Drawing Class 2013

Ok, I realize I should have made this post ages ago, seeing as I finished this class back in December, and had all my photos ready to show you sometime in January. My apologies. Life happens….

So, here they are! Each piece of artwork has a memory connected with it, which I will always cherish. Drawing I class was one of my favorites last semester–owing partly to the fact that I had such a great teacher (who is currently my Painting I teacher right now).

Enjoy, and let me know which were your favorites, and where you think I should improve.

This first picture was one of our very first assignments. Our teacher asked us each to bring some small, hand-held item to class that we would be drawing. I brought the scissors. Then, he wanted asked us to place that item in front of us and just draw away, in whatever style we usually used for drawing. He gave us 5 minutes to complete. So, I assumed that the scissors was going to be the only object in my picture. However, when the 5 minutes were up, I found myself being directed to rotate one desk to the left, where I would have to insert that person’s object (the harmonica) into my picture. We had another 5 minutes to add those items, and then we rotated one desk to the left once more, and I added the sunglasses to my picture. I tried to keep everything to scale, and make it look as if it were all sitting on the same surface. This drawing was done on 16 x 20 paper in regular lead pencil.

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The second drawing is done in something a little different: Sumi ink. We each got a bottle of this very dangerous stuff (I once spilled it all over someone else’s papers–thankfully ones that they were already done with), along with a little wooden inkwell. The assignment instructions then were to create a symmetrical, abstract-type drawing that we could weave a theme into. I started my drawing on 16×20 paper with the two big circles, and then straight lines through the middle, and zigzags up the lines. We were also supposed to play around with cross-hatching and stippling (in preparation for our next, big project). So, I added the cross-hatching to the zigzags, and the stippling to the inner portions of the semicircles, and suddenly I knew what my theme was: Egypt! Thus, I added in the little camels in the corners of the finished project. This was a lot of fun to do, but I found out that I don’t really like working with Sumi ink!

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Now here’s the big project that focuses on the drawing techniques of cross-hatching and stippling–which I did in regular ink, not Sumi ink. This was inspired by a picture I took of Shasta a few years ago (see below). I really like how it turned out–it’s one of my favorites. It’s on 18×24 paper, so it’s pretty large.

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Ah, my very first time ever working with charcoal! This was another “preparation” drawing, helping us to get used to the medium before our big, major project. In this drawing (on 16×20 paper), the assignment was to merely crumple up a piece of 8.5×11 paper and then draw it in charcoal–exactly as it looked. That’s one thing that my teacher really stressed in this class, and which helped me immensely: Observational drawing. He wanted us (in most cases) to use an actual object or a photo for reference, and draw it exactly as it looked, instead of putting our own spin on it, or making assumption about it in our drawing. I think I got this crumpled up piece of paper to look pretty close to the original. And I found out that charcoal is my very favorite medium!

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And here’s the big project that the little project prepared me for (preceded by the photograph that I used for reference). This is the view looking down our sunny gravel road to the east of our house, on an early summer morning. For this project, we were supposed to select photos that had framed spaces or areas and that dealt with interesting aspects of light and shadow. The completed drawing is done on 18×24 in charcoal. I now have it framed in my bedroom–it is my absolute favorite out of all the pictures I did!

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Gesture drawings came next! I don’t know how else to describe gesture drawing except as really scribbly drawing that helps one mainly to identify where the object in the picture are before going back and starting to fill in the details. My teacher set up a big still life with tons of object on it in the studio, and we were each supposed to pick a portion of it to do a gesture drawing of. This is my first attempt, on 18×24 and in charcoal.

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My second attempt (again on 18×24 in charcoal) of a different portion of the still-life set up turned out much better, after I’d gotten used to the technique.

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The next two pictures were perspective exercises. They’re both done in regular lead pencil on regular 8.5 x 11 paper. The first one is a one-point perspective by our garage, and the second is a two-point perspective of our neighbor’s house.

