portrait of students, artists in the making

This week my drawing students had a slew of challenges, within their two assignments.

They were outside drawing landscape and wouldn’t you know it, Phoenix offered us rain. I’m not sorry it’s raining, I say to the class, it’s just something interesting to deal with. And I don’t have a Plan B because, I emphasize…it never rains in Phoenix!
I thought that was Southern California! one student answers back.

Humor and commitment win over. Needless to say…wet earth and mosquitos become part of the challenge.

Noelle's Tree

The other assignment, A Self Portrait.  It provided its own challenges.
Here are a few of the completed drawings, and a bit of story about each.

Above is Edgar’s drawing, “Stop the Profiling.”  He’s in Arizona, he’s paying attention, and he has something to say. He uses his profile to make a point. Smart.
We have a valuable conversation about art as a form of communication.

Gabriel, an admitted perfectionist.  He renders himself photo perfect.  Gabriel receives compliments from his classmates, for both the drawing and the hair.

If you know Max, you know this looks just like him. He has one brown eye and one green eye.  Max works in pastel and  portrays himself holding a video gizmo in his hand. He likes playing video games along with drawing.

Noelle, she has big brown eyes.  Most times that I come up to look at her work she doesn’t notice me, she’s so concentrated and focused. Until I tap her or say something, then the brown eyes peer up…exactly like this.

Paul is a Drawing 4 student.  He set up his own way of solving the problem. It created lots of conversation. He came to his drawing paper 10 or so times.  Redrawing himself over and over on the same sheet, but never looking at the result.  He kept his eyes on his reflection as his hand drew.  As he unveiled it to us, he unveiled it to himself. Clever Paul. One student said it was theoretical. I said I thought it was theatrical. He had fun with it, so did we.

Manny who loves to draw.  Though he’s only a Drawing 1 student, he obviously has lots of skill.  He asked me if he could use a medium of his choice instead of the marker as I had required of the Drawing 1 students. Worked for me. And it worked for him.  This charcoal drawing has the glow of graphite. Looks just like Manny too.

My camera ran out of juice. I can’t show you more though I’d like to.

So…it appears the class has mastered the marker. They have found some ease and confidence in their skills, and it comes out during critique. But I can’t let them get too comfortable.

We’ll be moving to charcoal. New beginning, new process.  They’ll be mastering another material and they’ll be dealing with value and surface. On with the show!

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