"After years of receiving questionable instruction in various art classes and diplomas in the U.K, I finally found the Florence Academy of Art. This was the moment when the non-sense stopped. Here I found instruction that superseded anything I had experienced previously. It opened up a world of art that I had been told had been lost, and that was in most places being ignored in favour of chasing the next original shocking concept. It was here that a student could build confidence and a solid foundation for understanding the visual language through the philosophy of the old masters."
Invited by the FAA to teach in his 3rd year, Toby WRIGHT also continued teaching after graduating. His positions included:
- Assistant for the drawing program.
- Director of drawing for the sculpture program,
- Senior instructor for the advanced painting program.
He currently works from his studio in Monaco, on commissions or personal projects, portraits or landscapes. He runs a yearly summer course at Stowe school, in the U.K, instructing the classical approach to the portrait, the figure and landscape.
Regardless of the subject (portrait, still life, landscape) working from life is essential. It sometimes requires the painter to venture outside of the everyday comfort zone, but what is gained from this is greater sense of reality, a more intimate connection, and a greater set of choices. Nature will present innumerable variations for the artist to pick from, and to interpret, which will by far outweigh any proposals from a single snapshot with a camera.
What one "sacrifices" with the time spent on location, carrying and setting up equipment, or hiring models, is returned ten fold with the experience and information gleaned from the subject.
Working from life requires a rigorous process: from blocking in, arranging masses and tones, and finally modelling the form. When working on toned paper, charcoal deals with the shadows, white chalk deals with the lights, and the paper is strategically untouched to address the half-tones.
"Nanos gigantium humeris incidentes."