have taken some open classes there and know several people in the core program, and can't recommend it enough. Its a great facility, great teachers, dedicated, serious students.

They also have a great lecture series - often free -

Its pretty easy to get to if you're coming in from the suburbs is pretty close to Grand Central Station.

Some teachers from Grand Central also recently formed Janus Collaborative - its up on 117th and pleasant ave (1rst) in spanish harlem - that is a smaller program but on the same caliber (though with the different approach) as Grand Central - and has some of the nicest facilities i have seen for study in NYC (a former cabinet workshop/factory w/ overhead lighting.

James Gurney said...

Evan, I second what Pen Name says: It's a great program. They really put you through the paces for observational drawing from the cast and the figure, and sculpture. It's not a huge school, so they can't do everything a big art school can do, but the people that come out of GCA have some well-honed skills. The best thing is to check it out and see if it's what you're looking for.

My Pen Name said...

PS EVan:
if you want to get an idea of the calibre of students there:

However, i should mention that GCA and Janus are both focused on painting via an atelier like program not illustration or design.

Also if you want accreditation, you'll have to go to New York Academy or the Art Student's league..

or the ridicolously priced, counter-productive 'art' schools like Pratt or SVA - which are literally 10X the price of GCA

Some day I'd love to see a post/discussion here about art education - is an expensive, accredited university degree really necessary? that was not how artists did it for hundreds of years before say, post WWII.

I live in NY and know so many young people with fine arts degrees literally in six figure debt.. that's criminal in my opinion, especially when the calibre of teaching at GCA is, in my opinion far better than "art" schools.

Sorry for the rant..

JRonson said...

this one is awesome :)

Unknown said...

Hey that guy looks like me! Mr. Gurney thanks for all the sacred knowledge. Looking forward to another lecture/possible workshop at the GCA,possibly. Give my regards to Mrs. Gurney and Billy the Goat!