Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Just because they are fun. And a fun extension of drawing. And of drawing styles that we have done in other media.
Did I mention that it's fun?

The process includes:

A) Cutting out your image after you have drawn it

B) Placing some "weights" on the paper so that the stencil is in close of contact with the paper as possible

C) Spraying a not too thick but even layer of paint

D) Revealing the final results!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Extra Credit

There will be one opportunity for extra credit first semester. The date is 1/14/2010 and begins at 6pm.
Each year the Arts in the Council Chambers is generous enough to allow LGHS to show some advanced art paintings on canvas in the Los Gatos Town Council Chambers. Jan. 14th is the opening reception at which the mayor usually speaks and there are refreshments.
It will be a great opportunity to see the oil paintings produced during first semester from the Art 2, 3, and 4's outside of the the classroom for the first time this year.
As always, there will be a sign up sheet that you will need to autograph in order to get said extra credit.
Two more weeks until break.
Until then, here are a couple of the paintings that will be on display.

Art 1

The finished watercolor landscape grades are up on Aeries. Overall the project came out well. Mainly what the beginning students need to take out of that project is not just that a bunch of different techniques can be used in a given painting, but that LAYERING of techniques and color will greatly enhance your finished project.
We'll be continuing our perspective unit until the Dec. break, and move perspective, watercolor, and pen & ink into a project we'll begin right before the semester ends.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Art 1 Due Date & Next Steps Notes

Yes, I know, we aren't finished with the lighthouse landscape. The new due date it 12/3. We should finish the demos for this project the day we come back from Thanksgiving break, and then you'll have until the next class period to finish the painting.
Before the end of that class period, though, we'll probably have a demo on the next project - so be prepared to be busy before the holiday break.

Friday, November 6, 2009

New Art Now

So one of my "personal" goals for this year is to rotate the art in the library on a more regular basis. Which, by the way, is my way of saying that there are new art projects up in the library as of about 5 minutes ago.
Most are from Art 1's newly finished Color Wheel Project, but five are from my Art 4's.
I hope to have more from Art 1 rotated before Thanksgiving, so if you're on campus make sure to stop by and check everything out.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Post MICA visit and new due date

The visit from MICA went really well. There was, of course, a lot of the same information, but the presentation itself had a lot of new visuals - which was cool. We will be getting a new "viewbook" form them in the near future.
If you missed the presentation I have some materials as leave behinds in the classroom for you to look at. This includes information on their summer Pre-College experience.
As a reminder, too, MICA will be at the National Portfolio Day in San Francisco on Jan. 16th, too.

Art 2's: I have officially moved your monochromatic oil due date to Nov. 17th. That isn't so that you can take your time, though. As I spoke about in class today, my objective/goal is for you to take the time to make those subtle corrections and minute changes that will take the painting from being "good" to even better. That doesn't mean small details, but subtle changes in value/texture/contrast/etc. to get the painting to be more "true to life."

Art 3's: I don't know your due date yet. All I know is that it will be several weeks away. This oil painting takes a long time.

Also: Study Drawings are due in 1 1/2 weeks. Get started early and be prepared!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

MICA Visit

Our annual Maryland Institute College of Art visit will happen this Thursday during tutorial.
The invitation is officially extended to all art students, even though I forgot to announce it during the Art 1 classes yesterday.
If you don't know much about the school, come and check them out.
Or go here:

Friday, October 23, 2009

Misc. OIl Project Notes

It's dawning on me that there is a drawback from moving to the block schedule for projects that include a very new media. With us working on our oil paintings, and trying to figure it out as we go through the process in art 2 for the first time, painting every other day isn't the best. Consistent practice is. While I recognize that everyone has other classes to worry about and do work for, if you (Art 2's) can use at least 1-2 tutorials each week to come in and work on your paintings, it will make you a better painter in a shorter period of time. There are a lot of subtleties required in handling the paint (making sure to eliminate "halos", dealing with canvas texture, blending, details, correct values, edges - the list goes on) and practice, practice, PRACTICE is what you need to make you better.

And art 4's: Wed. Yes, Wed., the painting is due. No, I will not move the due date. You have had 6 weeks to work on the project and many of you did exactly what I warned against, and that was using two to three weeks to work on study drawings and idea preparation. Yes, I expect a lot from this project as you have completed five oil paintings for me in the past and you all have a facility with the medium that should just be getting better.

Art 3's: You're just getting started, and one of the main things that will help is for you to really look at your picture and try to notice what colors are there as "base coats". Often you'll notice that there is something painted underneath the final color you actually see, and being able to use that same method of painting will make the process much easier for you to match colors and textures later on.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Moving in to oil painting

As we prepare for the larger oil paintings, of course everyone needs something to paint on. The minimum canvas size for everyone (Art 2,3,4) is 16" x 20". Yes, canvases can be traded for cash ($5 or $9) here in class, or you can get one from the art supply store (University Art or Aaron Brothers are both good places).
Art 4's - as ANOTHER reminder, you need to supply your own oil painting brushes this year. I am supplying the white oil paint (which in years past art 4's needed to get themselves), though.
Art 2's - you need to bring your canvas and photographs to class BY Friday. Bring options, please.

