Thursday, January 29, 2015

DISTAL CUES: Composing with the Ideal Solids

Amelia Ketzer Dean
Last night we covered the six Distal Cues for creating depth within a composition (see menu above for more info). Amelia has created a very rich and mysterious image. The value range consists of mostly low key values suggesting a dark environment possibly naturally illuminated by the moon shining through a window. Her mark-making is expressive but does not dismiss the cross-contours of the objects. The table edge activates the negative space while adding a sense of the unknown leaving the viewer to wonder what lies down below.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Here's a page from my sketchbook playing around with some of the things addressed in last week's classes. The two drawings on the right are essentially cross-contour studies even though the "accenting" has given the appearance of hatched texture. The small drawing on the left started out as a contour drawing and developed into a line drawing with tone. All drawn with an "F" tip Faber Castell Pitt Pen. NOTE: I'll accept cross-contour studies with homework #1 too.


Last night the class made drawings of the Ideal Solids (standard geometric forms found in many man made objects and some from nature). We also addressed the categories of light to add volume to the forms. The last drawings of the evening explored the tonal and textural applications of the charcoal and erasers through additive as well as reductive drawing techniques.
Techi Brant
 Techi's drawings both exhibit a strong use of linear as well as tonal applications. She has also worked with the eraser to reduce the tones and create white marks. Notice her attention to the cross-contours in the direction of her marks most evident in the cone.
Amy Macinnis
 Amy's drawing illustrates a more realistic approach in the absence of dark contour lines. Instead the planes (or sides)  of the cube are defined by using white lines as highlights or juxtaposing a dark value against a lighter value.
John Burgess
John's cylinder exhibits strong textural qualities as well as addressing the categories of light. Again attention is given to the cross-contours by curving the tonal sweeps around the form.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

LINE: Contour vs. Gesture

Yesterday morning began with a discussion on Contour Line drawing followed by a series of studies in contour.
Giana Lawson

Javier Contreras
The two examples above illustrate strong, bold and confident contours. Notice how lines advance and recede depending on their location and value (darks advance, lights recede).
The afternoon session was dedicated to the Gesture drawing techniques. We began with cross-contour studies followed by continuous line drawings. You's drawing below again illustrates the importance of "accenting" the line with dark and light variations as well as thick and thin areas to enhance the sense of volume.
You Nara
We ended class with a series of bone studies drawn in the technique that best suited the requirements of the subject. Both students below chose to use the Mass drawing technique. The antler's exhibit a strong attention to the light and dark patterns as well as strong experimentation with the materials. Eduardo's drawing also illustrates an acute observation of the value patterns. In addition both drawings have effectively used cast shadows to create weight/ gravity and a sense of space or environment.
Celindrea Debuck

Eduardo Gonzales

Thursday, January 22, 2015

LINE: Contour and Extended contour drawings

Here's an example of a contour from my sketchbook. You don't have to draw only single objects but rendering a space or room is a good challenge as well, as in the R. Crumb example shown in class. My drawing started on the right with the corner of the countertop. I progressed to the left rendering the end table. I bounced back and forth a bit when rendering the couch and the baby activity box thing in the bottom left corner.
ballpoint pen
This next drawing has contour studies in ballpoint pen layered below the India ink pen. I tend to draw on the same page in layers. I almost did with the drawing above but resisted so I could show an example of "true" contour.The drawing of the utensils (below) is mostly contour with a few areas of solid, flat tone added for clarity and balance. Feel free to try something like this in your homework as well.
Faber Castell Pitt pens and ballpoint (with some marker from my 5 yr. old)

LINE: Gesture

Last night we picked up the pace and started working with Gesture techniques. First we discussed Cross-contour drawing then Continuous line drawing and finally Gesture.
Amelia Ketzer Dean
Amelia's drawing is an example of the Cross-contour technique. There are no outside contours rendered. Instead the edge is implied by the ends of the horizontal, arcing lines. Notice the tension in the neck of the gourd where the lines are closer together. This is evident at the base of the gourd as well adding a sense of weight.
Techi Brant
Techi's drawing illustrates the Cross-contour technique (bottom) as well as the Continuous line technique. Notice how the line searches for the contour edges. As the charcoal makes a second or even third pass around the gourd the edge is slightly redirected, correcting the form. This creates a bird cage-like effect adding volume.
Techi Brant
The Scribble and Mass techniques were also discussed (see tabs above for more info). We ended the class by drawing bones with the technique that seemed most appropriate for addressing the form or which best suited the student's sensibility. Techi's drawing above is a combination of line technique (for structure) and mass technique (for mass and light). Notice the variations in line quality moving from dark to light and thick to thin. These "accents" in line are more suggestive and volumetric than if she had used one type of line. In addition, her use of tone adds weight, light and a sense of atmosphere. The bone appears to sit or integrate with the paper rather than merely float on the page.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

LINE: Contour

On Monday, we covered the syllabus and materials list. Wednesday night we started discussing the element Line, in particular Contour Line drawing. Contours apply to the outside edges (exterior volumes) and inside edges (interior volumes).
Amelia Ketzer Dean
Amelia's drawing is balanced by the placement of similar shapes that rotate in space and change scale. The line quality is fluid and confident. Notice the interior accents on the smallest door knob located in the center of the composition. The hard contours are drawn more strongly whereas the transparent and shiny volumes of the crystal are drawn with lighter, broken lines. Generally speaking, Contours drawings, although minimal and selective with the amount of information, are very resolved and should display a sense of volume and three-dimensionality.