Rey Bustos graduated as an illustrator with high honors from the Art Center College of Design in 1989 and was elected by the student body to be the student speaker at their graduation. Rey then went on to illustrate for many companies and magazines as well as having numerous fine art exhibits since 1990. He is currently represented by the San Marino Gallery in Pasadena. Rey has also been teaching since 1990 and is now considered one of the preeminent artistic anatomy teachers in the country. Rey currently teaches at Art Center College of Design, the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art and is in the teaching staff at Disney Feature Animation. Rey teaches Head & Figure Drawing, 3D Anatomy/Ecorche’, 2D Anatomy and a class that he created and is now required at the Art Center College of Design, Imaginatomy; An Anatomical Approach to Animal and Character Development.
An ecorché/3D anatomy model is a centuries old method of learning anatomy through three dimensional means. The word ecorché is French for flayed body and refers to human or animal anatomy by which you can see the interplay between the skeleton, tendons, ligaments and the muscles that create what we see on the living form. It is an essential means for every figurative artist to better interpret though knowledge of what he sees. Rey will guide the student through making a skeleton in Sculpey (paying particular attention to the shapes of the bones), followed by laying on the muscles that constitute artistic anatomical form. This is an intense, hands-on approach to learning the body — a necessity for any artist concerned with learning accurate anatomical representation.
By the conclusion of this class:
- You will have a much better understanding of anatomy.
- You will be able to locate skeletal and surface landmarks.
- You will be able to edit your figurative work, making it more personal and interpretive.
- You will be better able to make up figures without reference.
- You will be better able to create sequential, animated movement.
- You will improve your ability to draw the figure from imagination rather than direct observation.
NEEDED for the first week:
- 1/8″ armature wire, at least ten feet. Any good art store carries this.
- Wooden board, plywood works great. 10-12″, or thereabouts or if you can find a 12″ round board fromOSHthat’s the best.
- 24 and 28 gauge steel wire, usually comes in 100ft little packages, get this at a hardware store.
- Super Glue by Devcon or Zap-A-Gap glue (Zap-A-Gap is best but not as easy to find)
- 3-ring binder (2″ should be fine) with numbered divider tabs 1-10
- Note paper (we always take a lot of notes)
- Ruler or tape measure
- Needle-nosed pliers (or any pliers, needle nosed preferred)
- Wire cutters (if you don’t have this, we can share)
- Hammer (if you don’t have one, we can share)
- Sharpie marker or any permanent marker, color doesn’t matter
- 1lb Super Sculpey (needed by the second week)
- Sculpey Clay Softener
- 4 packages of chocolate Sculpey II or Sculpey III (these are the 2oz little packages, DO NOT GET the bigger box of terra cotta!) not needed for a few weeks.)
- Misc. clay tools. Get a few, I will also show you what I have and like to use.
- Small jar of Vaseline, or Vaseline Lip Therapy.
By the fifth week, you will need to have the book, “Human Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form” by Eliot Goldfinger. Look for it on AMAZON.COM or any such on line bookseller. You can find it used for about $40.
Rey Bustos has taught in all of LAAFA’s Programs for many years and is one of our students’ most respected instructors.
Why did you decide to become an artist?
When my family came here from Colombia, South America, I was the youngest of four and at six years old I really didn’t know what was going on. The move, the language, nothing was explained to me. Anyway, I had a very difficult time. I had never been to school before and all of a sudden I was in the first grade in a “Sink or Swim” educational system. Though I had no desire to draw nor color in Colombia, here in our new home, the U.S., I discovered that when we had “Art Time” the kids seemed to gather around me and what I drew. It was the only time that I felt that I was on an equal playing field. I was hooked.
What other interests do you have besides being an artist and instructor?
I love going to museums and I never have a single day without working on a crossword puzzle. I do about 400 a year, every year. I am also an American history buff with a slight leaning towards U.S. Presidents. It’s hard to stump me on presidential trivia. If I didn’t teach art, I’d love to teach American History.
What motivates you to teach and how do you keep up your enthusiasm when things get tough in class?
Enthusiasm is something no one can learn nor teach. At its root, enthusiasm is inspiration and the root of that is the Latin word “Spiritus” or breath. You can see that it is where we got the word for spirit or inspiration. It is said that it is the spirit from those that came before you that breathe into you the love that they shared for a thing and when you feel their breath, you are filled with their spirit. I feel that every time that I teach. I feel the spirit of the old masters telling me to keep passing on the knowledge that has been passed to me and in turn it is my moral obligation to pass it on to my students. I can’t be any other way than to be full of that spirit and when I am in front of my classes, that spirit is overwhelming and it takes over.
How did you discover you had a talent for art?