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This next big drawing was supposed to be for extra credit. It’s an 18×24 perspective drawing in regular lead pencil. Can you tell what it’s of? Those of you who heat with wood will know! 🙂 This picture actually helped me out in a bind, however, when I found that I had accidently missed one of the assignments (which was supposed to be a perspective), so my teacher let me use this one to compensate for it.

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The next technique our teacher taught us was figure-ground. I did mine of a small still-life consisting of two painted bottles, a basket, a fake apple, and a pinecone. For the ground half of the drawing (on the left) I sat on one side of the table drawing the still-life, and for the figure half (on the right), I switched over to the opposite side of the table. So, you’re seeing a figure-ground drawing of the exact same items, but both from a different angle. This was done on either 16×20 or 18×24 with black sharpie. I made a couple mistakes, can you find them?

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The next assignment had to do with Sumi ink again. In this assignment, we were supposed to bring a treat that we really enjoy, and then draw it using watered down Sumi ink and our brushes. It was really a type of painting, I suppose. I brought Skittles, and did them on my 18×24 paper. The finished product turned out OK, but you can see where the water mixed with the ink wrinkled the paper.

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Our next big project turned out to be another of my favorites. This time our teacher was teaching us the contour line drawing technique. Instead of adding in any shading, you use only lines to show where the shading begins and ends. The result is a sort of coloring picture, but I really like the technique and how it turned out. I did mine first in lead pencil on my 18×24 paper, and then retraced it in pen.

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This next drawing/painting is one of my LEAST favorites. It was supposed to be an abstract “drawing” this time using water color pastels and our brushes. I did mine on 16×20 watercolor paper, and miserably failed at making an abstract. Instead I simply made a mess!

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Our Google Maps drawing. We were supposed to go on Google Maps, and use their street-side view to find an image that showed the relationship between people and places. In other words, instead of just finding a pretty landscape with a clean, beautiful object in in (like I did), we were supposed to just find some street side and leave the people in the picture. I did not fully understand those instruction, and so I just went and found some aqueduct in Scotland (I’ve always wanted to go to Scotland, so it was fun to browse it’s streets while sitting in my own home) that doesn’t have any people in it at all! I did this drawing in graphite (a medium that is not very good in comparison with charcoal) on 18×24.

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Next came the cut-paper technique. It was really very simple: We were to take the white paper and use zacto knives to cut our image out, and then place the white paper on the black. There was one stipulation, however: The white paper must be in ONE PIECE when were done. So, that meant everything had to be attached. It turned out to be easier said than done! This is my second attempt. I totally botched my first one. This is done on 18×24 construction-type paper. See if you can’t figure out how I kept the white all in one piece (hint: look at my initials in the lower left corner).

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Our next big project was a lot of fun. It was called “Transmogrify,” and we were supposed to merge two things together. I chose to merge a riverside scene with a woman with long hair, making the hair into the river, and her body into the bank. Another student did a really cute one where he merged a beaver with a chainsaw, making the chainsaw the beaver’s head! The only thing I don’t like about mine is the lone plant on the right. I wish I had left it out–it seems rather out of place. I did this on 16×20 in lead pencil.

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Our second-to-last artwork was a pattern drawing. It was supposed to be a mix of three to four “trademarks” that identify me personally. I used the four things that I love (Jesus, children, dogs, and writing). See if you can’t find the icons that represent these four things. I did the first pattern piece on 8.5×11 in ink (and colored the original in colored pencil), and then made about 39 copies! The copies all matched each other on each side, so the pattern could keep going. It made a big 5 ft. x 8 ft. sheet of “wall paper” when I finished taping it together, and I have it covering my door now!

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Our last drawing started out not as a drawing. We were supposed to make a “space” out of a shoebox and cardboard or other things. I made a mock closet, even putting in an old towel for “carpeting” and paperclip “hangers.” Then we were supposed to made a 2-D drawing of our 3-D space. I did mine on 16×20 paper in charcoal. It turned out OK, except my perspective is slightly off.

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And that was Drawing Class 2013! I learned SO much, and I’m glad I found out what a nice medium charcoal is! I’ll definitely be using a few (though not all) of these medium and techniques in the future!

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