Mining Art History

How exploring the past can help us make better work now!
This really enjoyable three day workshop with artist Richard Birmingham will inspire, challenge and encourage you to see differently. This workshop will use drawing as the primary tool for investigating complex pictorial structures and dynamic composition in painting and drawing. By transcribing and analysing the work from the period during the high Renaissance through to present artists, students will explore and endeavour to understand how these structures might be used today to create more resolved, engaging and dynamic compositions.

A wealth of knowledge can be found in transcribing master works.  By making a few marks here and there in pencil or charcoal we begin to uncover movement and rhythms within the painting.  These movements increase in complexity as we continue our drawing, moments of insight build, the eye is lead through space and around the surface where rhythmic structures weave figures, forms and narrative together.

The aim is to transcribe several master works through varying degrees of abstraction over the 3 day workshop. Source material will include colour reproductions and onsite studies at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Students will move between small and large scale studies in a variety of media including pencil, charcoal and acrylic. These studies will enable a deeper understanding of how artists like Michelangelo and Raphael were able to achieve dynamic composition in both their drawing and painting.

How were these extraordinary pictures made, are these “Old Masters” still relevant today and if so can they teach us anything at all about making contemporary painting and drawing?

This workshop will look closely at the unprecedented achievements of artists like Michelangelo and Raphael and establish the on-going relevance of their efforts to our own studio practice today.  This workshop is not about copying these works but using them as starting points to tease apart their dynamics and uncover movement and rhythms within the paintings. Both representational and non representational artists will be challenged in this workshop and discover a new way of seeing and thinking that will be valuable in their own studio practice.

Tutor Richard Birmingham
Next workshop coming in early 2016, please join the mailing list to be notified of dates.

3 day workshop
10-4pm (the last day will run to 5pm)
$425 student $395 full fee

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