Idea-Sketchbook Archives: Daniel Sprick Workshop

By nature, I am an obsessive note taker. I have piles of “idea-sketchbooks” and every so often I will pull out an old one and read through my notes.

Recently I was reading through an idea-sketchbook from January 2013 and I came across my notes from a Daniel Sprick workshop I took at Studio Incamminati. I want to share some notes I wrote down during the workshop describing Daniel’s methodology and thought process.

The first item to note is that, Daniel likes to start his paintings with a grisaille, because this way he can focus on the drawing first. Daniel mentioned Ingres and how early in his own career he always wondered why Ingres would first paint a grisaille, but now Daniel realizes that Ingres would paint the grisaille because it was an opportunity to focus on drawing.

Daniel Sprick’s grisaille method starts with either Vandyke brown and white or burnt umber and white (he also uses grisaille to establish the texture in the painting) and later when first switching to color, he still uses opaque paints, so he can still correct the drawing if it is needed.

Daniel believes oil is a relatively forgiving medium, though it is advantageous to start right at the beginning. He firmly believes that a good start follows with a good ending. So if a start is not good, wipe it down, and start over. Keep going and practice your starts.

Just in case I didn’t make it clear before :-)      Good starts = good endings.

What I learned most from the experience, was the overall feeling and attitude he brought to his art creation. By watching Daniel paint, I realize that he really works in a thoughtful and deliberate way, he works towards the end goal always, and he tries to get the values and colors correct right from the get-go, but he also is always refining, correcting and modifying.

It was a pleasure learning from Daniel Sprick, and I hope to take another workshop from him in the future. If you have a chance, take a workshop by him and don’t hesitate, it will be worth it!