*This class as a ten week course rather than our usual 14 week course. SmArt School teachers sometimes have to travel for professional reasons. If they must miss a class they will notify all students during class time and add a session to the end of the calendar. One week off is scheduled for Thanksgiving week. All Classes meet live and are not recorded due to proprietary content. Teaching will not happen via email, only during class time.
Blender from a painter's point of view
Blender is a powerful, free, open-source 3D creation suite. This mentorship will explore this software in depth, but from a painter’s perspective. Together the class will dive into the immense potential of this tool for visual conceptualization. Students will create figures, objects, spaces, and settings. They will compose dynamic reference imagery to aid in the creation of paintings at any depth of complexity.
The course is designed to benefit both painters and digital artists. Traditional painters will benefit from learning this new way of creating thoroughly original scenes to paint from. For traditional artists Blender will become a highly versatile 21st century update to the classical tradition of sculpting maquettes and dioramas in the studio. On the other hand, for artists already working digitally, the class will provide a new approach to digital tools by emphasizing the way painters think about visual art. Digital artists will learn to create distinctive work through an emphasis on elements that are always at work underneath strong paintings: dynamic compositions, thoughtful approaches to light, harmonious color relationships, and meaningful symbolic narratives. The class will use both contemporary and classical paintings as touchstones to discuss these topics.
By the conclusion of this course, students will know how to create entire scenes that can act as solid foundations for paintings or as standalone digital artworks.
Approaching a new program can be daunting, but in this mentorship all levels of experience are welcomed--including absolute beginners. Martin will guide the class in a discussion that starts with the fundamentals of the program and ends with each student being able to create their own highly individual 3D environment. Once the core concepts are understood and practiced, students will find they can be intuitive and artistic. The aim of this mentorship is to raise each student’s skills and visual thinking to such a level that they can freely explore their imagination. Unlike a tutorial these classes will be highly interactive. Martin will illustrate possibilities in each student’s work by directly working with what they create, he will ensure that every student understands the concepts of the program, and the class will be a place for an ongoing discussion about vision and voice in each project. Students will also engage in creating collective and collaborative assets which the group will view and discuss together. Each student will have access to each other’s creations in this class to aid in composing their own scene.
All along the way the emphasis will be on developing artistic voice and facilitating imagination while working in this exciting new space. The emphasis will be on creating highly emotive and personal works through questioning and exploring every step of the technique, working in a group, and discussing the process of making an image from an allegorical painter’s point of view.
Later in the workshop students will also learn the program Substance Painter. Substance painter is an industry-standard 3d-painting and texturing program that is used by the majority of film and video game studios. With this tool an artist can add highly dynamic and realistic effects to models and environments. This program works fluently alongside 3d creation suites such as Blender, and this course will show artists how to harmonize the workflow between them. Substance Painter offers a free trial so that students can partake in learning without the need to commit to a paid license.
The material requirements for this workshop are a computer capable of smoothly running Blender* and a 3-button mouse. A drawing tablet/stylus is also highly recommended, as digital sculpting and painting benefits greatly from pen pressure control.
Towards the end of this course special guest artist Nicola Verlato will visit the class to talk about his work and his use of 3d virtual sculpting software. Since this is a techniques course the guest is an artist presenting their work.
*There is a great deal of information online about minimum and recommended system requirements. This app may be useful in scanning your system to see how it would fare in running the program: www.pcgamebenchmark.com/detect/blender
After taking this class students will also receive the option of a free profile on the Alumni Portfolios page.
About Martin Wittfooth
Martin Wittfooth was born in Toronto, Canada in 1981 and currently splits his time between studios in Savannah, Georgia, and the Kingston, New York. He earned his MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 2008. Wittfooth’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide, including the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Akron Art Museum in Ohio, and La Halle Saint-Pierre in Paris, with solo exhibitions in New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Montreal. His paintings have also appeared in numerous publications, including Juxtapoz, The New York Times Art Review, and Vice, and cover features in New American Paintings, Hi-Fructose and American Artist Magazine.