Category Archives: Traditional

Russian Masters Study: Repin and Fechin Drawing

header_repin-fechin-study by Chris Legaspi

In late February, 2015 I began a journey to study Russian Academic drawing. I chose 2 of the most well known masters of the art, Ilya Repin and Nicolai Fechin.  Repin was a 19th century painter who helped to establish a tradition of realist, academic art in Russia and brought Russian art into the mainstream of European and western culture.  Fechin was a painter and sculptor who  moved to America where he became an admired and celebrated artist.

My reason or purpose for studying these Russian masters was to satisfy a curiosity and of course, for the mileage. What I wanted to know was how these men thought and worked. ‘How did they approach head drawing?’ and ‘how did they execute their drawings?’ were the questions I wanted answers to.

In the next 5 weeks, I studied their head drawings almost every day. During that time, I was able to record 2 of the studies (see video below):

To watch Part 2, the study of the reclining female, sign up for my free newsletter below.  Simply enter your email below and click the blue button to get access:

For a detailed breakdown of the month long (36 days!) journey,  read below.

Feb 22, 2015 – Day 1

repin_study01 by Chris Legaspi

I begin this journey by looking at Repin. I have been a fan of Repin for a long, long time. The West Coast / Reilly tradition that I inherited is heavily influenced by Russian academic drawing. So in a way, I was paying homage to the source of everything I had learned and come to love about realist drawing.

At first my goal was simply to observe and understand Repin’s technique and look. I love the way Russian artists draw heads and figures and how they approach form, edges and rendering. They’re use of straights and clearly defined planes is a hallmark of Russian academic drawing and that’s exactly the look I wanted to perfect in my own work.

As you can see in the image above, the first drawing on the left turned out o.k. The drawing on the right was not as successful in my opinion. The lesson I learned here was that it will be extremely difficult to reproduce the effects Repin achieved in his charcoal drawing by using ball point pen which is my current favorite medium.

To stay true to the master, it’s best to use the original medium. But I made a judgement call in the moment and on this day I paid the price for that decision.

Feb 24th – Getting Comfortable

repin_study02 by Chris Legaspi

As a look study, I feel these were successful. The drawings feel close  to the chiseled and hatched look I wanted.  Although the drawings are emotionally flat and lifeless compared to the originals, I was starting to feel comfortable using the pen to match Repin’s charcoal effects.

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Plein-Air Painting Show @ District Gallery L.A.

district gallery show 12/11/14

 

I’m happy to announce my first show in Los Angeles. “Our Town” is dedicated to the Arts District and Little Tokyo district of Downtown Los Angeles. I will be showing oils, watercolors and having a sketchbook available for sale. All original, framed art. Also 40% of proceeds go to local non-profits that benefit the arts in Los Angeles. Sake will also be provided. Can’t beat that :).

Opening reception is Thursday, 7pm-10pm at District Gallery. Full details below:

When: Thursday, Dec. 11, 7pm – 10pm

Where: District Gallery, 740 E. Third St., L.A., 90013

Click here for map

district gallery map

Head Painting Workshop @ Art Center College of Design

art center logo

Art Center is one of the top art schools in the country. They are primarily a design school, but they have tremendous Fine Art, Illustration and Entertainment Art programs.

Students have the opportunity to draw and paint a live model at the many figure drawing and painting workshops they organize. These workshops are often led by a professional artist in the industry. The paintings below are from 2 previous workshops I ran this month at Art Center.

alla prima head painting by chris legaspi

“All Prima 10/18/14″, 8″x10”, oil on canvas. From the Saturday night painting workshop, October 18th, 2014.

alla prima head painting by Chris Legaspi

 “John Whipple Alla-prima”, 8″x10″, oil on canvas. From the Saturday Head Painting workshop, October 4th, 2014.

I want to thank Charles Hu (founder of 3 Kicks Art Sudio) for the opportunity. I look forward to teaching more and working with students at Art Center.

30 Day Challenge: Animated Movie Stills

The purpose of this challenge was to copy Animated movie stills for 30 consecutive days.  This challenge was completed during the same time period as the 30 day plein-air challenge.  Needless to say, this was a month of tremendous growth.

The intent behind this exercise was to study the color, design and composition from two of my favorite Animated movies, Kung Fu Panda and Puss in Boots.  Of course I’m a little biased to Puss in Boots because of Nathan Fowkes, who was the lead color stylist for the film, and was also my painting teacher.  In fact, I have to credit Nathan for inspiring me to do this challenge. He always credits his color skills to hours of consistent master studies.

I’ve also described my thought processes, color choices, material choices and general tips below for those who may want to take this challenge themselves. Scroll down to read more about the insights and lessons learned during this month of intensive color studies.

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Take the ’30 Day Plein-air Oil Painting Challenge’

Last month, I was able to oil paint at least once a day for 30 consecutive days. Once I knew I had the right resources and systems to be able to paint everyday, I was confident that I could take on a 30 day plein-air (outdoor) oil painting challenge.  The image below is a snapshot of my outdoor paintings from the last 30 days.

I also show my outdoor painting set-up, and how I was able to complete the challenge. If you want to learn how to do it for yourself, scroll down to read more.

“30 day plein-air challenge”, began Sep. 11th, 2012.

 

– How to Take the 30-day Plein-air Challenge –

 

Plein-air and landscape painting in oils is not easy. The challenges of the medium, travel time and unfavorable weather conditions can make outdoor painting even more difficult. Despite the effort, the benefits of being out in nature and gaining expertise in color is invaluable. In fact, it was this need and desire to improve my color skills that motivated me to commit to painting everyday. To begin the challenge, I had to first assemble the right tools.

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