I teach a foundations course, students learn basic drawing skills. It is clear to me at this point the class understand the value of careful observation.
We spend the last 2 weeks working outdoors. They learn to focus at an even greater level considering all the distraction outside the classroom including the curious passerby, the almost perfect weather and the continuous change of their subject-matter (nature).
Enjoy these examples of their outdoor study and their self-portrait homework…
Maw – Fake Perception, Oil Pastel
Kado – Shipwrecked
Jessica – The Heart of Everything
Tyra – I Love It
Esmeralda – Cacti
Deborah – Regrowth
Jordi – Untitled
The homework assignment, a life-size (or larger) self-portrait, is an important and challenging process. They have all the necessary skills at this point to complete one. They work with marker (no pencil or eraser) all semester and here they can use media of their choice (many still choose the marker). The drawing brings honest conversation.
We leave this particular class critique knowing each other just a bit more.
On the drive home I think every one (every single person) should be so lucky to have (give themselves) this assignment at some point in their adult life. #theselfportraitforeveryone #gottahaveart
Alondra – Spirit Desire
Deborah – Self Portrait 1
Tyra, Dear Aisa Don’t Stop Loving Me
Jordi – This is Who I Am
Kado- KMS lol
Kado – Voiceless
Maya – Anyone can draw one eye, but drawing two is an art
This is it with the marker – we move on to charcoal.
“Maybe a person’s world can grow bigger in all the right ways, not too wide that it becomes shallow, just large enough to preserve its depth.”
― Deb Caletti, The Fortunes of Indigo Skye
Phoenix provides great weather and landscape and we’re outdoors for 2 weeks to complete the in-class assignment. Students have to consider foreground, middle-ground, and background as they work out a composition. They include different textures and deal with shapes that overlap. For homework, they create a self-portrait.
I explain illusion of depth in a 2 dimensional artwork. A drawing, a painting, and a print have height and width and the depth is illusion. Three dimensional work is real object / sculpture. It has height, width, depth and maybe volume.
These two assignments mark the end of the use of marker. Next we start charcoal.
Below are some examples.
Mariah’s tree in marker.
Robert’s Fig Tree
Josh’s Bed Head.
Kayla’s Knots and Leaves
Adriana’s Fig Tree in pastel and charcoal.
… and the self-portraits …
Adriana – There’s a party in my head and no one else is invited, charcoal
Alexssa’s works in pastel and charcoal.
Angie’s marker and color pencil.
JT’s works in marker.
Cassidy’s works in marker.
Vicki’s works in marker.
Popay’s self-portrait in graphite.
Kayla’s self-portrait in marker.
Both assignments require students use everything they’ve learned up to this point, along with working out spatial depth. The critique shows everyone’s progress.
Spring has rolled in. Landscape drawing in Phoenix, this is the time of the year to do it. Students are still looking…closer than ever.
The assignment uses everything the class has learned thus far…the added lesson, creating depth. Students learn to create the illusion of spatial depth in a drawing. They realize foreground, middle ground and background. They learn to distinguish and draw shapes that appear closer and others that appear further away.
Landscape is complex subject matter no doubt, especially when texture is being emphasized. I notice all the various ways students resolve the texture of their subject matter, in their drawing. I refer to it as mark making, and it can be beautiful, expressive, and exciting. The finished work will be more dense than any drawing completed so far.
They won’t include in their composition everything they can see. How much should they include? Twelve hours is the time allotted in class, to complete this assignment. A few students will make more time. I suggest they put into the composition as much information so as to make the drawing unique, interesting and so it feels complete. One can’t include everything…pick and choose… the viewers eyes should move about the composition easily, all lines and marks should convey some information.