Thursday, December 11, 2014


Last night the class continued working on their final projects. The example of above (from a previous semester) skillfully illustrates the various textures as well as value patterns throughout an extremely well designed and balanced composition. The strength in this design lies within the placement and repetition of similar shapes in criss-crossing and diagonal paths. In addition, the mood and lighting is very complementary to the subject matter.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Last night the class began work on their final projects. The objective is to create a shallow space composition addressing the textures and values of their individual still life arrangements. The example above is from a previous semester.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

TEXTURE: Detail Study

Margaux Fallon

Last night students turned in portfolios and worked on texture drawings. The majority of class made detail studies of textures. The objective was to draw the texture without revealing the outer contours or identity of the object. Margaux's drawing above illustrates the amoebic-like patterns of the inside of an abalone shell. Notice how the image is divided into four arcing sections with varying amounts of detail and mark-making. The values are rich and varied in size sustaining rhythms that are complementary to the arcing flow into the upper right-hand corner.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

TEXTURE: Single Object

Meghann Lyon
Last night the class made drawings addressing the values and textures applied to a single object. Meghann's drawing above exhibits rich values and inventive textures created by stamping with the kneaded eraser as well as reductive drawing in general. Observe how the soft, flowing contours are rendered more with contrasting values and less with hard contour lines.

see the list above

Saturday, November 29, 2014

PORTRAITS: continued

Last Wednesday the class had another round of drawing each other. Kayla's drawing above is a strong example appropriate scale to dimensions of the paper, rendering the categories of light, mood and expression as well as additive and reductive drawing techniques. Observe the volumes around the eyes, forehead, nose and chin. In addition, she has effectively rendered the hair without overdoing it. The facial expression is complementary to the way the head is framed on the page. The model appears almost lost in the confinement of the limited space.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Joe Mulcaire
Last night the class made portraits of each other. We discussed the Andrew Loomis method and looked at examples of portrait drawings from Jim Dine, Diego Rivera and Gregory Gillespie to name a few. The drawing above was initiated by drawing a skull first and then superimposing the portrait over the top. The drawing clearly illustrates the advancing and receding planes of the head, the most important being the eye sockets, under the nose and lower lip, the cheeks and the neck. Furthermore, Joe has utilized additive and reductive techniques to capture the light as well as addressing texture. Adding to the solitary gaze of the model is Joe's rendering of the cold, empty room in the background.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Susie Larsen
Students completed work on the Imaginary Space project last night. Susie has created a very dynamic space with overlapping ceilings and rooms. She has added balance and rhythm to the space with repeating pyramids and columns. The bold contour lines reinforce the presence of the form allowing it to advance from the page. The select areas of tone establish an additional rhythm highlighting points of interest.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

IMAGINARY SPACE: Two-Point Perspective

The class continued working on their Imaginary Space drawings. Above is an example from a previous semester. Notice the use of repeating elements (spheres, archways, etc.) and the pipe roaming through the space establishing rhythm and direction within the design.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Two-Point Linear Perspective

There was no class last Monday 11/10. Last night we ran through the process of two-point linear perspective. We discussed the simple box form as well as cones, cylinders and pyramids in perspective. We also drew an archway with front and back openings. By the end of class everyone had established the template floor plan (illustrated above)for developing their imaginary space.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Students continued working with colored pencils last night. Each student arranged a small still life for themselves. Next week we will start Two-Point Linear Perspective.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

COLOR: Dice and Balls

Meghann Lyon
Last night the class began working with colored pencils. After a brief discussion on color and color schemes we drew from an arrangements of dice and balls. Meghann's drawing above exhibits a complementary scheme of yellow-green and red-violet. This dynamic scheme is complemented by the energetic mark-making and diagonal slant of the space and objects.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

INDIA INK: Large Scale Wash Drawings

Joe Mulcaire
Last night the class continued working with ink wash. The large still life was rendered on full sheets of paper (18 x 24 in.). Joe's drawing above is very well composed. Bold rectangles and vertical stripes divide the top of the composition in the negative areas while smaller groupings of rectangles divide the lower portion. Although the drawing primarily exhibits a high key value range, it is still very complete.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

