Thursday, December 9, 2010

12/8 Combined Viewpoints

Students continued working on combined viewpoints project.  As a reminder here are the directions.
After completing the line drawings on tracing paper, arrange and collage the drawings into an interesting and dynamic form or composition.  You are not required to use all the sketches.  Furthermore, you may tear and cut them into new pieces as well. The final image may be 1.) a compression of space as in Cubist works or 2.) a Surrealist inspired work where the object metamorphoses into something fantastic.  Referring to the collaged sketches, draw your sketch onto 18 x 24 in. drawing paper.  You may add or subtract lines and shapes as needed. All concepts discussed in class should be addressed for an above average grade.

A. Composition: foreground and background
B. Line Quality: thick/ thin, swelled lines
C. Value: light and volume as well as establishing mood.
D. Texture: variations on object and surroundings
E. Color (optional): color scheme

The drawings below are examples of two variations on this project.  The top drawing exhibiting a dense, claustrophobic rendering of the entangled objects whereas the bottom drawing illustrates the process of metamorphosis.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

12/6 Combined Viewpoints

Students began working on the Final Project.  We spent about an hour making a series of line drawings on tracing paper.  Each table of four students had a single object to draw.  After about 10 - 15 minutes the object was rotated and drawn again for a total of 5 or more drawings.  From there the sketches are overlapped and arranged to create a new object/ composition.  This is then drawn onto 18 x 24 in. drawing paper. 

Portfolios were also collected with homework and DHRs.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


1. Ink: still life only
2. Jungle Compositions
3. Color: single object and still life
4. Portraits: classmates, self
5. Atmospheric Perspective
6. Division of Field: 1 or 2 drawings
7. Homework
8. DHR

12/1 Division of Field (continued)

Students continued working on drawings from Monday. Tyler Martinez's drawing is a good example of the compositional strategies at work with the garbage can placement in the bottom right corner balanced out by the door in the background. The "door" is a powerful, metaphorical symbol and adds a sense of expectation to the composition.  It allows the viewer to imagine where the door leads to or what may come through it.  The strong diagonals in the display case as well as the sweeping and arcing shadows help push the eye to the door.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

11/29 Division of Field: Large Comps.

Students began work on large scale drawings referencing the sketches made last week.  Again, students focused on the nine compositional strategies discussed in class. The drawing above is an example of a diagonal movement -lower right to upper left- with the trash can working as the positive to the negative of the room.  Further inspection reveals the stairs as a focal point drawing the "eye" back in the space while creating a sense of the "possibilities" that await through the doorway.

Monday, November 29, 2010

11/23 No Class

Wednesday was a non-student day. 

11/22 Division of Field

Students made a series of sketches addressing various locations within the Art Building.  The compositions were based on nine strategies for dividing the picture plane or "field".

Friday, November 19, 2010

HOMEWORK #10: Atmospheric Perspective

Make a drawing exhibiting the qualities of Atmospheric Perspective.  Your subject may be anything from a room or outdoor space to the surface arrangement of objects on a table.  Furthermore, your drawing may be imagined, observed or even better a combination of the two.  You may use any media on 18 x 24 in. drawing paper. The two student drawings above are excellent examples of the potential uses of atmospheric perspective.  In the medical box drawing, note how the clarity and intensity fades moving towards the upper right corner.  In the wheels and pipes drawing, the student observed the objects in reality but rearranged and multiplied them to create a design of stacked objects moving back in space.

11/17 Atmospheric Perspective and Developing Space

Wednesday we revisited the concept of Atmospheric Perspective.  Previously, we had applied the concept to the still life.  Wednesday we addressed its application to create a sense of space.  If you remember, the basic qualities of atmospheric perspective are the separation of foreground, middle ground and background.  Values, textures and colors are rich, sharp and detailed in the foreground and progressively diminishing as you move towards the background.  The assignment was to draw the hallways of Analy Hall but rather than merely illustrate linear perspective, the students were instructed to be more subjective with the space and lighting conditions.  Tyler Martinez's drawing above exhibits a deep sense of space while his use of concave, contour lines evokes a more animated and surreal hallway rather than the sterile, bathroom like environment that exists in reality.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

HOMEWORK #9 Self Portrait

Draw a self portrait using any medium on 18 x 24 in. paper.  You may choose to take a humorous or objective approach to rendering your portrait. The two student drawings above illustrate a more subjective rendering of their portraits.  The tree with landscape is clearly a more humorous approach while suggesting a connectedness the artist feels with the world around him.  The second drawing with its reflection in the mirror supported by the braced hand makes a poignant commentary on the passing of time as well as some of the hardships one experiences with aging.

