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.
“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