Monday, February 29, 2016

VALUE: Distal Cues and Subjective Use of Value

Linda Fleming

Priyesh Shrestha
Last Friday morning began with a discussion on the Distal Cues (see info above). Linda's drawing, top, illustrates overlapping forms, cropped to engage with the edges of the composition and rich values addressing the cross-contours and light.
Priyesh's drawing illustrates a low-key value range as opposed to Linda's high-key values. Again, the forms are overlapping and engaging with all four sides of the composition strengthening the negative areas.
Beni Rodriguez

Devon Ste. Marie-Rubin
In the afternoon, we discussed the various applications of the element Value. The project was to use value subjectively. Beni's dynamic composition is rich in value with advancing lights and receding darks. Notice how he has accented some of the darkest elements with a white line along the contours.
In contrast, Devon's drawing is very fluid, like viewing a rolling landscape on an afternoon drive. The values are well balanced and complimentary to the rhythms of the shapes. In addition, some of the tonalities are combined with a short hatch adding an increased textural element.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

VALUE: Two Object Compositions

Shiho Nakagawa
Last night the class made value drawings from a still life of two objects. Shiho's drawing above exhibits a well balanced composition as well as skillful handling of the materials. It is clear that one object is gray and the other black. The forms are dimensional and the space has depth.
Jason Yarbrough
Jason's drawing is rich in texture as well as tone. The space is atmospheric and somewhat ambiguous. Even with the cast shadows objects float in the space as if they are orbiting around a larger mass. The ambling line helps move the "eye" through the space. The cropped composition suggests there is more to this image than what is seen.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

VALUE: Subjective

Last night we discussed the art element Value. Value refers to the gradations between light and dark. Value may be used to address light and volume but it may also enhance the dramatic effects of an image too. The project last night was to use value subjectively. That is to use value according to the demands of design rather than placing values based on factual representation. Every student started by employing "automatic" drawing. This is a surrealist approach where the artist draws intuitively without any preconceived idea of what the end result will be.
Chrysta Maguire
 Chrysta's drawing is reminiscent of an deep under water carnival of flashing lights and sea life. Notice how she has used similarity to create rhythms throughout the composition.
John Larroque

John has employed very bold, flat tonalities complemented with bold contours. The values are clean and crisp interlocking together like the pieces of a puzzle.

Monday, February 22, 2016


Last Friday began with a description of One and Two Point Linear Perspective. The most important points we discussed were 1. maintaining eye level and 2. "sighting" diagonals. After the lunch break we started exploring Composition.
Christian Delovino

Linda Fleming

Compositions are divided into two parts: positive areas (the objects) and negative areas (the spaces around and between the objects). The objective in the drawings above was to activate the negative areas by drawing a single object that touches two to three edges. Both drawings could have larger positive areas but they both divide the negative space into interesting shapes.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

DISTAL CUES: Composing with the Ideal Solids

Graham Metcalfe
Last night we discussed the Distal Cues and their application for creating depth within a composition (see tab above for more info). Students then made drawings on hand-toned paper employing both additive and reductive drawing techniques. The objective was to pay particular attention to the negative space trying to engage with two to three edges of the paper. Notice in Graham's drawing above that he has engaged all four edges (shadows count). In addition, the objects are very well proportioned and fill the page making the negative areas between the objects relevant and more active in the overall balance and design.

Monday, February 15, 2016


Joy Montague

Shiho Nakagawa
Last Wednesday we started discussing the topic of Composition, specifically different strategies for activating and engaging with the negative areas. Both of the drawings above are "cropped" views of tools emphasizing the most interesting parts rather than trying to fit the whole object on the page. By cropping the objects, the negative areas are isolated playing a more important role in the balance and visual interest of the composition.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Mickayla Steele

Martin Little
Last night began with a discussion on Linear Perspective. We addressed how to 1. recognize eye level and horizon line,2.  the difference between one and two point linear perspective and 3. applying "sighting" for proportion and diagonals.

Mikayla's drawing (top) exhibits boldly defined block forms within a dramatically lit space. The dark background is especially well rendered illustrating a gradual blend into the lighter foreground.

Martin's drawing, in contrast, illustrates a sharp division of background and foreground. In addition, the background is vignetted around the still life creating  an implied white border. The lighting is strong and high contrasting. His attention to the details of texture and contour is very illustrative.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

PROPORTION: Gesture Review and Sighting

Apollonio Fontanilla

Logan Willbanks
Ray A
Class began with gesture warm-ups. Apollonio's drawing (top) illustrates the spontaneous and transparent rendering of an old boot addressing the structure through line and the shadows and negative areas with broad, sweeping tonalities. Logan's drawing below it is a illustrates the wrapping and repeating lines capturing the structure of an old shoe. Ray's drawing of an old boot illustrates the contours, mass and light.
The rest of the day was dedicated to rendering accurate or at least "believable" proportions. Students employed the technique of "sighting" (measuring and comparing the parts of an object). Take note of the ideal solids within the drawings below . 
Devon St. Marie-Rubin
 Devon began this drawing by establishing the cylinder and then adding the bell-like form.
Lyric Croxford
 Lyric's drawing has identified a spherical form. In addition, her attention to the negative space skillfully accentuates the form of the vase while providing a sense of atmosphere.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

PROPORTION: Seeing Ideal Forms within Complex Objects

Last night began with a series of gesture drawings of old shoes. In general, shoes are an ideal subject for contour as well as gesture drawings. Sneakers, or lace up shoes, are better than pumps because of the detailed stitching and combination of pieces.
Gretta Collaso
After the gesture warm-ups we discussed finding proportions and "sighting," the technique of measuring and comparing the parts of an object. We also made one of these drawings by emphasizing and using the negative space to find the edge of a second bottle (cropped). The objective was to engage with 2-3 sides of the image frame. (Note the structure of the bottle and location of the ellipses).

We ended the evening with a series of drawings exploring proportion while trying to locate the Ideal Solids within the structure of the form. Remember that "believability" is more important than absolute perfect proportion.
Elijah Schwarz
Elijah's drawing above exhibits the proper vertical orientation of the paper for a vertical subject. Second the drawing is well proportioned to the size of the paper (i.e. not so big it goes off the page and not too small). And thirdly, he has used an axis line to aid in establishing the symmetry of the form. Ellipses are located where the various pieces join as well as in areas to strengthen the volume by illustrating the cross-contours.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Last night the class made a series of drawings of the Ideal Solids drawn from imagination: cone, sphere, cube, tall cylinder and open cylinder. (See tab above for examples). The evening ended with everyone choosing the form of their choice and rendering that form with light employing additive and reductive drawing techniques (using the eraser for creating white areas).
Joy Montague
Joy's drawing above skillfully addresses the light patterns and volumes of a cone. Notice her attention to the gradation moving across the form. The transition between dark values to light is smooth and consistent absent of abrupt changes. Her use of materials and mark-making complements the cross-contours of the form. Remember when drawing forms like cones and cylinders the cross-contours will be the same as the ellipses.