11/15 Self Portraits

Students made self portraits Monday night.  Kyle Colby's drawing reveals keen observations of the skull structure as well as the value patterns of the face.  This is especially evident in the exaggeration of the brow and the recession of the eye sockets.  Furthermore, the hair is fluid and dimensional without being overly drawn.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

11/10 Portraits

Wednesday night the class starting working on portraits.  Students made drawings of a skull and then drew classmates portraits over the skull. Chantel Carter's drawing has captured the gaze of Jeremy's eyes.  Although there are some distortions and exaggerations, this only adds to the character and presence of the sitter.  Furthermore, some of the underlying proportional and structural lines are still present revealing the thought process of the artist.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

11/8 Color: Large Scale Comps

Monday night students completed the large scale compositions. Autumn La Rue's drawing above is a good example of the striking use of color as well as humorous narratives that many students explored with their drawings.  Autumn's handling of the pencils is very painterly in her application.  The layering of colors and accenting creates a very luminous and textured surface.  The intense colors complement the urgency of the situation evoking a scene from Jurassic Park or a Los Angeles billboard for a dinosaur theme park.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Choose three small objects and make a drawing using a color scheme that complements the subjects in mood and/or function. Pay attention to compositional balance, positive and negative relationships and eye level. Remember when dealing with color to consider the value as well as hue.  Furthermore, you will get a richer and more luminous drawing when you layer colors rather than just filling in (ex. using orange to render an orange (fruit) would be somewhat dull and flat whereas layering in some red, yellow, white and possibly blue or green would be striking and more volumetric). In the drawing above note the use of blues and greens within the shadows of the yellow bottle and the combining of primary colors within the metal snips.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

11/3 Color (Large Scale)

Students began large scale color drawings.  The assignment is to create a drawing in color consisting of three or more objects or one complex object like a skull.  These drawings are in progress; students will complete the drawings Monday night before we move on to Portraits.  The drawing above is by Travis Gilbert.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

11/1 Color

Monday evening the class made drawings using colored pencils on black paper.  We discussed color schemes and their potential to complement and enhance the content or mood of a drawing before choosing our subjects.  Each student worked from a single item, mostly skulls and antlers, some bones.  Trevor Finley's drawing (top) is loosely based on a primary triad color scheme whereas Leah Erickson's drawing below illustrates the strong emotive quality of using a single hue for a monochromatic color scheme.

Friday, October 29, 2010

10/27 "The Jungle" continued

The class continued to work on the "Jungle" drawings from Monday evening.  Adam Bollman's drawing above illustrates the limited sense of depth and textural qualities typical of this project. The large, sweeping bone structure divides the composition into multiple sections that are then filled with differing textures and patterns as well as the solid black tones. In addition, the sun flowers help to emphasize the a sense of "flatness" by directing the viewer's attention back to the surface of the paper.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

HOMEWORK #7: The Jungle

The assignment is a repeat of the class project.  Create a "continuous" composition with objects cropped and engaged with edges of the paper.  Choose a dominant shape that is supported by smaller "groupings" and clusters of objects.  Consider the directional pull of the composition and address the textural as well as tonal aspects of your design.  This composition may be derived from a cropped section of the in-class drawing. Use 18 x 24 in. paper with charcoal materials and erasers.

10/25 "The Jungle"

Monday students began the "Jungle" project.  This projects involves creating a continuous composition in that the image touches all sides of the paper.  The primary objective is to develop an image with strong light and dark rhythms while addressing the textural qualities of the subjects. The student drawing above is a perfect example of the project.  The placement of the feather and thistles thrusts the "eye" in a circular motion around the composition while the repetition of forms pushes the "viewer's attention diagonally across the composition as well as from foreground to background.  Furthermore the textural and tonal qualities of the drawing are rich and bold.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

HOMEWORK #6: Ink Drawing

Draw a still life of at least three small objects using pen and india ink.  Employ the various techniques of hatching, cross hatching, stippling and a combination. Address the local values of the objects as well as the textural variations.  Note in the drawing above how every objects appears to have a different texture while some of the same techniques are used across the composition; specifically the stipple technique in the cast shadow and the octopus.

10/20 INk: Still Life

Wednesday night students made individual still life arrangements of two to three objects.  These were rendered in india ink using the techniques of hatching and stippling. Kyle Cobly's drawing illustrates a uniform and cohesive quality when the stipple technique is used whereas the drawing by Leah Erickson illustrates the rich variety of tonalities and textures when multiple techniques are employed.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

10/18 INK DRAWINGS: Exquisite Corpse

Began drawing with ink on Monday.  To get us started, the class made drawings based on the Surrealist game, "The Exquisite Corpse."  This game requires at least three players.  The paper is folded into thirds: head, torso, legs.  A different person draws in each section. 
Drawing with ink is very different from other mediums; good line quality is essential.  First, you can't erase. Second, you must use line to create tonalities. And third, you can't erase.  Techniques like parallel hatching, cross hatching, scribble gesture, stipple and patterns were explored by the class.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

10/13 Midterm Critique

Students finished midterm drawings and then we critiqued their work. The drawing above by Jeanne Buckens is an excellent example of the work that was created during the midterm assignment.  Elements to take note of are the asymmetrical composition and the division of the negative space in the background and the beautiful rendering of the categories of light as well as the other gradations from light to dark located throughout the drawing.  And lastly, the overall working of the entire surface.  By selectively leaving small areas white, Jeanne is able to develop a warm and thorough rendering of the local values found on the various surfaces and objects.