INDIA INK: wash drawings

Erin Deacon
Last night the class made wash drawings. The approach was to work in layers allowing the ink to dry between applications. Erin's drawing above exhibits rich, distinctive values within a well balanced composition. Rather than having one object dominate the center, she has opted for a grouping of three. The variations in the background are achieved by working wet into wet.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

INDIA INK: Still Life

Erin Currie
Last night the class applied the various techniques introduced on Monday to still life arrangements. Erin's drawing above has a uniform and consistent application of mark-making across the composition. Her observations fall between addressing the light, volumes and textures of the objects and the space. The cropped composition emphasizes the role of the gourd adding a hint of narrative which is complemented by the expressive yet illustrative rendering of the image.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Erin Currie

Erin Deacon

Kayla Brown

Meghann Lyon
Above are four excellent examples of the Midterm Drawing Exam. Each composition is well balanced with strong attention to the negative and positive relationships. Notice how each composition has engaged with the edges of the paper. The objects are well proportioned and rendered with attention to the volumes and light. When contour lines are present, they are complementary to the values strengthening the structure, texture and character of the objects and space. In addition, each student has successfully achieved a strong and individual mood in their use of value ranging from the calm to the dramatic.

WET MEDIA: India Ink and "The Exquisite Corpse"

Last night students experimented with various pen and ink techniques while playing the Dadaist/ Surrealist game "The Exquisite Corpse". The drawing above illustrates brush lines in the head, parallel hatch and cross-hatch lines in the torso and short-hatch and stippling in the legs.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


This week the class is working on midterm drawings while I review portfolios one on one. Pix will follow.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

VALUE: Diebenkorn Studies (cont.)

Jim Foley
Last night the class made another drawing addressing the compositional balance of positive and negative areas on a small scale. Jim's drawing above is arranged so the objects engage with all four sides of the paper. His values are rich and contrasting and the mark-making is expressing and lively.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

VALUE: Diebenkorn Studies

Last night students were introduced to the paintings and drawings of Richard Diebenkorn. The discussion examined the ways in which he would divide and address the negative space. Each student arranged their own still life of three objects. Meghann's drawing is rich in value and textural variety. Similar to Diebenkorn's work, her composition is divided into a large square area (spoon and knob), a vertical rectangle extending from top to bottom on the right and a horizontal rectangle reaching from side to side. In addition, she has controlled the lighting with a darkened and directed light surrounding the objects.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

VALUE: Dramatic Effect

Last night the class made value drawings with the objective of exaggerating the lighting conditions for a more dramatic impact. Kayla's drawing exhibits very dramatic contrasts in value. Rich, dark values have been used to increase the strength of the negative areas between the objects as well as push the background. In addition, she has very effectively used atmospheric perspective which sharpens the objects in the foreground and merges the distant objects with the background.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

VALUE: Texture

Erin Currie
Last night the class made drawings exploring additive and reductive techniques with the object of addressing texture and mood. Erin's drawing above is well proportioned to the paper and exhibits a strong sense of light. Her use of the erasers adds large open swaths of light as well as textural marks. In addition, the linear and tonal elements are very complementary both adding volume and texture again.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

VALUE: Local Value

Margaux Fallon
Last night students made drawings addressing the local values of one dark object, one gray object and one white object. Although Margaux's drawing above could use fine tuning of the values and more attention to the background, the foundation for the drawing is very strong. Even at this early stage of the drawing there is a strong sense of light and great clarity in the values. The important areas to develop would be 1. Expand on the shading in the background to surround the objects more 2. apply gradations to the shadows 3 increase the categories of light for greater volume.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

VALUE: Local Value

Emily Taylor

Megan Korsak
Last night students made drawings addressing the local values and categories of light observed in two white objects. Emily has taken a more realistic approach to rendering the forms by not including lines. The planes of the objects (mostly the cube) are expressed by juxtaposing light values against darker values. The value gradations of the bottle are smooth and gradual by comparison.
Megan has used a more subjective and stylized technique. The objects and the space appear to glow with light. The arcing space adds a sense of whimsy and surrealism. The values are rich and intense. The multiple shadows reveal the artificial lighting conditions of the studio.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

