School of Rubens and Van Dyck

Second semester (total 20- hours).                    
Flemish School.
Painting techniques of Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck and Jacob Jordaens.

Peter Paul Rubens!

“The Brightest Star on the Horizon”- he had been called this way forever! Most prominent achievement in the history of development techniques of oil painting should be named school of Peter Paul Rubens. He was one of the greatest masters of his era, who give tremendous influences to generations of artist for many years to come. His discovery in the field and bold scale of expression – still inconceivable to our understanding! More than 1000 malty figured compositions and other paintings with the most sophisticated level of realistic expression, tremendous knowledge of anatomy, composition drawing and tonal rendering  had been produced by Rubens through out his career.  His bright life was a great impact on his contemporaries and still continues influencing and excite present Art world. Rubens’s influences were Caravaggio and Great Artists of Renaissance.

Rubens beside of being most successful and prolific Artists of all times left a legacy of enormous inspiration to many of his great students. As famous Artists as he was himself- two most celebrated are: Anthony Van Dyck and Jacob Jordaens, who are themselves left they own footprint in the world Art history. Both artists considered taking the torch from their Great teacher and carried it further by innovating and developing oil painting technique to its present state. The name of the epoch in the History of world of Art went as the “West European Renaissance,” or Neoclassicism because of the mythological subjects of Ancient Greece was the subject of interest and the fashion at the time. It had been acknowledged that school of Rubens and Van Dyck due to it influences from Italian Renaissance, still one of the most common painting technique of Old Masters currently widely used in European and American Realist Art Schools. Painting on Yellow base or (imprimatura) could be seen in many expositions, art magazines and Art publications of the world.

Through out the history and traditions of all Old Masters schools  including Rubens school first  intro in to education usually started from preparing artist materials, oil paints, canvas stretching, studying the technologies of oil painting, copying Masters work for 2-3 years, and only than they would be allowed to work on the still life or casted sculptural elements or their own project under strict guidance of their Master. Methods of education were very strict and direct. Students that were not able to pass the evaluation were ether expelled from the school or staid the second round at the same grade until the level of their skill was adequate to set standard.  The emphasis on the drawing skills as the most important part of artist training was very significant. The expertise in the drawing skill was a key to become a future master!

There were absolutely no place for mediocrity and bar of their principles and prestige of the school was extremely high!

The introductory: (A) Drawing of the still life

a) Like in any beginning introductory class will be focusing on the stages of the development of the excellent drawing of the still life objects, as the base-foundation and guarantee of its great final result.. The right approach and the stages of the advance in the drawing will be made clear, the subject like ; composition, perspective, theory of geometrical make up of objects, measurements and proportions of objects, use of the  negative space as the reference will be discussed.

Materials for the drawing class; masking tape, drawing sketch paper, kneaded eraser, automatic pencil with fine lead  HB grade, knitting needle, stick, or fine handle brush.

b) Painting introductory class.

The process of completing the drawing and tracing it on the yellow based toned or primed canvas (the color is yellow ochre). Size 12 by 16 inch. After finishing tracing the drawing on the canvas (using ballpoint pan, raw umber oil color), the drawing line should dry, need to traced with pen and ink for the permanent stay and reduction of the line width.

For the first class of painting required materials are: 1-wooden palette (preferred gray base), two clip containers for Brush cleaner (prefer odorless and environmental friendly) Medium for oil painting- (ready mixture of mineral oil, turpentine, and dammar varnish), usually sold in the Art supply store as The Medium for Oil painting. Set of synthetic brushes , sizes from 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, preferred flat. Colors will be used; Ivory black, Titanium white, Ultramarine blue, Indian red,  Ochre yellow. On the later sessions 8-10 student may be required use of other colors (alizarin crimson, cadmium yellow). The cotton based rags for wiping the brushes,  palette knife.

First and foremost at any start of the painting student should remember that the all principal of the painting of Old Masters schools was- slow emerging image. It was slow build up of the dark areas of the project in order of achieving the depth malty glazing layers were needed to apply as well as the same was happening with the light areas of objects under influences of direct light in order of achieving maximum of the sculptural effect. This is why Masters used (imprimatura) as the middle base, transition point in two opposite tonal directions. Through out classes 1-7 students slowly building up the tonal image, layer after layer in the light areas of the objects and glaze after glaze in the shadow areas of the objects. Important theory of tonal gradations will be explained (light, tone semitone, shadow and reflection). The different type of glazed will be demonstrated (liquid, dry brush, single directive brush stroke). All technical elements will be used on the better expression of material make up of objects. Through out sessions 1-7 when the work is dry student should intensify dark areas of objects and build the light with the areas under direct light. All dark areas of objects glazed with ivory black and ultramarine blue. By glazing with the two cool colors on top of the yellow base students will realize that before any color will be involved they will see green colors on their canvases, blue colors as well by mixing white with black. The all point of the Old masters techniques are the Minimum of impute the higher the expression!( technique and colors) Rubens and Van Dyck were the Masters –Illusionists, of how little effort was involved! During close observation of their works in the gallery we have to remember the rule – the less is more!

During this progression students should emphasize on the fine details of the objects. The effort is to achieve most realistic expression by copying its precise appearance.

 Nature is perfect and unique – So express your fascination with it!

The best examples of Fine Art are always Beautiful because they are the closest to the reality!

      Alexander Dzyubko

To draw the tree- take a leaf and study it first!

    Leonardo Da Vinci.

By the session 6-7 sessions the process will take more selective work, students have to establish the focal point of the still-life. Selection of the nearby focal objects and generalizing all other insignificant areas of the objects will take place. The next stage class 8 students should glaze their required areas of objects with extra colors (Indian red, Alizarin crimson, cadmium yellow). Again different type of the glazing applications will be shown. Due to short period of outlined time students may start painting with Ala-prima (painting right away with clean -cut thick layers of the mixed paint on top of the glazed areas). At this stage students should be building another thick layer of painting, but be very careful about not destroy their high realistic image under glazing.

Finishing stages of work sessions 9-10 usually student should be critical of their image and try to correct some of the areas of the still-life of objects. Students should remember the rule:-

There is nothing impossible, there is no tomorrow-it is here! Now is the time to make a difference! Just do it! The Nature is the Best teacher –So  be it’s best student – try to be like it through your artist means!

Remember, your best 999 canvases! are waiting for you!

The process (C) Exhibition.

Displaying student’s works with the conclusion of the knowledge. Advises about framing, displaying Artist works, consultations will take place. Discussion and critique of the student’s achievements will take place.

Take a look at the Student Gallery