Thursday, December 3, 2015

TEXTURE: Organic Forms

Last night the class made drawings from organic forms (shells, seed pods, leaves and pine cones, etc.) The objective was to compose an iconographic image of a single form addressing the light and textural qualities. Notice in the drawing above the thickening and thinning, swelled contour lines. In addition the use of dark values in the valleys and lighter values to define the ridges and peaks.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

PORTRAITS continued

Last Wednesday and yesterday the class continued making portraits of each other. Although both  drawings below exhibit figures locked into a strong gaze the moods and characteristics are very different. Ashley's drawing has very soft lighting. The focus is soft as well. The gaze is slightly downward and pensive. Drew's drawing is very dramatic. The values are rich and bold and the figure gazes upward into the distance.

*Special note portfolios are due tomorrow Wed., Dec. 2 The list is above.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

PORTRAITS: Head Construction

Drew Horton

Megan Svendsen
Last night we began drawing portraits. Everyone drew a skull and then superimposed a portrait of a classmate on top. The two drawings above exhibit very solid and "fleshed out " faces. Notice the attention to the key "peaks and valleys"of the face. These areas are the eye sockets and brow, under the nose, under the lip, and under the chin. In addition, take note of how the mark-making follows the cross-contours of the planes of the face as well.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Last night we began the imaginary space project drawn in two-point linear perspective. Everyone will start with the same template and then make their own embellishments. The instructions are in the picture above. We will continue working on these drawings next week (Wednesday is a holiday).

Thursday, November 5, 2015


Last night students drew from individual still life arrangements.
Ashley Garr
Ashley's drawing is mostly a complementary color scheme (red-violet and yellow-green). The objects are arranged in a triangle bringing diagonals to the composition. The entire paper has been addressed creating directed light that gradually recedes into the background.
Jacob Lockler
Jacob's drawing evokes a scene from film noir. The lighting is very focused and direct capturing an air of suspense and intrigue. In addition, the objects lend themselves to the narrative. Each item is rich with symbolism and metaphor.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

COLOR: Dice and balls

Last night began with a discussion on Color, Color Schemes and the applications of color pencils.The three examples below exhibit a layered and even rendering as opposed to a more expressive application. Ashley's drawing illustrates a strong sense of light. The space has depth and the forms are dimensional. Bret's drawing has a "retro" look with the dull, faded colors of vintage illustration. And lastly, Molly's drawing is very dynamic image with bold, electric, contrasting and complementary colors.
Ashley Garr

Bret Hardesty

Molly Gallagher

Thursday, October 29, 2015

INDIA INK: Wash Drawings

Chani Spitzer-Christensen

Ray Colby
Last night the class continued with wash drawings. Chani's drawing is a very abstracted, cropped view of the still life. The shapes are fluid and organic. The values are applied in flat tones filling the shapes and locking them into place like puzzle pieces. Ray has also opted for a very flattened and graphic rendering of the forms. The volumes have been reduced to a minimum of dimension focusing more on the individual planes rather than the whole.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

INK: Wash Drawing

Megan Svendsen

Ray Colby
Last night the class began working with wash. When new to this technique it is best to choose a subject with clearly defined planes, like blocks, boxes, paper bags, etc. The approach is simple. 1. Mix a solution of ink and water for the lightest gray tone (mixing ink is like all other mediums, "dark into light", in other words it is preferable to add ink to water, not the other way around). Apply this wash to the entire surface except the areas you wish to be white. Allow to dry (a hair dryer will speed things up.) 2. Using the same wash or with a bit more ink added, apply the next wash to everything except what is to remain white and the first gray. 3. Continue layering washes until you reach the desired tonalities. Note: It is important to allow the washes to dry completely between layers for the utmost clarity and definition of tone.

