knot necessarily the assignment

About this week’s critique…what might I say?

The assignment, a Value Study. The student’s first full charcoal still-life, and…it’s cloth. If you’ve studied drawing and you’ve had to draw cloth, you know the work involved.
Odd thing this semester, only a few of the students complete the assignment within the allotted time.  And only a very few, really do full range value studies. Many of them focus their attention on a knot.  And I mean focus…on a knot.  They’re so willing to see, and so willing to put down all that’s in front of them, that consequently despite being unfinished, the drawings succeed.

Below, some of the student’s knot studies, completed in charcoal.


Warren’s drawing, above. He started this composition last semester.  I can’t tell you how incredible the work is in person. Warren progresses slowly and carefully. He’s patience in motion.


Above is Diana’s beautifully subtle, white knot.  She not sure of herself at the start of the assignment. Note the detail. I can’t say how many values she’s captured in that white single shape…lots.


Manny’s crisp cotton knot. He’s easy to start most every assignment. It could be  that he was born with a pencil in his hand.  Or it could be that he works hard and always wants to get it right.  The knot itself, is pretty successful in its detail, and range of value.


Alexis was absent the first day of the assignment and when she came in the second day, she was intimidated by Warren’s black knot. She was sure she couldn’t pull off the charcoal and cloth thing. In the end, she’s pleased with her skills.

Gabriel and Noelle, below. Both advanced students who complete the full assignment, using  full range of values. About the time they think they’re finished, is when they’re instructed to really look at the very fine detail and put it in. That’s what give these pieces their intensity and depth.




Below, Max studied with me last semester.  He chooses to draw the same cloth he worked on last Spring. This time, the composition is a horizontal and it’s in color. I don’t have the photo of his first charcoal study, though he brings it to critique.  Same hand along with added element. A good lesson for the class, to see the two works.


Assignment took a slightly different course in direction. I’m not really known for my flexibility but right now, I’m impressed with what the class learned and accomplished. This may be something I add to the game plan.

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