Friday, January 20, 2006

Drawing class exercises...

I told Jo since I forgot to bring these to critique meeting last night that I would post some of the in-class exercises I've been leading:

This is the first 'full-fledged' drawing we do in the second class. It's to help assure students that they CAN reproduce things right in front of them. We do a somewhat foreshortened view of our own hands - by initially tracing it's outline on a plastic acetate 'picture plane' that we balance on our non dominant hand. Transfer this tracing to a tones paper and pull out a few highlights and voila... This took me maybe 15 minutes (the students took a bit longer - but were predominantly successful. Very gratifying).

Another sample hand I did the next class. Knowing how long it generally takes me to block things in from scratch, it is pleasantly exhilerating to be able to whip these out. (It probably doesn't hurt that I've been drawing and painting for hours daily for the last several months straight).

In class three we talk about negative space. This exercise involves drawing the negative spaces around some live foliage. Being January, I didn't have a lot to choose from in my yard - evergreen foliage is thicker and bulkier - more three-dimensional than would be ideal. Ah well. My students used camellia leaves which lay a bit flatter and look more typically leaf-like. I thought I'd try some small, creeping ivy - but there are enough leaves that overlap that it ends up looking like a world map rather than foliage, but it was a fun exercise.

Drawing chairs using negative space. Chairs are surprisingly difficult, especially for beginning students because our childhood symbology (left brain) is so strong - it's harder than normal to 'draw what you see'. (Looking at this one, it's obviously somewhat funky - but again, it was done quite quickly, and drawing it 'negatively' rather than positively is a much quicker way to get it down on paper).

At any rate, I've been pleased with the progress of my students and how some of these methods quickly increase one's ability to "see" what's there.


Anonymous said...

Wow Tara, the hand is incredible, especially for 15 minutes. Most enjoyable to see how professional my siblings are:).

michelle said...

It's fun to see what you're doing in class. I especially like the chair, you're right it's very architectural, so can be quite difficult to reproduce two dimensionally. I need to try this.

anj said...

thanks for sharing these. I'm teaching myself how to draw, with some regular, albeit informal input by a local art instructor, and I spend a lot of time scouting the Web for interesting exercies. I'll have to add these to my routine.