I taught classes for the first time, which was fun, but a little stressful. The stressful part was being aware of time. Normally, during Pennsic, I am aware of daytime or nighttime, eating time or fighting time. Not much else. I needed to be more aware of hourly time, which brought me out of my medieval mindset. I also brought my iPhone to use to keep time for the 2 minute, 10 minute and 15 minute poses. I think I would like to get an hour glass in different sizes.
Class number 1: Figure Drawing Salon
Draw from live models in medieval poses. Practice your sketching, get feedback, or just relax and work on your drawing. Bring drawing supplies.
I had wonderful models, Mistress Anastasiia Gutane, Master Ruslan, Master Lucien, and Mistress Aldreda for the two sessions. The first session was Peace week on Thursday, and the second was during War week on Wednesday. It was an excellent idea to space them out. Aldreda mentioned that she had a website that gave advice on using models, and I am hoping that she can pass that along because that will help me in making good use, and treating my models well.
I also ran a second class which was Portraits on Friday of Peace Week which was:
How to draw portraits of people. What are the specific things that you need to look for that changes a base portrait in order to "read" as a specific person? This class will guide you in the development of those skills. Bring drawing materials, pencils, pastels, charcoal and paper of your choice. Some limited supplies will be available
As well as doing classes, I was teaching a friend from a neighboring camp about painting. Mary and I have been trying to get together to do this for a while, but she lives way south and I live way north, but we were finally living within 15 feet of each other. So I dragged out my supplies and I taught her some painting. It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon during peace week and it made more sense to her (I hope) in person.
The other artsy thing is that I am working on during Pennsic is my Artifacts of Life entry for 2017. This year I decided I wanted to make an artist palate like the ones that I have seen in the self portraits of many Italian renaissance painters.
I worked with Gaius in camp, our resident wood worker, and took a piece of wood he had lying around and I started shaving it down with a hand plane. Gaius is a really good instructor in that he shows the stroke needed, and then hands the person the tool, while watching. He then adjusts his student's grip, the tool's bite, and the angle as needed to help the student succeed. I worked for about an hour, shaving down the wood until it was as smooth as I wanted it to be. We clamped it down and then made a hole with another hand tool of destruction. I'll have to check with Gaius as to the name of the tool, but it was a tool that makes a oval rather than circle hole. I, then, shaved the edges for a rounded edge rather than a square edge.
The piece needs some hand sanding, and I even might use a hand plane to make it a little thinner. After that, I will need to oil or varnish it. I've already started digging up research on that here on what the vikings did and here on a blog about woodworking using medieval methods and here on the Smithsonian Museum Conservation site as well as looking through my notes on Cennini.
First my re-enactment piece, then the Research pictures.