lesson in observation and commitment

Man who wishes to know about the world must learn about it in its particular details. – Heraclitus


The assignment focuses on natural objects with complex (and beautiful) structure and texture. The students set up a composition  balancing positive and negative space, using sea shells and insects – either or both.

Careful observation is key. I suggest they use a magnifying glass. I ask they consider the quality of the lines they use. What sort of lines represent structure? What sort of line represent texture? By now they want to have a larger selection of fine(r) markers.

A couple of students have a particularly challenging time and I suggest short breaks for them. The weather is so nice now, walking or moving will help to settle them.

Here are fine examples of the drawings.  Note composition, quality of line and the attention to detail.

Close up and personal by Virginia

detail

Bug Portrait by Marco

Detail

Shell Game by Kat

Detail

Bug and Shells by Is SaK

 

 

Sally Sells Seashells by the Seashore by Angela

Detail

The Starry Fish by Vince Van D’oh! by Virgil

Detail

Sea Dreams by Anita

Detail

 

Equanimity by Amareli

Detail

Deux Ex Machina by Anthony

Three Stooges by Adonis

Advanced students use scratchboard. Here is one example by Victoria – still in progress.

Victoria’s shells on scratchboard (in progress)

Detail

 

structures and textures, insects and shells

Watch the greater image materialize. You need that thing over there to tell you what to do about that thing over here. -Robert Genn


img_9315Structure – a complex system of parts arranged together (to form a whole)
Texture – tactile quality of a surface

The student’s task for this assignment is to learn to distinguish different types of lines. They look for those that form a structure and those that define a surface. I bring out large and small sea shells. I also bring out my collection of insects and lizards. Secretly I wish they will all choose the creatures, but I know better than to insist on this.

Aside from looking at the lines that make up a complex natural object they also work to balance positive and negative space.  And they continue to develop patience.

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Karen’s shells

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detail

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Victoria’s dead lizard and a spiral shell

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detail of lizard

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Brittany’s Bees – Two of them

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detail

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Kanata’s See shells, Sea shells

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detail (amusing tarantula wasp)

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Kevin’s (maybe ready to kiss) cicada and palo verde beetle 

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first sketch – too small

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Robert’s shell studies

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detail

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Maygin’s shells and mantis

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detail mantis face

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Alma’s shell corner

studying structure and texture


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The assignment: to study and identify complex structure and complex texture, create a composition and balance the positive and negative space. The subject-matter for the majority of the student’s are shells. They can make other choices with homework.

IMG_7283I consider this assignment to be a turning point. The commitment is big and the work is intense.  Students must work slow and careful using a magnifying glass to see, and see more.

Take a look at some of the finished drawings.  Note the advanced students work on scratchboard.

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detail shot of one of Anne’s shells

 

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Julio’s shells.

 

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Ali’s dry leaf

 

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Trenary’s shell

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Cory’s shell’s.

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Terry’s hand and seed pod.

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Heather’s starfish shell.

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Hyeokwoo’s shells


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Andrea’s shell’s

Drawing 2 students use scratchboard and work off of photos. Clearly they have more freedom but the assignment requires steady patience.

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Charles’ bird on scratch board.

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Susan’s work on scratchboard

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Cassidy’s Cat

 

they look closely

Look closely. The beautiful may be small. ― Immanuel Kant


The focus of this assignment – structure and texture, parts and surface – of the forms. Students also take time to consider the placement of subject matter into the picture plane. They construct a composition and balance out positive and negative space.

Everyone picks their shells, magnifying glasses get pulled out. The work to look at structure and define texture begins. They look closely. They see. They identify. They put it down. Emotions run high. Throughout the assignment we discuss stylizing.
Critique is great.

… a few highlights

Descending Collection – by Melissa

Different Shells, Different Textures – by Alejandra

The Shells from the Great Abyss – by Kyle

Fossil Poop – by Kris

Silhouette – by Segio

Shells – by Aaron

Sally Sells Sea Shells – by Brittany

structure and texture and lots of perseverance

  “Pure drawing is an abstraction.”  Paul Cezanne

Joey

Because they’ve worked with me before, Joey and Julietta get some choices. They pick the subject matter and among other things I offer scratchboard and a needle tool. They accept the challenge . The result is stunning. Joey draws a seed pod and Julietta works from a photo.

Julietta

For Drawing 1 students, the subject matter, on this round, are shells.  Students learn to define structure and texture though the use of a variety of line. They also set up a composition by balancing the positive and the negative space. The result is a beautifully detailed drawing. I’ve explained in earlier postings of this particular assignment, for many students it’s a turning point. For Yari and Salman below, it certainly is that.

Salman

Yari

Ivon

Next we are outdoors. We’ll be working on spatial depth.  Phoenix give us a cool down…please.