VALUE: Subjective Use of Value

Meghann Lyon
Last night began with a discussion of the various uses of Value (the gradations between light and dark). Value may be used to address light, volume, mood and dramatic effect. The project last night was to use value subjectively. In other words, students were not bound to the local values of the objects. Instead, aesthetic decisions were based on the demands of the design for establishing value patterns and balance. Meghann's drawing exhibits a low key value range suggestive a nocturnal scenario. She has established rhythms of similarity of values and shapes as well. Notice the placement of the teeth in the skulls as well as those floating in the upper right hand corner.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

PROPORTIONS: Identifying the Ideal Solids within Ordinary Objects

Jazmin Villalobos

Meghann Lyon
Last night students made a series of roughly (10) drawings addressing the structure and proportions of bottles, pitchers, teapots, etc. The objective was to draw the forms starting with the most basic shapes (rectangles, triangles and circles), next adding volume by rendering the ideal solids and lastly addressing the light and negative space. Jazmin has skillfully rendered the value patterns and negative space with the mass technique. Notice how the darkest areas establish a diagonal across the composition balanced by lighter tonalities. Meghann's drawing reveals the structural lines visualized underneath the surface of the object.  Jazmin's drawing is about light and mass whereas Meghann's drawing is about structure and space.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Lari Duff
Last night students were introduced to One and Two-Point Linear Perspective. The objective of last night's drawing was to use perspective, visual angle comparisons and "sighting" to establish and maintain a consistent "eye level". Lari's drawing above has done this very effectively. Furthermore, her handling of the materials has created a texturally as well as psychologically rich and powerful image. She has addressed the entire surface of the paper with course textures, smooth textures and a strong sense of atmosphere and light.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

DISTAL CUES: Ideal Solids

Erin Deacon
Last night the class made a series of quick, gestural composition studies using the five Ideal Solid forms (cone, sphere, cylinders and cube). After completing the quick studies, the class made one large scale drawing on hand-toned paper. The objective was to employ the distal cues and to try and touch 3 to 4 edges of the paper. Erin's drawing above is well balanced and effectively employs the concepts behind the distal cues. In addition, she has skillfully used additive and reductive techniques to create textural as well as volumetric forms.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Jin Albrecht
Last night we discussed ellipses (circles in perspective), planar analysis, the categories of light and the Ideal Solids (standard geometric forms found in most objects). The Ideal Solids are: cone, sphere, cylinder, open cylinder and cube. In addition, we talked technique, additive tonal drawing with the charcoal sticks as well as pencils and reductive drawing with the erasers. Jin's drawing of a cylinder illustrates additive tonal techniques addressing the categories of light with reductive drawing (using the eraser) as well. Furthermore, the contours have been emphasized for greater volume. Check the tabs above for more info on the Ideal Solids and the categories of light under Value.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

LINE: Gesture

Last night we continued exploring Line through a series of drawings addressing cross-contours, continuous line, scribble, mass and negative space. The important distinctions to remember are 1. line drawings address the structure of form and 2. scribble and mass techniques address mass and volume. In addition, the latter address value changes in light because they are essentially tonal drawings.
Dylan Freitas
 Cross-contours address the contours moving across and around a form rather than the outside edges. "Accents" in the line quality may suggest a change in the structure as planes advance and recede as well as addressing the way light falls on the form.
Suzie Larsen
 Continuous Lines address the structure and volume of a form by creating an armature or skeleton with vertical and horizontal cross-contours.
Joe Mulcaire
 Scribble Gesture addresses the mass and weight of a form as well as the location of a light source.
Erin Deacon
 Mass Gesture like Scribble addresses the mass and volume of an object. Because it is a tonal technique, the categories of light are illustrated as well.
Joe Mulcaire
Negative Space and/or shapes are the areas around and within the forms. In the case of the arrangement above, the objective is to "suggest" the gourds by drawing the shadows, receding planes and passages between the objects.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

