Progression of work by Abigail Muncy ( Atelier Student )

Today, I'm featuring the artwork of a student to inspire other students of classical realism. Abigail Muncy has shown complete commitment to her program of learning. She started with basic lessons including an essential overview of the way light behaves on a form.

This was followed by a series of classical drawing copies of originals by Charles Barque. It's inspiring to note that while it can easily take a year to complete this number of drawings, this student's dedication to her homework carried her at a much faster pace and she reached the top level in about 7 months.  

\Once her drawings were exact, we were able to add the skill of a new medium (terra cotta pencil on hand toned paper) to give them an added level of warmth. She also created a couple of white on blue paper which have a strong "cool" feeling (not shown here).

The challenge with these warm tones is that she needed to make some guesses and adjust the value range in order to given them a real and lifelike quality. This level of skill takes time to develop but the results are well worth it.

Having become independent enough to finish the course of Barque studies at home, she began her cast drawings. There are two natural challenges here for a student with her level of experience. First, when drawing from life, old habits from college art classes were very present and she had to unlearn the practice of sketching in heavy forms. Here, she restarted the drawing when she realized she needed to be more precise and block in large areas. It can also be a challenge to make the jump from flat master copies to 3D forms because the eye and body naturally move around revealing different angles and shapes in the form. With her second pass, she quickly recovered by leveraging a lesson on how to find her exact position in front of the easel and cast.

Now she is beginning her first painting work. Fortunately she has taken cell phone photos during her course of study over the last 9 or 10 months. I think students everywhere are lucky to see this detailed progression of another hard working student.

 This looks great doesn't it? Well, it's NOT DONE YET! I hope that fact is inspiring to others. Here, she has done her first pass of color including a base layer of transparent shadows. Now, she has opaque layers of color and little shifts in temperature using her limited palette of colors to give the painting a shimmery "real" feeling. I'll update this post when she's done.

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