2 weeks of practice – texture, structure and depth

Students are outdoor the last 2 weeks (yes, it is warm!) working on plant forms. And for homework they complete a self-portrait. The latter assignment they use media of choice.

Critique is a good one. I think I can say they know more about themselves and they know more about each other, after all this work.

Two words that surface again and again: commitment and practice.

Daniela’s Fig Leaves

Jen’s World

Larrisa’s Plant Forms

John’s Foliage

Daniela’s Cactus

Darrien’s Practice

Nohemi’s Study

Kellani’s Leaves and Things

Brittany’s Plants

Josue’s Leaves of October

Dustin’s Learning Curve

Brittany – Self Portrait

Nohemi’s Portrait

Cesar’s Gamer tag: oh so Yeezus

Dustin’s My Style

Daniela’s Self Portrait (media – real make-up)

Josue’s Self-Portrait

Larissa

Two Years Later

John’s Dream Finishers

Collin’s Geometry

Kanyata 12 21

Darrien Self Portrait

Sofia’s Essential Oils

every picture tells a story

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Wouldn’t you know, they get their marker act together and it comes to an end. We move to charcoal next.

But before we do…
Here are samples of (larger than life) self-portrait work. They use media of their choice. This study moves students into understanding art is a form of communication.

Every portrait tells a story. We learn a lot about each other during this critique.

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Brittany

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Susan

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Michael

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Kanyata

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Maygin

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Kanata (#2)

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Victoria

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Collin

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Kestin

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Robert

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Karen

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Natividad

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Jen

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Alma

I include a few of the outdoor assignments. Students spend 4 days on the campus, drawing landscape.

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…and there’s Susan, an advanced student who learns how to collage. She’s never done it before and this is practice. The image does tell a story but it’s not about birds, it’s about a fox.

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Basically we cover texture, structure and depth. Next week is value.

a portrait study and a landscape

You know how you feel somebody looking at you, and you turn, and somebody actually is? It’s the same at an art gallery. You’re looking at one portrait, turn around, and there is a work of art directly behind you. Because it’s all energy. Every single thing has energy. – Marina Abramovic


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Students go outside to draw landscape for this last marker assignment. We have rain on and off for the couple of weeks we are out there. The outdoor drawing teaches many things, most especially focus. Some students like the experience, others do not.

Their final homework for the semester is a self-portrait. I know they have all the skills necessary to complete one. And they have freedom to use materials of their choice.  It’s really a challenge most everyone enjoys. People share humorous things, people share personal things. They all express something – it’s what a portrait allows.

Here are some works from today’s critique:

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Kiria – Stressed Out

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Mary – Me

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Casey – Portrait 2015

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Ricardo – Nothing Stays the Same

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Gwynne – Missing Person

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Daniela – Danii

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Alfredo – Self Portrait

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Henry – A Face Only a Mother Could Love



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Andrea – Self Portrait

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Susan – Dan (silver point)

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Kiria – Leafy Embrace

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Gwynne – Aloe

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Casey – Little Tree

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Andrea – Aloe

self-portraits

….a little humor I found on Facebook last week.

Jose, below, was late to start his homework assignment, a self-portrait.  I don’t usually include incomplete work in posts, but I like what he brings in and I photograph it before he takes it home to finish. He’d mentioned he was going to shave before starting the portrait. I’d told him to hold off because texture could be a great added element. You see here, it is.

Jose

By the time the class arrives to this point, they have all the skills needed to fulfill the assignment.  BTW, they don’t start with a circle, they work organically. They move from edge to edge, shape to shape, or from the center out as Jose does here.


Though the class always enjoys this particular critique, they don’t necessarily find the self-portrait work pleasant. Many express how awful things are turning out, how many times they’re having to start over, long drawing nights with little sleep…do they have to share it? and what’s the worst that can happen if they don’t do it?

If you don’t do it, the world will end, I say to them.

I do know the challenges of the assignment. I trust they get much out of it if they are willing to complete the experience. So it continues to stay in the game plan despite the difficulty.

Kyle

Michelle "Flowers"

Andres, Turtle Gossip

Sabrina's Smoke n Mirrors

Alban

Drawing 2 students below, use a variety of materials.

Chuck’s oh so real drawing, in silvery graphite.

Chuck "37"

The ever-amusing Crystal uses mixed media including acrylic, ink, marker, and ball point pen.

Crystal's Shenanigans

Kim uses marker for the line work, and soft pastel for everything else.

Kim

The self-portrait study is homework on this round.  The in-class assignment is an outdoor study. There were a number of excellent works, here are 4 highlights.

Alexis

Sharon's Pine Tree

Kim

Crystal's Tree Dandruff

We’re done with markers.  Some students who thought they hated them are sad to see them go. Next week…charcoal.


Master printmaker Mauricio Lasanksy left the earth this week, at the age of 98. Because both my undergrad and graduate drawing and printmaking instructors, Kurt Kemp and Spencer Fiddler, worked directly under him,  I’ve always felt a strong kinship with his work.
I’ll leave you with one of his Intaglio self-portraits today.

RIP Mauricio Lasansky 1914-2012.

Mauricio Lasansky, Self-Portrait

drawing directly from nature

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.

Today’s progress….

 

Andrew

 

 

Arturo

 

 

Davin, Drawing II

 

 

John

 

 

Kevin

 

 

Mark

 

 

Max

 

 

Misty

 

 

Robert

 

Weather held out, and so did the class.