A journey into oils with Robin Eley

19 01 2013
Jeremy DV Boyd First Oil Painting Sm

My first oil painting in progress!

The portrait coming to life...

The portrait coming to life…

This past week I had the rare luxury of attending a week-long oil painting course run by my favourite Adelaide portrait artist, Robin Eley. What a great week!

Held at CDW Studios, this was the first course for Robin’s newly established school, The Art Academy. A highly professional course and very well set up, right down to the last detail. The week was a combination of keenly listening and watching as Robin generously shared his experiences and skills from the stage, as well as gaining practical hands-on painting experience from students’ own work stations under Robin’s guidance. The course was a very modern setup, with painting demonstrations projected as live video footage up on large screens so students could watch both Robin’s canvas and palette as the painting came to life, allowing us to gain valuable insight on brush technique and colour mixing. Each student had their own desk, easel and still-life light box to work from.

Jeremy DV Boyd Robin Eley Oil Painting 2

Jeremy DV Boyd Robin Eley Oil Painting 6

Being my very first foray into oil painting I definitely had my L-Plates on, though quickly learnt an amazing amount from both Robin and other established artists in the room. All very giving of their knowledge, skills and feedback. The week had a very collaborative atmosphere amongst many friendly new artist friends.

Not having used the medium before, my main challenge was getting a handle on the physical properties of oil paint. They didn’t react at all as I was expecting! In fact, quite the opposite to other mediums I’d used. Surrendering myself as a complete beginner, I became a sponge to all that was said and tried to put painstakingly it into practice. To say oils are complex is an understatement! By a few days in I was feeling more confident and really enjoying the process. We did a few painting exercises before moving on to a more complex portrait. I didn’t get through to a finished painting, though thoroughly enjoyed the learning process and was happy with the result of my progress. It has ignited a real interest in oils for me and I’m keen to continue on with the journey. Watch this space…

The Business of Art - Robin Eley, Kim Buck, Sam Hill Smith, Michael Zavros

The Business of Art – Robin Eley, Kim Buck, Sam Hill Smith, Michael Zavros

The week was rounded off with a full day lecture on The Business of Art, where artists Robin Eley, Kim Buck, Michael Zavros and Hill Smith Gallery owner, Sam Hill Smith, providing thoughtful insights and advice on making a living from art.

All in all, an inspiring week and my first steps taken for a journey in oils.

You can check out Robin Eley’s stunning body of work here.
And scope out upcoming courses at The Art Academy.


How to Feed Your Design Monster Vol. 1

11 01 2012

I was recently approached by UWS design student Andrew Evans and asked “What is the most important thing a Designer has to learn?”.

Along with other designers from across the country, my response informed Andrew’s 4th Year Major Design Project, a hardcover book titled “How to Feed Your Design Monster Vol. 1”. The book features a collection of answers to his question, as well as a showcase of his own photographic work.

Andrew feels the resulting publication contains a very genuine sense of positivity and care. The book aims to inform and inspire design students, providing valuable advice from many Australian design industry professionals.

You can order a hardcopy of the book or check it out online via the website.

Boydsta!Photo by Andrew Evans

AGDA Mentor Program – 2010

10 07 2010

For the second year running, I am again participating in the Australian Graphic Design Association’s Mentor Program.

At a recent Mentor Program Launch lunch at The Good Life Organic Pizza on Hutt Street (I can highly recommend the duck pizza!) I was paired up with my new mentor student, an enthusiastic and talented young designer by the name of Aaron Harvey (not to be confused with my good mate Aaron Harvey from Perth, who’s creative in the area of plumbing rather than graphics).

In my own final year of University studies, 15 years ago, I was assigned a mentor who I visited each month for a few tips for how to get a start in my career, advise on my portfolio of work and a few grounding truths about the ‘real world’ beyond university. I found this extremely helpful at the time and it certainly helped put me on the right track for a career that I have enjoyed greatly so far, one that has let me travel the world while honing my creative skills in an area of work that I am passionate about. (Thanks Stephen Castledine!). I hope I can be of similar assistance to Aaron.

In his own words:

Aaron is currently completing his honours degree in a Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication), dedicating his year to the investigation of meaning formation in design practice. Aaron is concept driven with a keen interest in corporate identity, packaging and interactive design and occasionally makes the odd collage. He is young and enthusiastic about design and is looking for experience and a break into the industry.

email: aaronharvey@live.com.au
phone: +61 405 211 490

If anyone’s seeking a talented young designer with an eye for detail and a passion for the industry, please drop him a line. You can see a few examples of Aaron’s creative designs below:

Lulliloo greeting cards, self-directed project – Aaron Harvey

Ladykiller wine label. Inspired by teen idols of the 1960’s – Aaron Harvey

DIY Poster Pack, promoting sustainable working practices to graphic designers. Winner of the DIA Australasian Student Design Awards, Visual Design – Aaron Harvey


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