artist's studio

Life drawing sessions in my studio by Michele Del Campo

_MG_4935 ENGLISH: Since I left my studio in central Soho, I quit organizing life drawing sessions. However I always liked the nice atmosphere that was created by the weekly gatherings, with other artists, old and new friends interested in practising and improving their drawing skills. We would invite always different models of all races, dancers, performing artists, contortionists, pregnant women, twins and couples, and we would often end up in one of the pubs nearby to socialize afterwards. Last weekend, during a night out with some of those old friends who used to draw with me in my sessions, they gave me the idea of resuming the classes, and I thought that it was a wonderful idea. Anyone who is interested in taking part is very welcome, until places are full.

These are the details of my sessions:

Tuesdays, 7-9pm, please RSVP by email or whatsapp with your name if you are coming.

Entry fee: £10

The Chocolate Factory, Studio 9, Unit B104, Clarendon Road, N22 6XJ London

Tel/Whatsapp: 07853538527





"The Butterfly" and my new workshop by Michele Del Campo

michele del campo the-butterfly ENGLISH: This is a painting that will be exhibited in the AAF Hong Kong art fair in May at the Mark Jason Gallery's stand. If you have been following my blog, you might have seen that I made part of this painting in a workshop demonstration in my studio three weeks ago. Not only I was painting this to explain my technique to painters participating in my workshop, but also they were painting it on their own canvases under my guidance. They have asked me a second part of the workshop to learn more and continue the painting, and the part 2 will be held in April. There will be a new workshop from 15 to 17 May, always in my studio, anyone interested in attending can get more information and buy a ticket here.

ESPAÑOL: Este cuadro estará expuesto en el stand de la Mark Jason Gallery en la feria AAF Hong Kong en mayo. Si has estado siguiendo mi blog, habrás visto fotos de este cuadro en proceso durante uno de mis workshops hace tres semanas. Mis alumnos han seguido mis demonstraciones técnicas y han empezado el mismo cuadro, y, tras el workshop, todos han querido que pusiera una segunda parte del curso, para completarlo bajo mi supervisión. Esta segunda parte será en abril. Quien esté interesado en un nuevo workshop en mi estudio, ya he creado el evento desde el 15 al 17 de mayo, y los billetes se pueden adquirir ya en este enlace.

A great workshop in my studio by Michele Del Campo

_MG_5033-1 Yesterday was the last of my 3-day workshop "Figure Alla Prima" in my London studio. I enjoyed very much the experience and I am so happy that everybody was very enthusiastic with their experience too, in fact all of them are interested in attending future workshops or a part II of this same workshop. The available places were limited to only 5 painters, so they could be working on big canvases and get individual attention, and I had a great group of lovely people, mix of professional and amateur artists. It was a very peculiar workshop because I gave my students the task to do the same painting that I am doing, and they progressed alongside me watching my demonstrations, looking at my painting in progress and listening to my advises. I started every day demonstrating on my canvas, explaining in detail my methods and then letting my students do the same work under my constant guidance, demonstrating on their canvases too when it could be useful for a better understanding. I was very pleased at the end with the results



of each of them. I taught many aspects of my technique, but the highlights of my workshop, according to most of the painters, have been my teaching about colour mixing, colour theory to achieve clean and bright colours, and how to use the brushes to achieve all possible effects with very few touches. My next workshop will be from 15 to 17 May and it's already bookable here.

ESPAÑOL: Ayer fue el último de los 3 días de taller "Figura alla prima" en mi estudio de Londres. Me ha gustado mucho la experiencia y estoy muy contento que todos los participantes estaban contentos también con la suya, tanto que me han convencido a organizar pronto otro taller y quizás también una continuación de este mismo taller, la segunda parte. Los puestos disponibles eran tan solo 5, para que todos pudieran trabajar en lienzos grandes y tener atención individualizada. Ha sido un taller muy peculiar porque di a los participantes la tarea de realizar el mismo cuadro que yo estoy pintando, así que ellos progresaron junto asistiendo a mis demonstraciones cada mañana y repitiendo lo que habían aprendido en sus lienzos, con mis constantes consejos y ayuda teórica y práctica. Enseñé muchos aspectos de mi técnica, y los puntos más atractivos de mi taller, según me han dicho los participantes, han sido la teoría y la mezcla de los colores, y la utilización de los pinceles para conseguir todo tipo de efectos con pocos toques. Mi próximo taller será desde el 17 al 19 de abril y se puede reservar aquí.

I will teach "Figure Alla Prima" Workshop in my studio by Michele Del Campo

march-workshop-del-campo1I could not foresee that my workshop would be so successful from the first day that I published the information, so there is now only one ticket left! I was going to post about it tomorrow in this blog but now I feel obliged to advise my blog followers as soon as possible, in case any of you is interested. Here is the poster for the event, by clicking on it you will get all the information and will be able to buy the last ticket (if you arrive late and are interested in the workshop, please message me and I will inform you if I organize another one later on).