Monday, October 26, 2015

INK: Tondo or Circular Formats

Ashley Garr

Ian Moon-Wainwright

Megan Svendsen
Last Wednesday students had the option of working within a circular format (tondo) or a rectangle. The circular format creates a more intense focus on the objects as well as changing the dynamics of the negative space. Notice how the approach of touching or activating two to three sides of a format still applies. Ashley's drawing at the top is rich with contrasting values as well as exhibiting strong attention to the local values. Ian has opted for the rectangle and emphasizing the light patterns instead of the volumes of the forms. And Megan has applied the hatching technique at various lengths achieving even gradations. Of particular note in her drawing is the background pattern complete with a gradation.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

WET MEDIA: Pen and Ink

Last night the class made drawings from a single object. The objective was to continue exploring the techniques of pen and ink, specifically hatching. The first thing to note in the drawings below is the placement. Did the student decide to place the object at an angle? Too often objects are observed straight ahead which may not be the most interesting or dynamic composition. This works in Chani's drawing because the object is mostly round. A diagonal placement is especially effective in Ashley's drawing because of the framework of the lantern. Second, take note of the direction each student has applied the hatches addressing the cross-contours and planes of the objects as well as the light and local value.
Drew Horton

Chani Spitzer-Christenson

Ashley Garr

Monday, October 19, 2015

WET MEDIA: Pen and Ink

Chani Spitzer_Christenson

Gavino Baccei

Megan Svendsen
Last Wednesday the class made ink drawings from bones. Chani's drawing at the top primarily illustrates the hatch technique with both vertical and horizontal cross-contours. Gavino's mark-making, in the middle drawing, addresses both value and texture. And lastly, Megan's drawing is rendered with the stipple technique. 

Monday, October 12, 2015


Last week the class worked on the Midterm drawing while I reviewed portfolios one on one.
Alondra Lugo
 Alondra's drawing is proportioned well to the paper. The values are rich illustrating local value as well as light. Most striking is the manner in which she has rendered the background with long diagonal hatches.
Ashley Garr
 Ashley has very skillfully framed the still life considering the proportions of the objects as well as the cast shadows. Local values and light are very well rendered. Even the darkest objects exhibit a full range of value and light patterns.
Gavino Baccei
Gavino has employed a high key value range yet the light is strong and the objects are dimensional. Like Alondra's drawing, it is the mark-making that gives this drawing energy and dynamics.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


Ashley Garr
 Ashley has created a very well balanced composition engaging with all four sides of the paper (the shadow is cropped on the bottom right). The objects are rendered with volume and texture. The light and mood of the image is quiet and somber. In addition, great attention has been given to all of the negative areas.
Megan Svendsen
 Megan's drawing is a bit noisier in comparison to Ashley's. The space is alive and stormy. Again, this is attributed to the layered mark-making. The values are rich and the forms are dimensional. But the real attraction of the drawing is her rendering of the negative spaces in between the objects and the background.
Michelle Brazis
 Michelle too has managed to activate all four sides of the composition. Her cropping of the still life has created a series of diagonal relationships between objects of similar value. Notice in particular the triangulation of the white objects.
Molly Gallagher
Molly has not only engaged all four sides of the composition but she has also combined the application of the materials effectively. First, the base values of all the objects is established and then the pencil is used to address texture and the cross-contours of the forms.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

VALUE: Texture

Bret Hardesty

Karlo Pillula
Last night the class made charcoal drawings addressing value and textural elements. The intensity of Bret's drawing (top) is attributed to the high contrast of the dark background and the light foreground. He has very skillfully rendered the textures without sacrificing the volume of the objects.
Karlo's drawing exhibits a much different mood and lighting. The entire drawing itself is very textural. The variable tonalities and grainy texture of the space provide an air of a cold earthen dwelling candle lit or moonlit by an open window.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

VALUE: Rendering Light

Last night the class made drawings addressing light patterns. The objective was to emphasize the light rather than the volume of the objects. Students employed one of two techniques: a single directional hatch or scribble gesture. Note: Somehow I only photographed the scribble technique but there are examples from previous semesters on this blog.
Drew Horton
Drew has a very animated approach to the scribble technique. The lines are tight and the values are high in contrast. Her style is fluid. The drawing appears to be a reflection in water of the still life setting on a bank.
Kendra Juul
Kendra's lines are scratchy and open. The drawing appears to be incised into the surface of the paper. She has very effectively used advancing and receding values to establish depth.
Molly Gallagher
Molly's tightly webbed lines create the appearance of a soft texture. The dark tops of the objects has the appearance that they are illuminated from below. The lighter, almost washed-out, negative areas makes the still life glow.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Ashley Garr

