“Muscle Memory”

During weeks 6 through 9 in Ecorche with Rey Bustos at LAAFA we added “musculature” to our ecorches. Using “chocolate” Sculpey, we crafted each muscle according to helpful guidelines Rey provided for us.

 

With Rey’s detailed drawings and demonstrations to lead us in the right direction, we worked our way up the body, all the way from lower leg, through the abdomen and upper body to the facial muscles.

 

Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of Ecorche with Rey Bustos at LAAFA in our upcoming Week 10 blog post.

 

 

One of the most transformational parts of Ecorche with Rey Bustos at LAAFA was spray painting the baked ecorche.  I was careful to mask the hand and foot that I wanted to remain the fleshy color of Sculpey with aluminum foil before painting.  You can see below how a light coat of off-white spray paint really shows off all the sculpting work that goes into the skeletal portion of the ecorche.

In class, Rey had a “varnishing station’ set up for us. We lightly brushed varnish over our spray painted ecorches. We only applied the varnish to the left side, the side that will remain as exposed skeleton. We left the right side coated with spray paint only, so the clay we apply to represent muscles will stick. The effect of the varnish over the spray paint is fantastic- don’t you think?

I can’t believe we have already reached the halfway point- week 5 in Ecorche with Rey Bustos at LAAFA!  Class number five focused largely on process, as this week’s tasks were to complete the skeletal body and “bake” the ecorche to permanently harden the Sculpey.

In class, Rey demonstrated how to finish the delicate bones of the lower arm, the radius and the ulna.  Rey recommended stringing the tiny finger bones onto the wire like beads. This simple technique creates a sophisticated skeletal model of the
human hand.

For the fleshed out right hand, Rey drew us a diagram of the palm. He encouraged us to make our ecorches’ hands expressive, and to add creases, or flexure lines, for a lifelike effect.  Everyone had more than enough armature wire to support the fingers on each hand.
We just cut off what we didn’t need after
completing both hands.

The next lecture topic was Rey’s favorite bone: the scapula.  I have to admit, floating like wings on the human back, scapulae are beautiful bones.  Rey showed us how to mold the organic protrusions that define the scapulae. He also showed us how to attach the left scapula so that only the socket, or glenoid fossa rests against the head of the humerus. As you can see, this was a well-documented moment of the class. 😉

Back at home, I carefully followed the written instructions Rey gave us on baking our ecorches. Behold! Five weeks of sculpting permanently set in polymer clay! Now, before adding the muscles, all I have to do is paint and varnish the bones.
I’ll post an update on the painting and finishing process soon!

Week 4 in Ecorche with Rey Bustos at LAAFA was action-packed!

During the first part of class, Rey led students in bending wire to create five-pronged armatures for the right and left hands.  

The design of Rey’s ecorche features a moveable left elbow joint, so we made the wire armature for the left forearm and hand as a separate piece. I taped mine to my ecorche’s ground for safekeeping.

After a series of neat accordion bends and just one snip with wire-cutters, we had the armature for our ecorches’ right hands in place as well.

With the final armature building behind us, we moved on to the triple topic of the day: vertebra-thorax-humeri. In English, that’s spine-ribcage-upper arm bones.  
Rey showed us his neat technique for representing the vertebra in a believable way as a group.  Rey guarantees that this “grouped” approach poses less of a risk to mental health than attempting to sculpt each vertebra individually. I can vouch for the technique, but you’ll have to take the class to find out what it is. 😉

Rolling out the ribs and building the support surfaces for future “muscles” on the right side of our ecorches filled the rest of the class.

The support clay on the right side of the ecorche does not represent any anatomical structures in the human body. However, for our ecorches, this support will be necessary when we begin to add muscle to the figures in two weeks. Rey made sure each student’s ecorche was on track before dismissing class.


Our homework for the week was to install the support clay, complete the humeri, and finish the ribcage with a sternum. Here’s the result of my best efforts:

On Saturday, May 19th, Nathan Fowkes has a one-day workshop – Composition: Design for Dynamic Picture-Making.  This intensive workshop will cover fundamentals of effective picture-making, creating mood and environment, and organizing complex scenes.  The workshop includes a painting demonstration by Nathan, as well as time for student painting with instructor feedback. Discover Nathan Fowkes’s impressive credentials on his blog.  Register here.

May 25th-27th master illustrator and instructor Marshall Vandruff presents a crash-course in the classic approach to draftsmanship and animal anatomy.  The workshop will teach students to draw animals from their imagination as well as to interpret visual information when drawing animals from life. Recommended pre-workshop reading is on Marshall’s website.  Register here.