LINE: Contour

Erin Deacon
Last night we began our explorations in LINE. The key points to remember is 1. Line is like a path that leads the "eye" around and through a composition. 2. Dark lines advance while lighter lines recede. The techniques employed were contour, cross-contour and scribble. Contour Line drawings address interior and exterior volumes as seen in the clamp, planes and spring in the drawing above. Notice how these unite to balance the composition in a triangular rotation. The quickly sketched areas strengthening the balance by a establishing a repeated motif throughout the composition. More info on Line is in the tab above. The techniques of cross-contour and scribble (not seen in the drawing above) will be re-addressed in class next week.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Last night was the first night of Art 7A Drawing and Composition 1, Fall 2014. We discussed the syllabus and materials. On Wednesday we will discuss Line. The materials needed are graphite pencils, 18 x 24 in. drawing pad and a sketchbook.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Betty Burg

Siobhan Williams
Last Friday students began the morning with color studies of three objects: dice, ball and a letter or number. Betty has effectively employed a complementary color scheme of blue and orange. The expressive mark-making brings extra energy and dynamism to this lively scheme. Notice how she has mixed a little of all the colors in each object.
In the afternoon, students made individual still life arrangements. Siobhan has skillfully employed various elements of the distal cues, specifically overlapping forms and a value gradation. In addition, she has effectively used color temperature to address the advancing and receding forms in the space as well as on the skull.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Students finished up working with color pencils last night. Some students made multiple small compositions while others worked on large scale compositions.
Riley Crandall
Riley chose to work from observation arranging multiple objects for a traditional still life study. The composition is well balanced and the objects are proportional to the size of the paper. The spacial relationships are believable and his observations of the values and colors are very well executed.
Jane Collier
Jane combined elements from observation as well as tapping into her imagination. The composition is balanced and framed well within the space focusing attention towards the glowing bottle. In addition, she has effectively used a transition from cool colors in the shadow areas towards warm colors in the light. Her manipulation of color complements the subject matter while creating a visually pleasing environment. The dragon seems to be blissfully embracing or cradling the bottle of fire elixir.
Stevie Young
Stevie has combined elements from her imagination with those observed as well. She too has very effectively used color suggesting spatial depth -cool colors receding, warm colors advancing- as well as casting a sense of light and overall mood within the composition. Especially successful is her use of complementary colors on the antlers creating  glowing oranges, reds and yellows on the underside accented by blues on the receding planes.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Last night students worked with color pencils from their own still life arrangements. They were given the option to work on two small pieces for the week or one large. Pix to follow.

INK: wash

Guendalina Codella
Last Friday students made wash drawings from a large still life arrangement. The whole class dug in a bit more than expected so we didn't get to color pencils. We will address color pencils this Friday. Guendalina has made a beautiful drawing exploring ink and wash techniques. Her approach employs both direct wash drawing as well as wet on wet. The values are rich adding volume and a strong sense of light. Those of you familiar with this still life arrangement will notice that she pushed the funnel and book out to the right strengthening the direction and balancing the composition.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

COLOR PENCILS: Dice and Balls

Jay Odenthal

Leah Lehr
Last night students began working with color pencils. Before drawing we briefly discussed color schemes and the properties of color and working with color pencils in particular as opposed to paint. The drawings above illustrate two different approaches.
Jay, at the top, has taken a more layered and expressive method of applying color. Notice how subtle accents of red in the yellow and blues and reds in the violet help to unify the composition by relating to each other and the background as well.
Leah's drawing is more tonal and objective in her rendering. She ,as well, has balanced the colors unifying the space and objects. Her rendering with soft contours accented in white rather than black has captured the soft, foam composition of the dice. In addition, both drawings have used the black of the paper well, drawing around the cast shadows and darker tonalities. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Last night students tried their hands at ink and wash. To achieve the most amount of clarity with washes, it is best to work in layers allowing the first to dry before applying the second. In addition, students mixed 2 - 3 values in cups of water. As in Richards drawing above, some students employed pen techniques as well. The strong diagonal division balances the cluster of forms against the open, atmospheric background. The cloud-like washes  are achieved by working wet on wet (flooding the ink into pools of water). The linear elements add structure while the wash provides a sense of light as well as addressing the local values.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

INDIA INK: The Exquisite Corpse and Still Life Studies

Friday morning began with a game of the "Exquisite Corpse" as an introduction to the tools and techniques of working with India ink and pens. In the afternoon, we drew from still life arrangements. Both drawings below illustrates the combination of wash and line techniques. The wash provides a foundation tonality while the line work adds structure, texture and value.
Gianna Davy

Guendalina Codella