Friday, January 28, 2011

Thurs. Jan. 27 IDEAL SOLIDS

Thursday began with a lecture on Composition.  We discussed Unity, Balance, Movement, Closure, etc. Next we made drawings of Ideal Solids - standard geometric forms found in many everyday of objects. The forms consist of the cone, sphere, cube, cylinder and open cylinder.  After drawing the basic form in structure, values were applied to give a sense of volume and light.  When rendering light, look for the six categories: cast shadow, reflected light, core shadow, shadow, light and highlight. Alissa Griffin's drawing (above) makes good use of additive as well as reductive drawing techniques.  Note how she uses the eraser to drag the materials across the contours of the forms (cross-contouring).  This not only creates a very volumetric or three dimensional form but adds a textural quality as well. Hollister Nadeau's (below) drawing exhibits smooth, gradual rendering of the dark to light value transitions.  This is achieved primarily by rendering the values with charcoal pencil and following the cross-contours. Both of these drawings are texturally rich because the students did not overly smear the charcoal.  It's okay to push the material around but you will create greater textural interest by drawing back over the smeared surface.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


On 18 x 24 in. drawing paper, using a soft graphite pencil make a Contour Line drawing of a complex object or multiple objects similar to the studies made in class. Possible subjects may be: tools, bicycle parts like the wheel hub (not the whole bike), engine parts, plumbing parts, car or truck (real or toys), house plants.  You could also choose a busy corner of a room or a cluttered table top.  The key to a successful Contour drawing is to have lots of parts like a puzzle. Employ line weight variations (thick/ thin, light/ dark), in other words, accenting. Drawing by Jeremiah Hatcher.

Tues. and Wed. Jan 25 & 26 LINE: Contour

From Gesture we move to Contour Studies.  After the slide discussion, students made contour studies of tools and various hardware-like objects.  Like Gesture, Contour develops eye - hand coordination but it is the exact opposite of Gesture.  Contour is a slow, single , incisive line that defines interior volumes as well as exterior volumes.  Gesture too addresses these volumes but it is quick, spontaneous and uses multiple lines. 
Hollister Nadeau's (above) drawing exhibits strong, confident contours with the inclusion of textural elements that add character and ornamentation to the image.  Carlos Gutierrez's (below) drawing is a densely, layered space of compositions stacked on one another.  His contours are also very confidently drawn emphasizing the depth and dimensionality of the tools by accenting.  In other words, he has used bolder, darker lines for the parts that advance towards us and lighter lines for the parts that recede away from us.

 Ashley Washburn's drawing exhibits very good accenting but the best part of the drawing is her layering and transparency effects. I'm addressing the hammer on the left.  The success of this effect lies in the line technique itself complemented by her accenting and changing mediums.  Brennon Hedman's drawing (below) is a beautifully composed image revealing the power of scale change and overlapping forms.  Even with the packed in objects, the image remains clear and the line is confident and strong.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jan. 24, Monday: Line: Gesture

M/W class covered Gesture Drawing approaches and methods.  After the slide discussion, we covered the following: cross-contour, continuous line, scribble gesture, line gesture and mass gesture.  We finished with making drawings that emphasized the negative space over the positive areas. For a more in depth description of the following read last Thursday's post on Line:Gesture.  Betsy Bradbury's drawing above is an example of the mass and line techniques combined.  Note that the broad, sweeping strokes of mass add weight to the form as well as a sense of light.  The line adds dimensionality and structure.  In Lorelle Ross's drawing - below Betsy's- we see the dynamism and interest a drawing can have by employing a variety of mark-making.  This is "eye-candy" for the audience.

Christine Argenio's drawing (above) and Martin Gilbertson's drawing (below) are examples of mass gesture drawings emphasizing the negative areas. By developing the whole page, Christine has created a very strong sense of space and atmosphere. Note with value, darks recede and lights advance. Martin's drawing is much more open and relies on similarity in marks and tones to establish a rhythm. Note the gourd in center/ right; the curvature and mark-making employed around the curling neck.  Using thicker lines in weighted areas and thinner lines and tonalities in lighter areas grounds the objects and gives them a sense of weight.  Remember the key to emphasizing negative space is to be "suggestive" of forms; don't over draw the forms.  Less is More.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thursday 1/20 LINE: GESTURE

Thursday night began with a lecture concerning the various styles and approaches to gesture.  We viewed works from John Singer Sargent, Alberto Giacometti and Kathe Kollwitz as well as examples from past students. The primary approaches to Gesture Drawing are: Line, Mass, Line/ Mass combined, and Scribble. 
We started with Cross-Contour Drawings to establish an understanding of addressing volumes across the gourd forms.  The natural tendency is to focus on the outside edges.  Instead, Cross-Contours focuses one's attention across the volumes.
Next, we made Continuous Line Drawings to establish a sense of volume all the way around the form; an all encompassing approach.  Note how the edges are rephrased multiple times - not just once around the form.  Furthermore, the lines have a quality of weight and light by pushing harder in areas of more weight and shadow while using less pressure in areas of light and receding volumes - turning away from the viewer.
Next, came Scribble Gestures.  This approach uses line to capture a sense of Mass and Volume as well as Light.  Notice in this student drawing, by spreading the lines apart creates lighter tones whereas grouping the lines closer together creates darker values establishing shades and weight.
Michelle Phillips' drawing has done a great job of capturing the character of the gourd while addressing the volumes through Cross-Contour and the light source and weight of the form through Mass techniques.
Mike Geare's drawing beautifully captures the mass of the forms.  The area of special note is the right side of the gourd where the line breaks merging the positive form with the negative space.
Leslie Gonzalez has done very well at emphasizing the negative areas over the positive forms.  The objective in this drawing is to be suggestive of the gourds without giving away too much - make the viewer work at it. The area of special note in Leslie's drawing is her rendering of the squash in the lower left by the way she has captured the shadows of the indentations and subtly drawing the top.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Introductions to Spring 2011

Welcome everyone to the Spring 2011 Semester of Art 7A and 7B.  This blog will contain posts for Art 7A Monday and Wednesday Evenings, Art 7A Tuesday and Thursday Evenings as well as posts for Art 7B Tuesday and Thursday Evenings so read the post titles closely to be sure they pertain to you.  Tuesday and Wednesday Evenings are dedicated to the course syllabus and materials.  Note on the materials list the items at the top in bold print are the materials needed for the first drawing session.  All of the materials should be purchased and brought to class by the second meeting.  In addition to the items in bold it would be a good idea to purchase the required sketchbook as well as there will be notes to take on the second night of class. Above is a snapshot of the materials needed for the second night of class - our first drawing session. The list follows:
1. 18 x 24 in. Newsprint pad (no smaller)
2. Compressed Charcoal Sticks ( get the big pack made by Char-Kole)
3. Vine Charcoal Sticks (medium or soft - avoid the hard variety)
4. Charcoal Pencils ( 4b or higher - avoid 2b as they are too hard.  I prefer those pictured above, the orangish, wood pencils as opposed to the draw string because it rarely works properly but it will suffice.)
5. Large White Plastic Eraser (mine is that black thing on the left pictured above.)
6. Knead Eraser (the soft battleship gray, lumpy ball above.)
7. And Lastly, it's a good idea to purchase a box cutter or X-acto blade for sharpening pencils and cutting erasers.