This question is the most interesting for me to answer because I am one of the only people that I know that can answer that almost to the exact date. As stated above I came here at six. When I discovered through the attention from the other kids that I had a talent for drawing, I looked forward to art time and especially rainy days when we got to stay inside and either read or do art. I loved not only being able to draw but I have always loved the rain. It was second grade and I had a seat by the window that year. One particularly rainy day, the rain was coming down so hard that the blacktop outside was being pelted by torrents of water. The tetherball courts seemed to glisten and dance in the wind and rain. It was loud and I was warm and drawing inside. I felt a wave of joy that I had never felt before, and I remember that October day in 1965 (I always remembered Octobers since it is my birth month). It was raining and I was drawing and I remember very clearly thinking, “I want to do this for the rest of my life!”
When I bought my home, I looked to see which room would be my studio, it was the big bedroom with the large windows. I put my drawing table there next to the window and every time that it rains I go there and draw and remember it was that
little boy that decided what I would do the rest of my life. It’s hard not to be grateful and in love with life when I feel that feeling over and over again starting with that rainy day so long ago.
Where did you train and how did your training influence you?
I taught myself a lot before I went to college. But at a point I knew that I needed a lot more than what I could do on my own. So after helping my late wife get through her school and after she got her masters in audiology, it was my turn. I was accepted to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. It was there that I had some amazing teachers and one of them in particular was my anatomy teacher, the legendary Burne Hogarth. I graduated with honors. I was even elected by the student body to be their speaker at graduation and illustrated and did fine art exhibits for a few years. I am still an exhibiting artist…but it’s as a teacher that I feel most at home and most fulfilled.
I remember very clearly listening to Mr. Hogarth talk and talk and talk about anatomy. His knowledge was scary. I remember listening and thinking to myself, “I want to do that for the rest of my life!” See a pattern? Well Mr. Hogarth died in 1995 and he left a big hole at Art Center. I started teaching the same class in January of 1998 and I made the class my own….but one thing was and has always been the same; the room. I insisted on teaching the class in the same room as he did. I will still be there until I die and someone fills my shoes.
How do you convey to students the importance of learning anatomy?
I simply talk. I am not a salesman but I believe in the knowledge that made the old masters great is still and always will be of vital importance to any art and its culture. My passion speaks loudly through my teachings. I always make sure that regardless of the kind of art that you pursue, communication is the key no matter what. An artist is nothing if they can’t speak with knowledge. The ability to communicate with art and wisdom is the voice of the artist.
What do you consider to be the key factors to having a successful career as an artist?
Belief in oneself! Not through arrogance but through knowledge of the past, those that came before us, integrity and humility but with an iron will and steadfastness!
Rey Bustos – 3D Anatomy – Ecorche’ Online Course | 10-Weeks
Artists from around the world teach at LAAFA. We are currently in production to bring you future online courses with many of these artists. Each of LAAFA’s online courses will vary in length and the method of delivery. Rey Bustos’ 3D Anatomy / Ecorche’ online course is pre-recorded and requires the download of a custom player that is compatible with Window and Mac users. Our video player will allow you to pause, forward, and rewind your class. You will be able to watch your classes each week at your convenience. You must have high-speed Internet connection.
Types of courses: Critique and Self-Study
The Critique Course has set start dates and runs for 10 weeks. In addition to the lectures, 10 weeks of master drawing lectures and bonus footage will also be delivered. LAAFA will release a new class every week. All classes include a weekly assignment. Students can submit their assignments every 2 weeks for critique. Once you’ve have turned in your assignment, your instructor will respond with a video detailing and discussing your personal assignment while showing you by drawing over your work. In addition, you will have the opportunity to view other students’ critiques. At the end of the course, you can download your personal critiques for you to keep.
Self-Study Courses are independent classes and may be purchased at anytime. The self-study courses run for 10 weeks. In addition to the lectures, 10 weeks of master drawing lectures and bonus footage will also be delivered. Once purchased, you may start at your convenience. Classes will be sent on a weekly basis. This option does not include instructor critiques. Students will also have the opportunity to view the critiques of those students enrolled in the critique course who choose to display their work. We will post these critiques as they become available.
We have worked hard to provide you with an excellent class viewing experience. Please let us know if you feel dissatisfied with what you have learned in the class. Our refund policy varies based on each individual course.
You will be required to download a custom player that is compatible with Window and Mac users. You must have high-speed Internet connection.
- 2.33GHz or faster x86-compatible processor, or Intel Atom™ 1.6GHz or faster processor for netbook class devices
- Microsoft® Windows® XP, Windows Server® 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista® Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise (including 64 bit editions) with Service Pack 2, or Windows 7
- 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
- Intel® Core™ Duo 1.83GHz or faster processor
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- 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
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1-hour HD 1.5 – 2.5 GB 25-35 minutes 2 – 3 hours
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