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  • Simone Richter

Day One - Burnt umber, Planes, and Leonardo

Good morning dear humans,

I recently read on the Instagram profile of a wonderful human that they start their diary entries always with: I love you.

What a wonderful way to start. So: I love you. It immediately sets a nice tone and creates a perspective toward what one is about to write. Don't you agree?

So it's October the 4th, 7:30 in the morning. I just made myself a Mocca with this wonderful heavy Italian coffee brewer. On a gas stove. It is kind of romantic. I took cold milk this time because I have to run to class soon. A little smell of Tartufo comes out of the fridge. A pesto we bought when we arrived. I sit on the folded-out sofa in the living area/kitchen.

Yesterday's class, my very first day, was already very interesting. I am in a group with 5 other people who want to amp up their portrait game. The studio is full of people doing the 3-year classes. People of all ages and all descents. I already met a German guy from Munich who is finishing his third year. He recommends the school. Oh my god. What if... but back to yesterday.

After being introduced to the main rules of the space by the good soul of the academy, an older British Lady, we met our teacher for the first time. I would assume he is in his late thirties or early forties, and a bit on the spectrum. It's fun working with him and I like the friendly and quiet and strict atmosphere of the studio. I felt that there, at the Angel Academy of Art, art is taken really serious.

So you might wonder what we did in class yesterday. I attached some photos of the work I did. basically, we painted a plane-head. You see my different stages from 1. Min plum-lines and other lines to block in the darkest darks (first, I did a bit of mid tones, forbidddddeeeen!)

I was assuming that we have a theory part and then start painting. But no. One strong philosophy of the academy is that one needs to practice what one learns immediately and often. So without any further instructions, we had to stick, glue, pin our canvases to our boards. Haha, nobody was sure about anything. So we started already learning from each other. Then we got a little lesson on how to hold a pallet properly, how to manage the easel and where to stand to observe and what color and brush to use (dry brush, burnt umber).

My teacher (I have no clue about his name, but I will find out today :-)) also introduced us to a quote by Leonardo da Vinci. He just wanted to demonstrate with one student's pallet something and the pallet (and the brushes of my colleague), was already smeared with paint (not just on the top). So the quote (demanding cleanliness) from Leonardo was: "One should always be able to paint in one's finest velvets and silks." I like that. And yes that's me saying that. I usually love to smear stuff everywhere. Especially on the clothes, I am wearing. I guess, I just like it because it is such a nice image and narrative.

If you want me to tell you more about how to hold a pallet properly and why there are pallets for left-handed and right handed people, let me know.

I jump into the show now and head of to Day 2.

See you later and keep painting,


Learings of Day 1:

- how to hold a pallet

- Leonardo's quote

- What is light and what is shadow

- how to look, and look closer

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