Drawing and Painting – Speeding Things Up…

Not only did these artists create the art, they also mounted and displayed it as well.

Not only did these artists create the art, they also mounted and displayed it as well.

Fall-themed still life drawings are now on display on Main Street. Students learned about direct-observation drawing setups which maximize the artist’s line of sight on their objects. They practiced timeless techniques in developing form, texture and value range.

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Natalia Vasquez’s glowing jack-o-lantern

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Heather Morrissette and Morgan Burke’s full-value scenes

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Initial classes were focused on identifying the simple shapes within the objects and paying attention to basic proportional relationships with the given scene. Newsprint and charcoal were the mediums used at this stage as I tried to impress upon the students that not every drawing needs to be perfect and show-worthy.

As students became more comfortable with their objects we transitioned to using higher-quality drawing paper and the full range of graphite pencils, kneaded erasers and blending students in pursuit of creating an accurate and somewhat realistic rendering of the still life scenes.

Brooke Sponzo's timed progressions. Check out the 10 second result at the bottom.

Brooke Sponzo’s timed progressions. Check out the 10 second result at the bottom.

After rendering the realistic still life drawings, students were then introduced to drawing under time constraints. The increments went from 25 minutes all the way down to 5 second sketches. Some found this activity of rendering 20 separate sketches as stressful and rather impossible, while others felt liberated by having shorter time limits and interested in unlocking more of a reactionary creative process.

The lesson was wrapped up with a class discussion about commonality among all artists' results.

The lesson was wrapped up with a class discussion about commonality among all artists’ results.

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