This blog represents the work and thoughts of Howard Lyon, Artist and Illustrator

Illustration Master Class - Joan of Arc - Oils

I have been back almost a week from the Illustration Master Class and it continues to occupy all of my thoughts.  Processing what I learned and excited for the future.  I can’t wait to apply what I have learned to the next painting.  All of the instructors gave me great gems of insight.
Greg Manchess gave a wonderful lecture about design and overlapping figures in a composition.  Scott Fischer spoke to me about creating the “unexpected.”  Scott is full of a great energy and enthusiasm, drawing on everything around him for creative inspiration.  Dan Dos Santos provided great samples of his process, showing the hard work and preparation behind the painting, a great reminder.  He also gave me great advice on using oils.

Irene Gallo had excellent feedback on my portfolio and Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell‘s paintings developed so quickly it was hard to focus on my own painting, as I wanted to watch them work.  James Gurney presented lectures from his book Imaginative Realism, and his upcoming book, Color and Light.  Besides being an incredibly nice man (and Jeanette his wife was fantastic too!), he is a great teacher and speaker.  Check out his blog, amazing!

Jeremy Jarvis is hilarious.  He had everyone laughing an kept things light, an important element after 6 days of 16 – 18 hours a day painting.  He gave insights into the Art Director’s job and the process of developing and maintaining Magic the Gathering.  Last and definitely not least, Rebecca Guay.  Her work reminds me of the Pre-Raphaelites, with some Prud’hon, Botticelli, and Waterhouse influence as well.  Delicate and beautiful with sensual lines and reserved values.  Truly wonderful.  This and she also organized the whole event.  Thank you!

I went to the class for lots of reasons, but one of the primary goals was to better understand oil painting.  I haven’t painted in oils for a long time, and have only brought a handful of oils to completion.  This painting is an oil copy of the digital comp I posted a few days ago.  I plan on working in oils as often as my schedule allows.  It is much more rewarding to have something physical, that I have created.  As good as printing has become, it isn’t the same as an oil painting for me.  So, here is my oil painting from the class:

Illustration Master Class

I am off tomorrow for the 2010 Illustration Master Class.  Really looking forward to seeing everyone and learning from the great selection of instructors.  James Gurney, Rebecca Guay, Greg Manchess, Donato Giancola, Julie Bell, Boris Vallejo, Dan DosSantos, Scott Fischer and Irene Gallo will all be on hand to share and teach.  I have met several of them before and they have always been gracious and generous.  I am sure it will be a week to remember.
If I don’t post over the next week, I will update when I get back, but I should have internet access.

As part of the class, we were given a selection of wonderful assignments to choose from.  I chose to portray Joan of Arc.  Below is my color study.  It is a painted background and then I pieced together a few different photos from the photoshoot to get the basic figure and painted on top of that to get to this point.

The first thing we will do at the class is present our sketches, so I anticipate potential changes before I start the oil painting.  Really looking forward to letting go of digital for the week and getting back to oils.