Thursday, October 31, 2013

HOMEWORK #6: Color Still Life

Mike Koonce
Draw a still life of at least 5 to 7 small (real) objects using colored pencil on black paper. Choose a color scheme that complements the subjects in mood and/or function. Pay attention to compositional balance, negative space and eye level. Paper size approx. 18 x 24 in. In the drawing above, Mike has grouped objects to the right which would seem imbalanced. Although, the placement of the small bottle on the left in the foreground is a perfect counterweight when combined with the fabric. The yellow reflections and hints of blue connect with the colors and accents throughout the composition.

COLOR: Still Life

Iris Lopez
Students finished up working on their personal still life arrangements in color. Iris took a more contemporary approach to dealing with space. Rather than creating a grounded and realistic sense of space, the objects float, swirling around like a seen from an early Sam Rami movie. Notice how you are lead from similar objects (jack-o-lantern to jack-o-lantern) as well as colors (blue of the eyeballs to the blue die). The frenzied and electric-like mark-making around the forms adds to the floating quality as well as the energy of the image.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

COLOR: Still Life

Last night students made still life arrangements of three or more objects to be rendered in colored pencil. They will continue working on the drawings Wed. Pix to follow.

Monday, October 28, 2013

INK: Wash and COLOR

Last Friday students made ink wash drawings in the morning and colored pencils studies in the afternoon.
Victoria Castaneda
Victoria has discovered the medium that works best for her. In this drawing, she has balanced the values well while creating a very interesting sense of space. The layered mark-making in the white paint can and dark funnel are particularly well rendered with clarity and definition.
Emily Sanfilippo
Emily has very effectively addressed the whole page while developing volumetric and luminous objects. The ball is especially well drawn. Take note of the full and skillfully rendered categories of light.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

HOMEWORK #5: Ink Drawings in your Sketchbook

In your Sketchbook, draw 3 to 5 small objects (from observation) arranged in a composition using India ink. Employ the various techniques discussed in class. You may use only one technique or a combination. Strive for volume addressing the categories of light. You may also add wash.

COLOR: Dice and Balls

Morgan Caricchio

Sarena Dunn
Last night students began working with colored pencils on black paper. Each student had a still life of one die, one ball and a letter or number to hold the ball in place. When working on toned paper of any color or value, one should take advantage of what that tone provides. On black paper, you are working from dark to light. The opposite of working on white paper. The shadows are already present, you just need to create the lighter tonalities around them.
Morgan's drawing (top) has a more open and grainy application of the pencil. Much more of the paper is revealed through her marks than in Sarena's drawing (bottom). Sarena has heavily applied the pencil in the objects with a more open application in the table and background. Both drawings exhibit a strong, bold and dramatic sense of light. This is a benefit of working on black paper. In addition, both students have employed layered and expressive marks that add dynamics and energy to the compositions.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

INK: Wash Drawing

Angel Ortiz
Last night students made drawings employing the Wash and Brush technique. India ink was diluted with water and applied to the entire surface of the paper except areas to remain white. The drawing was then dried with a hair dryer and successive layers of ink wash applied until the desired tonalities were achieved. Angel's drawing above exhibits a bold sense of light with clean, crisp values. The water can is especially well rendered. Take note of the bands of values addressing the categories of light.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

INK: Exquisite Corpse and Still Life

Friday morning began with  a round of the Exquisite Corpse followed in the afternoon with a still life. In all the excitement of the day, I forgot to get photos. See the post from Monday and Wednesday's classes for examples.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

INK: Still Life

Nicole Tabor
Last night students continued working with pen and ink. Nicole's drawing demonstrates the parallel hatching and cross-hatching techniques. We've already discussed the benefits of contrasting values to establish depth and define edges of shapes and forms. In addition to this, when using ink, you may also use various techniques and the direction of the "marks" to illustrate objects and their location. For example, the small jar in the foreground exhibits arcing, parallel lines moving across the contour. In contrast, the gas can behind it exhibits contrasting values as well as the cross-hatch technique.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

INK: The Exquisite Corpse

Last night students began working with India Ink. For the introduction of wet media, we played the Surrealist game, the "Exquisite Corpse." It is a game of collaboration requiring a minimum of three players. One for the head, one for the torso and one for the legs. Like all Surrealist games it is based on irrational thought and combinations pulled from the subconscious. Aside from the game, the objective was to explore various value and textural techniques in a fun and inventive way and to gain a better understanding of what it is to work with a wet medium.

Friday, October 11, 2013

HOMEWORK #4: The Place Setting

On 18 x 24 in. drawing paper using graphite pencils make a drawing of a meal setting. Your still life should be the "before or after" setting of a meal. Create an asymmetrical composition including plate(s), glassware, silverware, etc. You may also include cereal boxes or condiment bottles, etc. for a stronger narrative. Be imaginative and creative. (Look closely and study the compositions above. These are all exceptional drawings.)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


All this week students will be working on midterm drawings and participating in portfolio reviews. Here are some examples from previous semesters. The objective of the midterm drawings is for students to display their understanding of the concepts pertaining to line, value, positive and negative shape and composition.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

HOMEWORK #3 Local Value

Frank Vallin

Mike Koonce
On 18 x 24 in. drawing paper using graphite pencils make a drawing addressing the local values of at least three objects. The still life should consist of one dark object, one mid-toned object and one light object. While addressing the local values, illustrate the categories of light as well. The two drawings above are stellar examples of this project. Take note of the full, rich rendering of value and texture as well as the attention to negative space (i.e. background). Frank has worked the entire surface with additive and reductive drawing whereas Mike has vignetted the still life with horizontal bands. Both approaches are acceptable and more importantly very effective when done well.


Angelica Cortez
Yesterday students of the Friday 7A class made drawings addressing the value patterns observed in a still life of black, gray and white objects. Angelica's drawing above is composed well and exhibits balance among similar objects as well as in the negative areas. Notice how the long cast shadows balance the darks of the upper left hand corner. She has very effectively used value for dramatic effect evoking a moonlit scenario. In addition, Angelica illustrates a more expressive or "painterly" application and manipulation of the materials.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Daniela Abed
Last night students continued with studying value patterns. Upon entering Daniela's drawing at the funnel in the foreground, you are immediately pushed to the stacked funnels on the left, mostly by association and likeness but also by the direction of the funnel spout in the foreground. The white areas and forms then direct your eye diagonally to the right. The subtleties in tone and the attention to shadow are beautifully rendered but it's the attention to the negative areas that really sets the space for this drawing. Notice how the negative areas around the still life "loosely" follow the edges as if the objects were laying on a pillow. The dark areas between the objects and under the inside of the tilted funnel are skillfully balanced against the black funnel and pipe in the background.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Last night students made drawings addressing value patterns observed across a still life. The objective was to establish a rhythm with the placement of similar values throughout the composition.
Sarena Dunn
Sarena's drawing above exhibits a well balanced composition rich with value and textural variation. The combination of additive and reductive techniques addresses the light and weight of objects while providing dark and moody atmospheric conditions. The real strength in the drawing is the attention she has given to the negative areas. The spaces between the objects are like little cave openings allowing the "eye" to travel through the space. The tonal variations in the background are atmospheric in quality and envelop the objects holding them in the space.
Patty Camara
Patty's combination of man-made, geometric forms accented with organic reed-like marks suggests a surrealist still-life arrangement. The alternating light and dark forms tumble the "eye" across the composition while the two black areas pull the "eye" up and down. The reed-like marks create a whimsical and fantastic sense of light giving the objects a more powerful, almost magical, character. Both of these drawings have effectively used value for dramatic effect as well as to create volume and depth.