Megan Svendsen
Last night the class made drawings addressing Local Value. Local value refers to the quantity of lightness or darkness of the tonalities and colors of an object. The objective was to clearly exhibit that the still life consists of one dark object, one gray and one white.
Ashley has boldly established the contrasting values illustrating the light and volumes of the objects.
Megan too has skillfully illustrated the values yet the emphasis in her drawing is on the light patterns themselves rather than the volume of the objects. This is created by using diagonal hatching instead of following the cross-contours.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

VALUE: Finding the Light in White

Alondra Maravilla

Ray Colby
Last night the class made drawings from white objects with the goal of addressing the Categories of Light. Alondra's drawing at the top is rich and sharp. Rather than drawing the cast shadow as a solid she has applied a gradation which is less disruptive to the negative space and edge of the composition.
Ray's drawing exhibits a very soft and calming light. He has effectively addressed the light patterns using a limited high key value range.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Karlo Pillula

Megan Svendsen
Last night the class made drawings from a single item with the objective of activating the negative space. Karlo's drawing at the top is cropped dividing the page in half diagonally. The wide open space at the bottom of the composition draws the viewer into the image. The hammer appears to be emerging or falling from the top mass of lines and atmosphere.
Megan's drawing of plumbing parts is effectively placed on a tilted plane dividing the page into a series of triangles. The zoomed in view allows for the repeating nut shapes to establish a rhythm. Both students have skillfully used their materials to address atmosphere as well as the light and volume of the objects.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Chani Spitzer-Christenson

Molly Gallagher
Last night students made drawings from their imaginations. The objective was to explore a wide range of value and textural applications (i.e. additive, reductive, smearing, stamping, smooth, course, etc.) Chani has made a very dynamic drawing of flat tonal areas, modulated areas and some patterns as well. The criss-crossing white paths are complemented by the radial patterns creating a fan-like movement. Molly's drawing, by comparison, is rich with invented textures. The boat-shaped eyelids revolve around the central bull's eye pattern. The diagonals organize the negative space while drawing your attention inward.

Thursday, September 3, 2015


Linear Perspective is the process of creating the illusion of depth. Class began with a discussion and demo on One-point and Two-point linear perspective and the importance of eye level. The main tenets of linear perspective is 1. it establishes the viewer's location 2. parallel lines will appear to converge meeting at vanishing points located on the horizon line (eye level) 3. Objects of approximate equal size will appear to get smaller as they recede away from the viewer. Armed with the knowledge of the distal cues and linear perspective, the class made "free-hand" drawings of blocks.
Adolfo Lugo
Adolfo has made a drawing that emphasizes the shape relationships of the objects and space. All of the planes have been boldly defined with contours and contrasting values.
Jonathan Branscum
Jonathan has complemented the forms and space with textural elements. By working reductively with the eraser, he has created the impression of the wood grain and pressure treated hatches. In addition, the space has been rendered with horizontal bands gradually lightening as they recede away from the viewer.
Karlo Pillula
Karlo has created a very dramatic image with bold, strong, contrasting values. The dark cloud in the background is animated and menacing reminiscent of a rapidly approaching dust storm  on a small desert town.
Ray Colby
Ray's drawing on warm brown paper has a very calming effect. This is in stark contrast to Karlo's drawing above. The lighting and values are soft and establish a pleasing design on the forms as well as in the cast shadows.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Ashley Garr
Last night began with a discussion on identifying the Ideal Solids within everyday objects. Notice in the drawing above that the bottle is composed of a cylinder, cone and cylinder. We also discussed "sighting" for correcting proportions.
Megan Svendsen
In the next series of drawings we addressed and emphasized the negative space around and between two bottles. Like the objects within a composition, the space may also be measured and corrected for accuracy. Remember from our class discussion, it often helps to draw enclosed negative shapes around an object instead of trying to draw the object directly.
Gavino Baccei
The final series of drawings were of vases, pitchers and teapots. Again the objective was to 1. identify the Ideal Solids and 2. correct the proportions using "sighting." Notice in Gavino's drawing how he first drew a cylinder before trying to render the bell shape of the teapot.