Saturday, August 6, 2011

Composition Lecture in October

No, I’m not dancing or directing traffic. It just looks like it.

My wife Jeanette did these sketches while I was lecturing at the Art Institute in Phoenix last October. She used a Japanese brush pen and no lay-in, which was very brave.

I’ll be doing another lecture / demo in Los Angeles this coming October, and there is still space in the class if you’d like to join in. This is a new talk that I’ve only given once so far (at Illustration Master Class). It focuses on composition and tonal design.

My approach is unlike most others. We’ll start by looking at what science can tell us about how we actually look at pictures, both still pictures and film. Then we’ll examine how you can design images to communicate what you want in terms of mood and drama. Finally, I’ll show you some approaches to tonal organization, which I think is the most overlooked part of most compositional theory. I’ll share lots of practical tips for artists at all levels.

We’ll have a whole evening together, which gives us plenty of time for discussion and questions, and I’ll also do a technique demo and I’ll bring books. I’ve taught at LAAFA before, and admire the faculty and students there. You might want to sign up early, as space is limited, and all my workshops have sold out.

LAAFA Workshop
Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter
Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist
Other classes at LAAFA from Scott McCloud, Nathan Fowkes, and Jordu Schell


Noah Bradley said...

Any chance for a composition book in the near future? :)

James Gurney said...

Noah, the Imaginative Realism book covers a good many of the points, especially about tonal organization.

Krystal said...

If I only could, I would jump in the first plane for L.A. right away but sadly, it is impossible to do such a trip right now.

That raises a question : you have MANY fans in France and you are highly respected by illustrators societies on the old continent.

Do you think about giving one of your lecture or workshop in Europa in the next months or years ? It would be really successful, I am sure.

Thank you for all that you share. Your books are on my bedside table and I find them priceless!

James Gurney said...

Thank you, Krystal. Last time I lectured in France was at the Utopiales convention in 2009. It was a great thrill for me to be there and to meet such wonderful artists.

Tyler J said...

I remember your visit to AIPX well. Both talks were very enlightening and it was fun to get a sneak peak at the Light and Color book.

If you have an opportunity to attend one of James' talks, I highly recommend it. He is interesting and skilled teacher.

Erik Bongers said...

These sketches are very nice. Her style (I'd like to call it "hand") is recognizable. Quite close to mine.

Aaron said...

Observation sketching is so much fun. I kept a sketch diary on a recent trip to Scotland, and while sitting on a bench at Loch Lomond I had a college student sit down and ask me why I was sketching the lake instead of simply photographing it. Was it for a project latter, or something preliminary maybe? I told her I had learned from James Gurney (well learned from your books) that there are certain aspects of a scene that you become more aware of when you sit down a spend time observing it, and that's why I did my sketches. BTW if it wasn't you that said that (or something similar) I've been misquoting someone for the past few years :)

David Smith said...

Hi James,

There's a book, Vision and Art:The Biology of Seeing by Mararet Livinstone, which ties in nicely to your scientific/observational/intuitive approach (not to be reductionist).


David Smith said...

Hi james,

The book Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing by Margaret Livingstone, ties in nicely with your scientific/observational/intuitive approach (not to be reductionist).


Aaron said...

hey David,
I just ordered me a copy. Groundbreaking Harvard study huh :)? Sounds like some deep stuff, should be fun. Thanx for the tip.

James Gurney said...

David and William. I agree, Livingstone's book is excellent, and I've learned a lot from it.