Next week we begin with Ink Drawings.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

10/11 Midterm Portfolio Review

Started reviewing portfolios Monday evening.  The class is working on graphite drawings while I review portfolios one-on-one with each student.  These drawings are essentially the midterm exam; addressing composition, line and the categories of light. There are still a few more portfolios to review for Wednesday.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

10/8 Linear Perspective (Friday)

The Friday class spent the day working on two-point linear perspective drawings (see post from 10/4 for an example).  In addition, portfolios were collected as this was my last day working with the class.  Next week will be the first day with Lisa Beernsten.  She will return portfolios to the class after I have evaluated them.  Thank you to Art 7A Fridays.  I've enjoyed working with everyone.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

10/6 Perspective Continued

The class completed the drawings in two-point linear perspective.  Remember to prepare portfolios for next week.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

10/4 Linear Perspective

The class began projects addressing Linear Perspective. Perspective is the concept of creating the illusion of three dimensional space.  There are a number of rules to follow when drawing in perspective. First, perspective establishes the viewer's location within the image (i.e. bird's eye view - above, bug's eye view - below, or straight on).  Second, parallel lines will appear to converge meeting at vanishing points located on the horizon line/ eye level.  Therefore, objects will appear to diminish in size as they recede towards the horizon.  The class project is to create an imaginary space using two-point linear perspective. Drawings to continue on Wednesday.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Friday class: portfolios due 10/8
Monday / Wednesday class: portfolios due 10/11

1. (2-3) examples of gesture (gourds or still life)
2. Contour (tools)
3. Ideal Solids ( individual forms and composition)
4. Imaginary Face
5. Value Reduction (all values reduced to black or white)
6. Value Patterns ( paper cut-outs)
7. Value Patterns (rendering light: single directional hatch or scribble gesture)
8. Value Patterns hand-toned paper (both)
9. Linear Perspective
10. Homework
11. DHR


On 18 x 24 in. drawing paper that has been hand-toned and using your charcoal materials and erasers make a drawing of the area around and under your sink. Use value subjectively to emphasize and exaggerate the lighting conditions and the character of the space.  Note the drawing above is slightly angled rather than a straight-on view.  Furthermore, the background has been pushed back into a dark mass by exaggerating the shadows while lighter values are reserved for the foreground.

10/1 Value Patterns: Four Divisions of Value (Friday)

Friday's class caught up with value patterns today.  For a full description see the posts from 9/27 and 29.  The drawing above is by Stazi Borissenko. Note the contrasting values of background and foreground and the strong directional relationships between similar values. In other words, the rhythm that is established between white areas, gray areas and black areas. Furthermore, Stazi's accented highlights are very complementary to the  fluid and curvy nature of the objects.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

9/29 Value Patterns: Four Divisions of Value (cont.)

Wednesday night was a repeat of Monday's project. Similar still life arrangement and same directions.  Travis Gilbert's drawing above exhibits a textural approach to using the eraser while addressing cross-contours and the categories of light.
Alex Andrade's drawing illustrates a broad composition with lots of repeating shapes, specifically the triangular or cone-like, funnel forms. Although there could be more distinction between the local values on the objects, the textural rendering and use of the eraser is very well done.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

9/27 Value Patterns: Four Divisions of Value

On Monday, students made drawings from a still life on paper they hand-toned to a midpoint value.  The objective was to create a rhythm and movement by observing and separating the values within the design.  Once this was established students rendered the objects more dimensionally by employing gradations.
This drawing by Phillip Boutz exhibits a clarity and a strong sense of light.  This is due to the sparing use of contrasting white forms and black shadows with most of the values falling within the gray tones.
Autumn La Rue has created a striking and dynamic composition by cropping the forms and engaging with all four sides of the picture plane. The tilted and arcing shapes coupled with repeating values maintains an energy that pushes the "eye" from one location to another.
Like Autumn's drawing above, Tyler Martinez has also cropped his composition while adding a very weathered and atmospheric quality to the image.  This is achieved by his textural use with the eraser.   The swooping, angled and arcing forms drop and push the "eye" along the composition similar to the rolling action of a ball inside a pachinko machine.