Does your artwork leave you feeling flat?  Pick a remedy from LAAFA’s exciting Spring Quarter schedule!

LAAFA instructor Rey Bustos recommends that students seeking improved drawing and painting skills start their study of anatomy with his 3D Anatomy/ Ecorche’ class, and then follow up with his class in Drawing the Figure.  Bustos says that a tactile, hands-on experience in 3D Anatomy or figure sculpting is an essential basis for convincing figurative work on flat surfaces.

David Simon’s Figure Sculptingclass starts April 18th, and provides an accessible approach to sculpting the figure for students of all levels.  After starting with a one-week pose sculpted on a small scale, students in the class will gradually work up to creating larger pieces based on longer-duration poses.

For students who want to capture dynamic poses on paper, Paul Wee’s Figure Drawing: Action & Form is the key. Paul’s approach emphasizes both speed and accuracy.  Paul strives to give his students “techniques to tackle anything that comes your way!”


Danny Galieote will be offering two drawing classes as well.  Danny’s Analytical Head & Portrait Drawing class examines the drawing technique of Renaissance and Golden Age illustration Masters. Students then apply the Masters’ knowledge to bring three-dimensional form to their work from a live model.  Similarly, Danny’s Analytical Figure Drawing class helps students bring a sense of life and depth to works on paper.

Want to watch the amazing Sean Cheetham demonstrate his approach and techniques in Contemporary Portraiture Painting or Head Painting?

Interested students may purchase a demo pass starting from $50.00. Please contact our business office to take advantage of this special opportunity.

LAAFA is proud to feature Michael Siegel as our current Spotlight Artist.

A limited number of demonstration passes are available starting at $50.00 for students who want to observe Michael demonstrate his masterful technique in Still Life or Portraiture/ Figure Painting. Please contact our business office to purchase demo passes.

 

Congratulations to Michael Siegel, LAAFA’s Spring Quarter 2012 Spotlight Artist!  Reading Michael’s humorous and insightful Spotlight Artist interviewgives you an idea of what it’s like to take his classes. Here’s a sample of his wonderful work.

You can see more of his paintings on his website www.siegelfineart.com.

Michael’s Spring Quarter classes start 4/2/2012. Don’t miss your chance to sign up!

Enjoy this sneak preview of what Rey Bustos will be demonstrating at LAAFA’s upcoming Spring Open House on Sunday, March 11 from 12:00pm -4:00pm.  Click here to reserve your spot.

Q&A with Rey and refreshments will follow the demo!

Congratulations Sean!

See the event review here.

We have just released our Spring Quarter classes starting April 2, 2012! We have a great selection of classes for you to experience. You may view our handy Spring Quarter Summary online and register for your favorite classes.

 All classes are subject to an increase of $50.00 on March 19, 2012.

Open House Events – March 11th

Mike Butkus Complimentary Demonstration

March 11th, 12pm to 2pm

Mike will demonstrate how to draw Vampires and Zombies from his books, using a limited gouache palette. He will explain the techniques used in the books and advise on how to create creatures from imagination. In addition, there will be a Q & A session on producing ideas for the movie, T.V. and gaming industry.
Reservations for demos are required. Walk-ins will be based on space availability. Refreshments will be served.
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Rey Bustos Complimentary Lecture

March 11th, 2pm to 4pm

Rey Bustos is one of the leading artistic anatomists in the country today! We are excited that Rey will be lecturing, drawing, sculpting and showing students first-hand his love for anatomy in a fun and dynamic way. Get ready to enjoy several brief demos, a Q & A session and more. It’s going to be lively!
Reservations for demos are required. Walk-ins will be based on space availability. Refreshments will be served.

 1-Day Color Concepts Workshop with Nathan Fowkes on February 11th!

“The use of color is critically important for the working artist, well designed color can make your work powerfully compelling and will reach your audience at an emotional level that moves them. That will be our topic of study for this year’s Color Workshop on Saturday, February 11, 12-8pm. So whether you’re a landscape painter, figurative or entertainment artist, if you’re in the LA area I’d love to see you there.” – Nathan Fowkes

Here’s what we’ll cover:
The fundamentals of color theory for painters (traditional and digital).
The emotional impact of color and lighting to create mood and environment.
Principles for organizing the complexities of color into pleasing harmonies.
Strategies for solving color problems quickly and effectively.
Color exploration exercises.
Painting from a costumed model in a theatrical, colored light environment.

Tuition Cost: $175 – Register Here for Full Workshop.

Tuition Cost:  $100 – Register Here for Lecture and Demo.