Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tues. Mar. 29 INDIA INK: The Exquisite Corpse

We're back. Students practiced and explored drawing with India ink. In order to make tonalities with ink you have to use linear techniques: hatching (lines), cross-hatching (criss-crossing lines), stippling (dots) and patterns. Remember the closer the lines, the darker the value (or dots in regards to stippling).
To acquaint ourselves with ink and pen, we played the Surrealist game, the "Exquisite Corpse." It requires at least 3 players.  Fold a piece of paper into thirds or a section for each player if you have more than three. The first player draws the head. Second draws the torso and third draws waist down. Above are two examples of the evenings bounty.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


We'll be back Tuesday, March 29th.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Students finished midterm drawings and then we critiqued them. Mariah Clarks drawing (above) is a great example of the imaginative elements students added to the still life.  The tiles are from Mariah's imagination. This drawing exhibits a strong directional pull starting from the bottom right corner up to the center, left and then changing direction to the upper right due to the angle of the tiles.
Hernan Esquivel's drawing makes strong use of the categories of light most notably in the way his cast shadows ground the objects to the table top. Notice the way the background creates tension as if it were a large blade coming down on the still life.  Beautifully rendered values in the positive and negative areas.
Michelle Phillips drawing also exhibits keen observational skills of the categories of light.  Her placement of the still life does a good job of cropping and activating the negative areas.  The wood grain, although a little heavy handed, is a very good textural rendering and adds to the overall design.

REMEMBER: After Spring Break we will begin with India Ink studies.  Bring ink, pen and nibs, brushes, sticks & twigs, as well as found objects that look like they would make interesting marks by stamping, etc.  Some suggestions would be cork from a wine bottle, an old sponge, or piece of heavy fabric.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Students completed two-point linear perspective drawings. Pat Chan's drawing (above) has not only succeeded with an ambitious window design but she has created a minimal pleasing arrangement of sculptural elements.
Emily Keelan's drawing exhibits some very inventive arrangements of standard shapes.  In particular the four pyramids supporting a fifth, the ramp-like pedestal on the left and the horizontally stretched diamond on the right.

The archway in Christine Argenio's drawing is not only imaginative it possesses a great flow as well.  Note the movement from the back support over to the front evolving into the inverted pyramid which functions like an arrow.  The space is further enhanced by the repetition of ellipses and spheres.

This was my last class with the M/W crew.  Thanks for all your hard work.  Marsha Connell will resume after Spring Break with Ink. Bring pen and nibs, brushes, found objects and of course India Ink.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Monday's class got started on their two-point linear perspective drawings.  See the posts from the Tuesday class for examples of how these may develop (below).

This will be the last class with me.  Marsha Connell will resume the class after the Spring Break.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Thurs. Mar. 10 Linear Perspective: The Museum

Two examples of perspective drawings from the Tues./ Thurs. class. Donna Holbrook's drawing (Art 7A) shows the interior view of a room in two-point linear perspective.  The assignment was to create a room with sculptural forms inside. Notice that she has also placed a one-point perspective box in the room on the left.  This is the viewer's location in the image.
Mike Geare's drawing (Art 7B) is a beautifully illustrated rendering of a flight of stairs.  To achieve this Mike used two horizon lines.  First the standard horizontal horizon line locating "eye level" and the set of vanishing points.  Secondly, to find the incline of the stairs and banister, he used a vertical horizon line.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wed. Mar.9 VALUE: Four Divisions

Students continued with another series of drawings exploring rhythm and movement through value patterns. Brian Vance's drawing (top) illustrates a criss-crossing composition of light and dark values complemented by bold expressive mark-making and patterns. Pat Chan's drawing (bottom), although unfinished) exhibits a strong, dense composition of overlapping, stacked forms.  Her placement of light and dark values pushes the "eye" back through the composition first through the white shapes and secondly through the black shapes.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Tuesday night  we discussed One-Point and Two Point Linear Perspective; the technique used to create a sense of spatial depth. The primary concept behind perspective is: Lines parallel to one another converge meeting at one or two points (vanishing points) located on the horizon line (eye level). Thus objects appear to diminish as they recede into space. The drawing above illustrates the establishment of the the ground plane and walls of a cut-away room rendered in two-point linear perspective.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


 Portfolios should be presented professionally in a folding portfolio or envelope portfolio. Drawings should be fixed and free of tears and folds.

1. Gesture (2-3 examples)
2. Contour (tools)
3.Ideal Solids ( individual forms and composed)
4. Imaginary Face
5. Light and Form (white objects)
6. Cheesy Drawings (paper cut-outs)
7. Value Reduction (black and white)
8. Four Divisions (hand-toned paper; 2 examples)
9. Perspective
10. Homework (due for the Mon./ Wed. class; presented in a separate section)
DHR also due for the Mon. /Wed. class.

