Friday, April 29, 2011

HOMEWORK #7 Self-Portrait

Draw a self-portrait using your medium of choice on 18 x 24 in. paper.  Try to go beyond the typical "sitter" presentation.  Everyone has heard the lines, "Mirror, mirror on the wall . . . The drawing above makes a powerful statement on the aging process and beauty by placing the portrait within the mirror.  In addition, the injured hand is not only conceptually and visually compelling but it strengthens the narrative behind the image. Consider the environment and the props you include in your drawing.


After the slide lecture, students made self-portraits in their medium of choice.  Here is another incredibly expressive drawing from Alissa Griffin.  Strong mark-making, large scale and dark values make for a very powerful self-portrait. Krishna Chaitanya's drawing (middle) exhibits strong volumes and expressive tonalities.  The inclusion of the headphones adds a touch of the contemporary. Hollister Nadeau's drawing (bottom) presents you with a fairly typical frontal view.  Yet the interesting element in the drawing is the negative space and how she has omitted her shoulders.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Last night students made portrait drawings of each other.  First, everyone drew a skull that was projected on the screen.  Then they paired up.  The skull drawing had to be manipulated and redrawn the fit the proportions of the sitter. Charlie Sisemore's (top) drawing above illustrates how the attention to anatomy adds dimensionality and volume to the portrait.  Alissa Griffin's drawing (bottom) also reveals her attention to anatomy while also paying close attention to the proportional relationships of the features of the face.  Both drawings exhibit strong mark-making and captivating expressions.


Here's Taylor Bihn's completed drawing; See No Evil, Speak No Evil, and Hear No Evil. Taylor has added a contemporary spin on the old theme by including modern props like "bling" and the spray can.  Aesthetically speaking, notice how he has used the red in the composition to establish a rhythm.  This could also be achieved with the green in the leaves.  There is a bit of green in Hear No Evil's hair but it could use a little help with another leaf behind him.  Placing the leaf behind him would also add
some depth.
 Tony has created an otherworldly, wonderland of brightly colored, fantastic forms.  This is an incredibly rhythmic composition.  The blue path leads the "eye" across the page while the large red shape draws us through a vortex.  The combination of large and small forms decorated with various textures and patterns keep the "eye" jumping and bouncing throughout the composition. The imaginative and inventive image is reminiscent of an undersea carnival at night.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

HOMEWORK #6: Color

Arrange a grouping of objects and make a drawing using a color scheme that complements the subjects in mood and/or function. Pay attention to composition, negative space and eye level. Paper size is 12 x 15 in. or larger. The student drawing above exhibits a full composition (edge to edge) with rich colors and values. In addition, the choice of colors is very complementary to the space and functionality of the objects.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thurs. Apr. 21 COLOR: Large comps. cont.

Students continued working on their large scale color drawings. They're looking really good. Pics to follow next week.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tues. Apr. 19 COLOR: Large Scale Compositions

Students began working on their large scale color compositions. The objective is to explore the use of color schemes while employing the various compositional strategies and ways of creating volume and depth previously discussed in class. The drawing above (in progress) by Taylor Bihn illustrates his use of complementary colors as well as his imagination.  The theme of this drawing will involve the monkeys hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil.

Friday, April 15, 2011


We started color.  First we discussed the particulars of the color wheel and color schemes.  Color schemes are standard color combinations that work well together. Then we made color studies using colored pencils on black paper.
Rose Antaki's drawing (top) beautifully illustrates the use of warm and cool color combinations. Warm and cool colors work very much like light and dark values in that warm colors tend to advance and cool colors recede.  Therefore, cool colors are generally placed in the shadows or receding planes.
Mario Mora's drawing (bottom) illustrates the use of complementary colors; orange and blue in this case.  Complementary colors are situated directly across from one another on the color wheel.  Although his drawing is unfinished, you can still see how complementary colors can enhance each other. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Hollister Nadeau's drawing is a composite of a dragonfly and sea gull feathers.

Kristen Sibbald's drawing is a composite of a toy zebra and a flower.
We began with a discussion about ways of inspiring and developing "imagination." Then we made drawings of composite forms.  The objective was to take two objects and combine them creating a new form.

Last Weeks "Jungle" Series

Here is very exciting drawing for Alissa Griffin. Notice how she has used the eraser around the circular forms creating an animated and radiating effect much like Van Gogh's technique with his brushstrokes.  This drawing exhibits a nocturnal light quality.

Mariah Cortez Harvey's drawing is a densely packed space of variously textured and shaped objects. She has created a subtle criss-cross composition by jamming the upper left and lower right corners with objects and using white areas in the upper right and lower left.  In addition, she has placed unexpected elements throughout the composition. Look for the eyes.

Michelle Phillips (Art 7B) has created a very dynamic and rhythmical composition.  Her placement of the checkered corner moves the "eye" in a triangular fashion around the space while the diagonally positioned forms creates a path of shoots and ladders.

Friday, April 8, 2011

HOMEWORK #5: Still Life in Ink

On paper 12 x 15 in. (a little less than a half sheet) draw a still life of at least three small objects using ink.  Employ cross-hatching, stippling or a combination of techniques. Pay attention to composition, negative space and eye level. You may repeat forms, exaggerate and add elements from your imagination. Notice in the drawing above how the various techniques have been used according to texture.  For instance, linear techniques are used on the rock and in the cross-contours of the glass whereas stippling is used in the spongy surface of the octopus and the soft gradations in the cast shadows.

Thurs. Apr. 7 "The Jungle"

Students continued working on "Jungle" drawings.  Pics to come next week. Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tues. Apr. 5, "The Jungle": In Progress

Students began "The Jungle" drawings.  These drawings are continuous compositions of organic and some inorganic forms.  The emphasis of these drawings is to 1. fill the space. 2. address the categories of light and 3. address the textural elements.  These will be our most texturally rich drawings to date.  The objective is to create a rhythm and movement through the light and textural patterns. Drawings by Donna Holbrook and Hernan Esquivel respectively (both in progress).

Friday, April 1, 2011

Thurs. Mar. 31 INK: Flowers and Skulls

Students made drawings of flowers and skulls employing the various techniques of hatching, cross-hatching, stippling and patterns. Alissa Griffin's drawing (top) has a wide range of mark-making within the value patterns of the bottle. Her marks consist of hatching, short hatches, scribbles and curls.
Avi Scheuenstuhl's drawing (middle) is a beautiful example of sharp line quality and rich gradations achieved through cross-hatching. And lastly, Charlie Sismore's drawing (bottom) employs wash techniques.  Washes are produced by mixing incremental amounts of ink into water creating gray tonalities. The dripping blood is perfectly complemented by the smooth gray, washes.