Friday, September 24, 2010


For this assignment you are to make a drawing of a table setting. Your still life should be the before or after setting of a meal.  Create an asymmetrical composition including plates, glassware, silverware, etc. You may also include cereal boxes or condiment bottles and the like for a stronger narrative and a more dynamic composition.  Use 18 x 24 in. drawing paper and graphite pencils. The above drawings are from students of the Spring 2010 semester.

9/24 Value Patterns and Rendering Light

In the morning the class made value studies exploring the value patterns displayed across folded sheets of paper with holes cut out.  In the afternoon we continued with value studies this time making drawings from a still life of white objects.  The directions were to employ a single directional hatch or scribble technique. Drawings by Adam Harris, Jasmine Gonzales and Nick LaVasser.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

9/22 Value: Emphasizing Light

On Wednesday, the class made value studies emphasizing Light Patterns rather than volume.  In order to emphasize the Light, students used a single directional hatch technique or scribble technique.  The goal was to develop the image through tonal variations rather than line. Drawings by Jeanne Buckens, Leah Erickson, Travis Gilbert and Trevor Finley.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

9/20 Value Patterns

Monday night the class made drawings addressing the value patterns created from light projected onto folded paper with holes cut out.  First everyone made a six value gray scale; 1 being white, 6 black.  They then tried to locate and develop these values within the still life. These drawings were rendered in graphite pencil. The drawing above is by La Lovan.  Note the juxtaposition of light and dark values  establishes the edges in this drawing rather than using line.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

HOMEWORK #3 Imaginary Face

This homework assignment is a repeat of what was covered in class on 9/13(Monday) and 9/17(Friday).  On 18 x 24 in. drawing paper using charcoal materials and erasers make a drawing of an imaginary face or landscape or abstract design. If drawing a representational image (i.e. face or landscape, etc.) address the subject as though it were observed from multiple viewpoints.  Cover the picture plane with large, open shapes.  Don't get caught up in details.  The primary objective here is to fill the shapes with as many different values and textures as possible.  Refer to the post from 9/17 for two excellent examples.

9/17 (Friday) Imaginary Face and Value Reduction

The morning session began with a slide presentation on the various methods and applications of Value; followed by a brief presentation on some late portraits made by Pablo Picasso.  The project, inspired by the portraits by Picasso, was to divide and cover the picture plane with large open shapes resembling a face seen from multiple viewpoints.  Values and textures were then applied to the shapes using charcoal materials and erasers. Drawings by Jennifer Garcia and Matthias Linford.
In the afternoon, we continued working on value studies.  This next project is called Value Reduction.  All values located in the still life ranging from 1-5 are rendered white, all values 6-10 are rendered black.  The resulting drawing is a flattened, abstract image with a merging of the positive and negative areas. Drawings by Stazi Borissenko, Nancy Rubio and Monica Gomez.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

9/15 Value Reduction

Wednesday evening the class was presented a brief view of various approaches to using ValueValue refers to the various gradations of light and dark.  This is different than black and white because black and white are considered colors and all colors also have a value.  For example, pink is a lighter value of red.  The project was to compose a drawing using only black and white.  Therefore, referring to a value scale of 1 to 10- 1 being white, 10 being black- students had to decide if the local value was a 1-5 or a 6-10.  Values between 1-5 remained white; values of 6-10 were filled in black.  The resulting drawings were very abstract due to the merging of positive and negative areas combined with working with flat, unmodulated tonalities.  Furthermore, the imagery "suggests" forms rather than clearly defining them. The large white shape in the drawing above is a view of a pitcher seen from behind. Note how the shadow on the right side of the pitcher merges with the background. Drawing by Devin Eisert.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

9/13 Imaginary Face: Subjective Use of Value

Monday evening began with a slide presentation of late works by Pablo Picasso.  The project was to draw a face from imagination that exhibits the features as seen from multiple viewpoints.  In other words, draw the face as if you were walking around the model.  This is loosely based on the Cubist work and concepts developed by Picasso.  Once the face is fragmented into multiple shapes, each shape is then filled with a different value and/or texture.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/8 and 9/10 Proportions

On Wednesday Evening and Friday, students worked on proportions.  We started by discussing the Organizational Line Drawing technique based on the work of Alberto Giacometti.  Once accurate proportions were established, students applied the categories of light based on the concepts addressed with the Ideal Solids. This is illustrated in the milk carton drawing by Theresa Vernon.  Note the milk carton is basically a rectangular box with a pyramid on top.

After completing a few studies on newsprint, students made longer more complete drawings again establishing a sense of light, locating the Ideal Solids hidden within the objects and developing a sense of atmosphere and space. Drawings by Chantel Carter, Christina Paoletti, Eduardo Barrera, Gabriel Alvillar, Nancy Rubio, and Trevor Finley.