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Video Length: 420 minutes, 4 discs
"In 2007, we had the privilege of filming a series of videos with Jeffrey Watts in his studio in Southern California. This is the first of the programs, and it represents the great power and talent this young artist brings to the contemporary art scene. Watts is a painting hurricane, approaching the canvas with a bombastic energy that explodes into what seems at first to be chaotic brushwork. Not since the late, great Nicolai Fechin have we seen a paint surface like the ones Jeffrey creates. He is admittedly influenced by the late Fechin's work, and we believe he is the torch bearer for this generation of painters who wish to follow in the steps of that early 20th century master.
Jeff has carved a permanent place for himself in the California educational art scene by creating and operating an art school, Watts Atelier of the Arts, near San Diego, and now passes on his drawing and painting knowledge to a new generation of artists in an ongoing curriculum of classical drawing and painting semester classes. His own work is receiving national recognition as one of the most powerful portrait and figurative painters of this generation, winning awards from the Portrait Society of America, Oil Painters of America and being invited to participate in such exclusive events as the Prix de West competition.
As with all our programs in the "In the Studio With..." series, you are gifted with the rare opportunity to see a master artist at work on a major, gallery-bound piece and have the privilege of seeing virtually every brushstroke required to bring this painting from bare canvas to finished masterpiece. Watts is a verbal, energetic instructor who will talk you though every phase of the painting's development.
Being present at the filming, I was surprised when I watched the late stages of the painting and compared it to the live model Jeff was painting from. The painting actually looked more alive than the model, and that is no disrespect to the model. The painting actually had a living quality about it with the rich, vibrant colors, along with the full value range from white to black on the canvas. You will have to watch the video to see this for yourself, but I know you will agree with me that the painting has a power well beyond the model, and that power comes from the artist who created it.
If you strive to achieve an impressionist, expressionistic look to your own work, you can't find a better artist to demostrate how this is accomplished. As an artist myself, I have been on the lookout many years for a contemporary painter who had solved the mystery of Nicholai Fechin's technique, and I found that artist in Jeffrey Watts. His performance was a painting feast for the eyes, and you won't be disappointed by either the execution or the education that this video offers to the painter wanting to understand more about the legacy of those great painters who preceded us.
This video is a must for the library of the serious student of painting, and I can't recommend it highly enough."
- Johnnie Liliedahl
Video Length: 225 minutes, 1 disc
He says, "What we want to do as a student is to acquire an intuitive sense for value and design through repetition of correct theories and information. How fast can you do that? It depends on the individual's ability to acquire this information, aptitude, and willingness to work hard at it. Work ethic I would take any day over talent. I would take heart and character over natural ability any day of the week. So if you're not one of those natural people, don't fret. You may pass up the naturals ten times over just out of work ethic."
In this video, Jeff gives you the underlying relationships of all heads that you can refer to when drawing from the model or from photographs to achieve a likeness, and demonstrates warm-up drawings in sets of four 5-minute exercises before tackling a long drawing of the same model. This is the exercise that he sets out in his classes in his Atelier for his drawing students and the process they go through every week of class. Now you can sit in on one of his classes, where he demonstrates on this video exactly as he would in each weekly class.
It's rare to find a teacher who is so articulate about exactly what he/she is doing on the camera, but Jeff is one of those individuals who has no trouble talking and drawing at the same time, which makes his a wonderful resource for learning a great deal in a very short period of time. If you are struggling with your efforts at drawing or painting likenesses, this video is surely one that should be in your library to help you over that hump.
Don't miss this opportunity to own this program at a fraction of its price upon release. Enjoy Drawing!"
"Work ethic I would take any day over talent. I would take heart and character over natural ability any day of the week. So if you're not one of those natural people, don't fret. You may pass up the naturals ten times over just out of work ethic."
Video Length: 240 minutes, 1 disc
Jeffrey Watts teaches traditional drawing and painting in his Atelier near San Diego, CA; however, he personally chooses to paint in a style reminiscent of the famous Russian artist, Nicolai Fechin.
Watch while Jeff demonstrates his nationally recognized expertise in that style while doing this 3/4 head study in the style of a gestural portrait, while fully explaining his actions and thoughts during the process.
Although Jeff still calls this video a Gesture Portrait, it's finished to a much greater degree than the quicker portrait series done in his previous "Gesture Portrait" video. This gives him the opportunity to discuss the foundation of his approach to a greater extent while applying tiles of color in a thick, gestural, alla prima (wet into wet) method of painting, blending on the face just enough to give it a "painterly" appearance while, at the same time, maintaining the "loose" and abstract look for which he is so well known.
By his description, he uses an "uncontrolled palette" that he describes as an "opened range of colors that include warms & cools of all primaries with supplemental colors added for the purpose of painting speed." He applies these colors using a wide selection of brushes and palette knives, while looking, analyzing, and then taking the appropriate action to:
Jeff spends extra time discussing the importance and order of developing edges, values and shapes first, then adding color to "bring the painting to life", all for the purpose of explaining the general concepts of making a painting look 3-dimensional on a 2-dimensional surface, as he feels that these important concepts are either seldom taught or poorly communicated.
His intention is for the painting to have a "loose," un-rendered look by using a variety of methods and tools, including palette knives. While the previous video, Gesture Portraits, demonstrated similar techniques on quite a few models, this video is limited to one model, thus giving him the extra time to bring the painting to a more "finished" state.