keep up the practice!

One looks, looks long, and the world comes in. – Joseph Campbell  


Before the final critique begins I watch and listen as students appreciate each other’s work and note their individual progress. Some students remember how nervous they were on the first day of class when I said they would not be using any pencil in my drawing class.

It takes a while but finally I get them to organize so we can begin class.

IMG_5465It’s been a good semester. This group is full of personality and support for each other. Here are a few highlights from yesterday’s critique.


Adriana’s Master’s Reproduction


Angie’s first value study – cloth and pattern and knot


Popay’s value study, cloth, pattern and knot


Cassidy’s Black Teapot


JT”S Gorilla Skull


Angie’s Pitcher Study


Vicki’s Teapot


Popay’s Still-Life


Mariah’s Gorilla Skeletal Study

IMG_5456 IMG_5457

….. over and out. Keep up the practice! I yell as they exit the studio.


it’s official, they can call themselves draw-ers

Drawer – (n) A person or thing that draws, esp a draftsman.

Fall 2010 comes to an end.  I had Drawing 1,2,3 and 4 students.  A large group (only a few shown here) guarantees never a dull moment.

In this final run, we have various projects going on.

Noelle’s focus is creating the illusion of volume and depth, drawing still life and using a light source.

Alexis worked on the same form as Noelle, but from a different angle.  Nice character in this developing work.

Edgar, below. His composition has strong contrast. He creates white whites, and dark darks, and many shades in between.  He includes transparent and opaque objects, two that become focal points. The darkest and lightest objects in the drawing seem to interact with each other.

Nicky, also chooses an area that has transparent and opaque objects.  Her composition is not as dense as Edgars. She stands where there’s more light. The drawing offers repeating shadows that create rhythm. Her composition has both appealing vertical and horizontal movement.

You can’t see Ben and Diana’s work close up, but they both have a great eye for detail and much patience to put down exactly what they see.  The works are compositionally similar, but stylistically different.

The more advanced students reproduce a Master’s work.  Fun to watch them. By this time their endurance is well in tact. They’ll have so many other problems to solve that I suggest soon after they start, they take several shorter breaks, as opposed to one long one.

Patient Warren, above, has worked with me for 2 semesters.  He’s working on  De Vinci’s study of hands (for the Mona Lisa).  It takes him a few days to get the ground perfect, before he even begins to draw. During critique one of the students shared with the class that it took Cezanne 4 years to complete one particular work.  This is valuable info for Warren whom I hope never looses his eye for detail nor his thoughtful method. His work comes alive one breath at a time.

I remind the class, that Cezanne worked…without cellphones, texting, and I-pods…those 4 years, had none of that distraction.  Everyone laughs…I’m not kidding...

Amulec at work, on an easel of his own making. He’s working on a Scheile. This artist was not on my list of options, but Amulec wanted to reproduce the work.  I okay the choice because the challenge is significant and worthwhile for him…oh…and fun.

Paul, below, completes a Cezanne, inch by inch, working organically. Paul had recently seen the recent Cézanne exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum and particularly enjoys the assignment despite, the intense work.

Max, reproduces a Van Gogh self-portrait.  Ironically, Max’s eyes are 2 different colors, we learned this when Max completed his own class self-portrait. And in the process of doing the eyes in this image, we discover this painting to have the same detail, 2 different colored eyes.

Gabriel, drawing 4, chooses Cadmus.  Again, not someone on my list, but a good choice for th assignment, (and one of my favorite artists). In the  figure study, the original has simple and obvious quick line work that form the muscles of the back. The test for Gabriel is to reproduce quick line…slowly and carefully.  He gets it right on.

No gridding  allowed. Only careful observation and putting down what one sees.  That’s always the requirement.

Another semester, over and done.  One more group of students that can surely say they know how to draw. Kudos to them for steadfast work.