My studios, London and Valencia - the importance of the light by Michele Del Campo

artist studio michele del campo london Home studio, London

artist studio michele del campo valencia

ENGLISH: In the last few months I have started to spend long periods of time in Valencia, close to my newborn daughter and to my wife, for that reason I have rented a small space where I have set-up a new studio for painting. Valencia always feels like a special place to me, the sun, the countryside, the sea, the buildings, the warmth and friendliness of the people, all bear a certain resemblance with the cities in my South Italian region Puglia. Waking up even in winter with the sunshine filtering through the shutters is to me a luxury that has no price, and for a painter it is a bliss, even if the economical, political and social situation in Spain lately is not as bright as the weather, and that is a perception that has darkened the mood of my paintings, as I am very attached to Spain and to its culture. However now my frequent travels to Valencia have sparkled in me the wish for a return to that brightness that was such an important feature in my earlier paintings, when I lived in Spain (Madrid) and in fact I am starting to re-introduce it in my new work, and there is nothing better than painting the light in a city of light. Practically speaking, a sunny and warm city has many advantages for a painter, for example, it allows me to keep the window of my studio open even in winter, lessening the harmful effects of the solvents for oil painting, it also allows me to paint outdoors at almost any time of the year with quite steady conditions of light, or to organize outdoor shoots with models in sunny settings almost at any time and well in advance (in London I cannot rely on having a steady sunny interval even in summer). Moreover, the light in winter lasts much longer in Valencia than in London, which is important when I work from life, and the sun makes it more pleasurable to go out in search of new inspiration outdoors, and to me there is nothing better than the direct sunlight to enhance the shapes of people, objects and spaces (if the light goes away suddenly behind some clouds, for example, a scene that was very interesting can lose completely appeal and become ordinary and dull). For now this is only a temporary solution of a studio in Valencia, but it is certainly giving back to me those practical advantages that were missing since I moved to London and that will certainly be reflected in my new work.


SPANISH: Hace varios meses he empezado a pasar largos períodos de tiempo en Valencia, cerca de mi recién nacida hija y de mi mujer, por eso mis suegros me han alquilado un espacio donde me he montado un pequeño estudio para pintar. Valencia siempre ha sido un sitio especial para mi, el campo, el mar, el sol, la arquitectura típica, el calor y la amabilidad de la gente me recuerdan un poco las ciudades de la Puglia, la región del sur de Italia de la que provengo. Despertarme incluso en invierno con los rayos del sol que se infiltran por las persianas medio cerradas para mi es un lujo que no tiene precio, y para un pintor es una dicha, aunque la situación económica, política y social en España no es tan luminosa como el tiempo, y esa es una percepción que ha oscurecido el humor de mi pintura, ya que estoy muy ligado a España y a su cultura. Sin embargo, últimamente mis frecuentes viajes a Valencia han propiciado en mi la voluntad de un retorno a esa iluminación que era una característica tan importante en mis pinturas anteriores, cuando vivía en Madrid, y de hecho he empezado a re-entroducirla en mis nuevos trabajos, y no hay nada mejor que pintar la luz en una ciudad de luz. Hablando de ventajas prácticas en el trabajo, una ciudad soleada y caliente te permite tener las ventanas del estudio abiertas incluso en invierno, atenuando los efectos dañinos de los disolventes de la pintura al óleo, y de pintar al aire libre durante todo el año en condiciones bastante estables de luz, o de organizar tomas fotográficas con modelos bajo el sol casi cada vez que quieres y con antelación (en Londres no puedes confiar en tener el sol, o el sol constante, ni siquiera en verano). Además, en invierno la luz en Valencia dura bastante más tiempo que en Londres, lo cual es importante a la hora de pintar del natural, y el sol hace que sea agradable salir en busca de nueva inspiración en el exterior, y para mi no hay nada más fascinante que los contrastes que crea la luz directa del sol en la gente, en los objetos y en los espacios (a la hora de tomar una foto, por ejemplo, a una escena con iluminación solar directa, si de repente desaparece el sol tras unas nubes todo se hace plano y pierde interés). De momento en Valencia este pequeño estudio es solamente una solución temporánea, pero ciertamente me devuelve esas ventajas prácticas que había perdido desde que me mudé a Londres, y que ciertamente se verán reflejados en mi nuevo trabajo.





A life portrait (part 1) by Michele Del Campo

I do many sketches and drawings of people from life, but I usually do them in sketchbooks for the sheer pleasure or take them as exercises. In fact, the direction where my painting is heading towards lately, requires the use of photography as a reference, to enable me to structure an imaginary scene with the solidity of a plausible reality. If I painted portraits in the past, they were almost all based on reference pictures and I did not always care about the faithfulness of my painting to the sitters, I was not presenting that particular person but my idea of that person. Still, my training as a painter comes from a rigorous research from direct observation. I learned so much from my still-life paintings when I was younger, the perspective, the light, the textures, the reflection of the surfaces, the changeability of things with the passing of time, etc... All those discoveries are still with me and will always be. People, however, were another world, a too precarious one, material for sketchbooks, not canvases.