Mon. Mar. 7 VALUE: Four Divisions

The four examples here exhibit very different results in rendering this complex still life. The objective was to find a rhythm established by the value patterns.  1.) Tone paper to a midpoint value using vine charcoal. 2.) Sketch out composition. 3.) Working with white (erased), light gray (paper), dark gray, black; choose one value and place throughout the composition.  4.)Work in remaining values all in flat tonalities to begin. 5.) When all flat tones are placed, apply modeling to render forms three dimensionally.
Christine Argenio's drawing (top) confidently illustrates the rhythm established by alternating values of various tonalities.  Notice how your "eye" seeks out like tonalities throughout the composition.
Brian Delgado's drawing also exhibits a strong rhythm and movement through his use of many diagonals as well as actual and implied triangles.
Pepe Hernandez's drawing has very Surrealistic qualities.  The combination of flat and dimensional forms gives the drawing a dreamlike environment. The curvilinear and limp shapes with a hint of caricature are also very indicative of Surrealist Art.
Blake Walter's drawing is a very abstract design, sacrificing volume and contours for a more rhythmically dynamic composition. Notice how he has merged like value shapes combining different positive forms. Although there is a flatness to the composition, the diagonals bring a sense of depth.  This is further enhanced by the use of receding values (darks) in the background.

Friday, March 4, 2011

HOMEWORK #4: Under Your Sink

For this assignment your subject is to be the area "under your sink." Any sink area will do.  Pay close attention to the forms (size, placement), lighting conditions and value patterns. Before you begin, hand - tone your paper with vine charcoal and a paper towel (you may use compressed for a darker base tone but don't over do it). Follow the instructions from the in-class drawings: 1. start with a single value: white, light gray (paper tone), dark gray or black.  Place that value throughout composition. 2. Then apply the remaining values one at a time. 3. Check balance and rhythm. 4. Render the forms three dimensionally by employing the categories of light.  You may use value subjectively for greater design and dramatic effect. The drawing above illustrates this project beautifully.  One of its many strengths is the placement of the subject within the image area.  Notice that it is at a slight angle creating diagonals and triangles rather than straight on matching the shape of the paper. 18 x 24 in. drawing paper with charcoal and erasers.

Mar. 3 VALUE: Four Divisions of Value cont.

Thursday night students made another series of drawings on hand-toned paper addressing value patterns. Giselle Chavez's drawing (top) beautifully illustrates the rhythms established by paying close attention to the placement of like values throughout the composition. Notice how your "eye" travels from one white shape to the next. In addition, your "eye" is drawn to the patterned areas and finally up to the chipped shape in the upper right hand corner -- very inventive use of negative areas.
Russell Wallace's drawing (bottom) exhibits a tight arrangement of positive and negative shapes and forms. Note the balance between the clustering of small shapes on the left against the larger shapes on the right. Furthermore, he has added to the balance of the small shapes a dark negative area whereas as the right side has the large white area.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wed. Mar. 2 VALUE : Miniatures

Students continued drawing in sketchbooks exploring value patterns and graphic positioning. Danielle Tait's drawing (top) exhibits a strong balance with the dark areas and cast shadows.  The circular compositions create some very interesting negative shapes when juxtaposed against the puzzle shape.
Katie Bart's drawing (bottom) exhibits strong fluid like qualities.  First, note the stacking of the values and textures beginning with the ground and moving up the composition to the hills and then the sky.  Secondly, the textural qualities in the dinosaur push the "eye" vertically while the contours of the dinosaur and the hills move the "eye" horizontally. In addition, the cropping of the head has allowed the negative areas to play a stronger role in the composition by enclosing the shapes.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mar. 1 VALUE: Four Divisions of Value

Students made charcoal drawings from a complex still life arrangement.  The objective was to create a rhythm/ movement by addressing the value patterns. Notice in Jennifer Green's drawing (top) how the black shapes in the composition establish a diagonal rhythm/ movement leading the "eye" from top left to lower right.  This is complemented by the diagonal line implied by the height of the objects as well as the diagonal shape and the black triangle in the upper right corner. Avi Scheuenstuhl's drawing (bottom) has a subtler range of values yet is very well composed. His drawing exhibits a bottom left to top right movement.  This is initiated by the tea pot and carries up to the dark oval shapes on either side of the composition.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Feb. 28 VALUE: Form & Light

Students made sketchbook studies exploring value patterns and graphic positioning. Graphic imagery emphasizes the design and two-dimensional surface of a composition over the traditional development of three-dimensional space. There are many ways of doing this; we cropped objects and rendered shallow space. Bernardo Olivares' drawing (top) has a great design sense and balance. Notice how the cropped, oval shapes are positioned diagonally across the composition.  Furthermore, he has isolated the negative space into large and small shapes. Jay Vang's drawing (bottom) has also divided up the negative space. Note the closed square in the bottom left and the open square in the bottom right balanced with a large rectangle on top.  Particularly nice is the diagonal juxtaposition of the rectilinear forms in the bottom left against the circular form in the top right.