Sunday, October 28, 2012

Gesture Drawing


Students in Art 1 learned a second way to approach a drawing problem, which is kind of the opposite of contour line drawing.  They learned about gesture drawing, which artists use to get a sense of the whole, or the essential qualities of the object or pose.  While gesture drawing, students used vine charcoal and tried to capture figure poses in less than 30 seconds.  They focused on the spine of the figure, basic shapes, and lines that would draw them from one feature to the next.  They also used the side of their charcoal to show mass and weight within the pose. 

 The gesture drawings were ephemeral and most of them were erased before the class ended.  Here are a few more in pencil that did not get erased. 

Students take turns posing for each other in class.

Contour Line Drawing

Students in Art 1 and Art Appreciation practiced a drawing fundamentals technique called Contour Line Drawing.   The goal with contour line is to look almost all the time at what you are drawing and very little at your paper.   You also want to use a continuous line (not pick your pen off the paper), and draw as slowly as possible so as to observe all of the ins and outs, all the details you see.

To practice this, students first created Blind Contour Line drawings, where they did not look down at their paper at all.  We all new the drawings would be silly and incorrectly proportioned, which took the pressure off making a great drawing and allowed students to focus on observing closely and recording like a scientist. Personally I think these drawings are quite captivating.

Blind Contour Line Drawing

Here are some contour line drawings, from observation. Students drew objects around the room, as well as their backpacks and shoes.

Drawing by Claire M.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sketchbook Covers

Following the "Home Collages", students were asked to personalize their sketchbook cover using their choice of pencil, markers, collage or colored pencils.  
 Before beginning their sketchbook cover, the students were introduced to 
the elements and principles of art.  
The elements of art are the building blocks of each art piece, and the principles of art are the way that artists use those elements to create a beautiful and/or interesting work of art. 

After watching a slide show and discussing the elements and principles, students in Art 1 and Art Appreciation were required to choose 1 element and 1 principle of art to guide the design of their sketchbook cover. 

I did a mini-demo on using paint to cover up their sketchbook, as well as experimenting with ink. As long as they expressed an element and a principle, they could focus on any subject for their sketchbook cover and could chose their own materials.


The students did a fantastic job with this project. Their covers are unique and thoughtful, and I really enjoyed the diversity of the results. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Home Collages

For our first project, and an introduction to the studio as well as each other, Art 1 and Art Appreciation students created collages based on their idea of home. 

First students brainstormed words and phrases that described home, and thought about each of the senses as filters for how they experience home. 

Next, students learned about where the collage materials are kept in the room, as well as how to apply the glue, contour cut images, and think about the layout of their collage before gluing it down.
For inspiration we looked at Artist Trading Cards and several images by collage artists such as Wangechi Mutu.

After the students finished collaging their "Home" card, they wrote a statement that described the images they used.