Now, while I still explore the possibilities of the imagination supported by the photography, I have taken the chance to confront the changeable and three-dimensional reality of a portrait on a big canvas. Jacqueline is posing for me, but I will talk about this portrait later on, when it is finished...



Hago muchos bocetos y dibujos de personas del natural, pero lo hago simplemente por el placer de dibujar, dentro de mis cuadernos de dibujo, o por ejercicio. De hecho, la dirección que está tomando mi pintura últimamente requiere el uso de la fotografía como referencia, la cual me permite estructurar una escena imaginada con la solidez de la realidad plausible. Si en el pasado he pintado retratos, éstos eran casi siempre basados en referencias fotográficas, además no siempre me importaba la fealdad de mi pintura a la imagen del modelo, no intentaba hablar de esa persona en concreto, sino de mi idea de esa persona. Sin embargo, mi formación de pintor viene de un rigurosa investigación por observación directa. He aprendido muchísimo de mi pintura del natural de cuando era más joven, la perspectiva, la luz, la textura, el reflejo de las distintas superficies, el cambio de las cosas por el tiempo, etc... Todos esos descubrimientos todavía están bien grabados en mi y siempre lo estarán. Pero las personas eran otro mundo, demasiado precario, material de estudio para páginas de cuadernos, no lienzos.

Ahora, mientras sigo explorando las posibilidades de la imaginación unida a la fotografía, he aprovechado la ocasión para enfrentarme a la realidad para un retrato de gran formato. Jacqueline posa para este retrato, pero hablaré de ello cuando lo termine...

Life drawing from dance by Michele Del Campo

Yesterday in my studio we had a wonderful life drawing session. I invited contemporary dancer Mara to dance while we drew her, sitting around. She put on her own music and danced, slowly and gracefully, stopping frequently for a few seconds to give us the possibility to quickly sketch her. Her poses lasted from 20 to 60 seconds, it was a challenging task for her and for us.

The session is part of a cycle of weekly gatherings with friends to share the experience of drawing. Every time I organize the session with a different model and a different purpose, to train our eyes and to explore the possibilities and the limits of different mediums. My sessions normally stop around June, when I usually get too involved in painting for the approaching of my solo exhibitions (which I tend to have towards the end of every year).


Ayer en mi estudio tuvimos una sesión de dibujo del natural estupenda. Invité a Mara, una bailarina de danza contemporánea, a bailar mientras nosotros, en círculo, la dibujábamos. Ella nos puso su música y danzó lentamente y con mucha gracia, quedándose parada con frecuencia por unos segundos para que la dibujáramos. Las poses variaban desde los 20 hasta los 60 segundos.

La sesión forma parte de mi ciclo semanal de encuentros para dibujo del natural que comparto con amigos. Cada vez organizo el evento con un modelo y un objetivo distintos, para entrenar la mirada y para explorar las posibilidades y los límites de medios diferentes para dibujo. Mis sesiones normalmente duran hasta junio, cuando empiezo a concentrarme exclusivamente en la pintura en vista de la exposición individual del año (que esta vez será en Lugano, Suiza, en la Imago Art Gallery).

My new studio in Soho by Michele Del Campo

The artist studio is a magical place, because it is where creativity runs free and takes shape. Diderot suggested that in order to grasp the profound meaning of an artwork one should see the studio where it has been created, spying on atmospheres, rituals, secrets. The size of a studio, the shape, the lighting, the location, the distance from home, all of these characteristics can have a big influence on the development of an artist's work. On the other hand, the artist intervenes on his working space to adapt it to his own creative needs, so, given a similar space, every artist will have a very different studio. Until few weeks ago I had always had my studio incorporated to my home, I could hardly think about living separated from my painting. I needed to have everything under control at all times, I could work at the times that I wanted, whether by day or by night, everything I needed was always there, at a door's distance.

Lately, however, I started to feel that a big room in my flat was not enough anymore for my needs and I decided to look for an even bigger space in London, although that meant that I would have to start commuting every day. I was also looking for a more socially stimulating environment, a place with other artists, where inspiration, experience and ideas circulate more easily.

Buildings dedicated to host artists studios normally are situated in more peripheral areas, often old factories converted into working spaces for artists. However my research coincided with the release, by an organization, of a great newly converted building in the middle of Soho, the sparkling heart of the city, to be wholly rented to fine artists. Among the big pile of applications from many artists there was mine, but I was lucky enough to be chosen to get one of the only thirteen available studios. Among my neighbours in the building are illustrious artists by the name of Neil Gall, Mark Wallinger, Laura Oldfield Ford, Nils Norman, Merlin Carpenter and Annie Kevans. It has taken a long time and effort to set up my new studio and now I look forward to start a new season with a new painting project.