- Lesson details
In this lesson series instructor Sheldon Borenstein shows you how to work with a variety of drawing and painting media. You will learn how the general principles of art apply equally to all media and specifically how to work with each individual medium while employing the appropriate techniques. In this video lesson Sheldon will teach you how to work with two colors in the Florentine style
- Toned Canson Paper
- Prismacolor Colored Pencil
- Pitt Pastel Pencil – White
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of drawing and painting media. You will learn how the general principles of art apply equally
to all media and specifically how to work with each individual medium
while employing the appropriate techniques.
In this video lesson, Sheldon will teach you how to
work with two colors in the Florentine style.
know that because I’m 500. I think this year I’m going to be 553. Remember, back
in the olden days when I was young we used to do these Florentine drawings.
What is Florentine drawing?
Well, it’s not Chiaroscuro.
But it is Chiaroscuro because Chiaroscuro is single light source.
So we put a single light source down so that’s Chiaroscuro, but it’s not
Florentine. Here we go. Now we get down to business.
If you talk to my teacher. He’s my teacher. This is mine, not yours. He’s mine. His
name is Vilppu. He’s my teacher. Glenn has probably one of the best quotes. He said the
Florentine School of Drawing that does not—there is no such thing as a natural talent in the
Florentine School. It’s 100% learned.
So, not to criticize it, but if you’re painting
shapes and edges you could just put down shapes, put down the edges, and you’re there.
It looks really pretty. You can’t animate it. You’re not going to animate these shapes
turning. For that you need to have structure and that’s with the Florentine. So the Florentine
School comes in, and it was used primarily in modern times for your traditional animation.
Then we’re going to do that and work our way back.
Think back 50 years ago.
You have a classically trained artist. Now, to me, when
I say classically trained I think Florentine School. Classically trained is knowing your gesture, your shape,
and your structures, how they fit together and how they move.
To me that’s what I call classically trained.
So you’ve got these classically trained artists, and this person
walks up to them going down the street and says, hey, you want a gig that’s going to
last a really long time? Yeah, what do you need? Can you draw a bunny? Yeah. Can you
draw it so that we can turn it in any position? That’s easy. Yeah. Okay, what are you going
to do? We’re going to call it Bugs, Bugs Bunny. Yeah, whatever. And there you go.
If you can draw Bugs Bunny the proper way you could do the ceilings.
You can do Michelangelo’s ceiling.
If you can draw Bugs Bunny the proper way like we teach in the figure drawing—I’m going
to teach you—you could draw Florentine drawing, classic Michelangelo.
So the Florentine School is a very interesting world. I like it on toned paper. I had a student
in my class on Friday said can you draw on anything that’s not toned paper?
Can you draw on white paper?
Like, yeah dude, of course I can.
But what I like about the toned paper is it gives me a midtone.
It keys my drawing, gives me my mids.
From that tone I add white all the way to the lightest.
And then from that tone I add whatever color I’m using,
sometimes it’s reds. Sometimes it’s black, whatever. It can be charcoal all the way to
the darkest dark. So we go darkest dark into the tone of the paper, out of the tone of
the paper into the white. Okay, that’s value. What makes it Florentine? Now this is my opinion
from my study. They used to use Silverpoint. You describe the forms. If I’m doing a Chiaroscuro,
and I put a shadow down and I fill it in,
I know the anatomy is there but I don’t
have to paint it in. I can go do a flat tone.
With the Florentine School you draw everything in and you literally cross-contour those forms.
If you don’t know what cross-contour go backs to the fundamentals video. It is describing
the form with line, wrapping around. Wrapping around. You can see it in Eric’s sculptures.
It's beautiful. He does it very well, where he’s actually scratching into the form and
wrapping around the form. For you digital people out there that will be your edge loops
and your geometry. They’re all the same. You describe it and you build up your tones
by the use of these lines. They’re not cross-hatching because cross-hatching could be anything.
They’re describing the form. Then you go more where you have your cores, less where
you have your reflected light, more where you have your cast, and then you have your
halftone. How you vary that is the distance between the lines. So if put lines down and
they’re far apart the tone of the paper comes through, that’s more of a halftone.
As the lines that you put down get closer together now it becomes more working into
your cores and into your reflected light into your cast. This is my favorite technique.
This is what I love because I get lost in it.
Then every one of those lines takes us on a path.
Now, if you really want to see it done properly, if you have a friend and they volunteer—make
sure they volunteer—if you take and you go down past the fat to the muscles to the
striations, that is the line. That’s your Florentine School. You can have Eric volunteer
because he has them, or you can look at his sculptures and you can see those beautiful
rhythms. But that’s the Florentine School. You really have to understand your anatomy
and what you’re drawing with the Florentine School. Take a look at the great layouts from
the animations industry, the beautiful backgrounds, the layouts. You’ll see, again, the same
thing, these beautiful rhythms. You have to know what you’re drawing. You can’t hide
in the Florentine School. I’m going to demo that for you. That’s what I call the Florentine School.
Okay, Florentine. Florentine is linear, but for the flat wash we’ll just go like this, just lines.
Tools we’re using are Canson paper and Prismacolor black,
and we’re using the Pitt pastel white.
So the closer these strokes are together when you’re dealing
with the Florentine—this is a thing you really have to remember and you’ll see it
when we get to the sphere—the stronger your white source is going to be.
Then you get to the point where you put these strokes further together and you get more of a halftone. Okay?
Same thing with the black. It’s further apart so it’s a halftone. Then it gets dark
and there it is. That’s your gradated tone.
you’re using these lines.
Now look very carefully. See these strokes?
That's the Florentine School.
Now, you can have a historian come and see me.
They’ll tell me I’m wrong. And that’s nice. That’s good. I draw, they probably don’t.
But I call it the Florentine School because I don’t know what else to call it.
So you see how these lines come across?
Further away from each other you get more halftone.
This is my favorite medium.
Alright, there are our shapes.
Here's our box shape.
What we’re going to do is we’re going to put in these little strokes.
It's like turning on the light.
So you're using the tone of your paper for your halftone.
You're using the dark for your cores and your shadows.
You’re using the white for your halftones and your lights.
And it’s fairly linear.
Bush in the background. You’re going to
start seeing that these things start to mimic each other.
Now for this, most of my long demos on the figures is going to be this school of drawing
so you’ll see a lot of it. You can work right into the shadows. So you don’t do
like flat shadows. If you put, like watch, if you go like this and you put in your shape
and you draw over it, it comes right through.
It's really fun. So if you work into your shadows with your
forms, when you put a flat tone over the top it comes right through. So you always get
that structure when you’re in the Florentine School. You never leave the structure.
We could almost call this the structural school of drawing. You can’t hide.
You’re always putting in the forms.
Reflected light there.
It’s fun but it’s based on this. It’s very linear lines. Darker, closer together.
Lighter, further apart. Same thing with the white: Stronger, closer together; halftone,
further out. Have some fun with it.
You’ll be seeing a lot of demos with this as the time goes on.