Art 3's - you have options for your oil painting project. Traditionally the first oil painting of the year has been a Master/Famous Reproduction. To explain, the reasons are for duplication of color, texture, and painting style. In studying the masters (which is a centuries old exercise) you have the chance to expand your knowledge, and the bottom line is that it will make you a MUCH better painter in the long run. As I mentioned in class, there is one drawback. That reproduction usually isn't good to use in a college portfolio. You can still use it as an exercise and do a second painting afterwards - which the classes have also done the past two years.
In terms of the other options for the oil painting (for art 3's) please think those ideas through and have concrete options to discuss next week in class.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Art 2's

As we begin our oil painting unit there are some things you need to do in preparation of the second painting we will do. One: get b/w photographs (high quality) for us to choose from in class. This can be from a magazine or one that you have taken (preferred). Two: get a canvas (which I have here if you cannot make it to the art store - 16x20" min.). Three: those must be here by Friday 10/9 at the LATEST!
We'll begin our grisaille project on Monday, and it will be due on 10/9 as well.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Completely Random

Dirty Hands, Clean Heart!

Tiangco hands dirty

“A poster the recipient completes by revealing spot-varnished type with hands made dirty by handling the poster,” by Roland Tiangco.

Tiangco handsdirty 2

Random thing I found from the Printeresting blog, via the NewLights Press blog...

Due Date Reminder(s)

Art 2's: Hand/Head studies are due on Friday. This will be the final component of your drawing packet, and the final grade will go in Aeries following this piece.

Art 2's also need to begin looking for a b/w photograph for our monochromatic oil project. You have two weeks before you need it, but I would strongly suggest looking now. If you can take your own picture, that would be even better (hint, hint).

Art 1/2/3/4H: EVERYONE has study drawings due next week!
Art 1 on Monday
Art 2 on Tuesday
Art 3/4H on Wednesday

Do not forget, do not forget, do not drawings are not accepted late! If I don't have them on the due date, and on time, you will get a zero.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

National Portfolios Day(s)

Just received a poster for this fall/winter's National Portfolio Day(s) around the country.
In Jan. they will be in:
San Francisco @ San Francisco Art Institute on 1-16-10
Los Angeles @ Art Center College of Design on 1-17-10

More information can be found @:

You'll see art from different art schools there, as well as have the opportunity to get some feedback on some of your art. Essentially, it's a good place to scope out potential schools without having to go to them.

From the poster:
"What should I bring?
Your portfolio can include finished pieces, work in progress, and sketchbooks. We ask you to bring your original artwork whenever possible. We suggest that you do not spend time and money matting or framing your work. Keep your presentation simple; the work itself is what is of interest."

So there you go.

Steamroller in SF

So I finally decided to go to the "Roadworks" event that San Francisco Center for the Book puts on each fall. I've known about it since I first took a bookmaking class there three or four years ago. Honestly, it was much more interesting than I thought it would be. There were handmade vendors hawking print related works they had made (all very reasonably priced), guest artists inking huge (must have been at least three feet square) linoleum block prints, smaller twelve inch square lino blocks that you can pay to have printed (maybe next year? - I didn't know that "anyone" could participate), free letterpress workshop/bookbinding workshop, foam printing, and of course hours of a steamroller gliding over lino cuts just for the heck of it. Not all of the prints weren't perfect (it is a steamroller and not a press by the way), but it was a good time!
I'll show some photos in class, but here is a glimpse.

Here is a photo of my "book". I used the "is you is or is you ain't" line - lyrics from an old friend/musician in New Orleans, John Fohl (great acoustic blues guitarist who also plays for Dr. John).

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

College Visits

For right now I know of two art schools that will be on campus before October is over.
On Oct. 5th SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) will be in the career center before 5th period.
On Oct. 29th, MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) will be presenting in room 502 during tutorial.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Drawing Packets

As I figure out the timing of projects as we transition from 50 to 90 minute classes I can sense that it may not be uncommon for due dates to change. I assign due dates based on past experience with specific projects, and if a project is new, based on personal experience with that style/type of working method.
Which brings me to Art 1. The good news is that there are some really great drawings coming along for the "final pencil still life." I have decided to move the due date to Wed., though I probably won't change the date in Aeries.
Art 2/3 There are some good things happening, but most of you need to pick up the pace and/or use tutorial. There are a few that have come in for work time outside of class, and it has made a significant difference in your first two pieces of the year - in a very positive way.
Art 4's need to have matboard here this week in order to get their drawing presentation ready. As will some of the other levels, there is some great work, but a couple of you still have a ways to go. Time is really the only issue you are facing, but on the bright side, you'll have plenty of time to devote to study drawings before they are due. The first painting of the year will be due in Oct., approx. half-way through the second grading period.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

On week one...

I'd say it was a successful week. A lot of drawing got done and a lot of supplies were given out.
In other words: Thank you to all of the parents who contributed financially to your son/daughter's art education. We do many cool things in class (granted, I am biased here) and your support does not go without notice.
Two reminders: if you haven't brought your funds as of yet, please do so (or speak with me); Art 3's need their sketchbook by the fourth week of school (yes, we will use them in class).

Due dates thus far:
Art 4 - Sept. 16th
Art 2/3 - Pencil Still Life Due before Labor Day weekend (that's this week)
As for study drawings - those will be due the last week of the grading period, so check the board for those dates (they are different than ever before because of block scheduling

I will have canvases for sale as the year progresses. And I have more sizes to choose from than just the 16" x 20" canvases you'll need for projects. There is a price list next to your study drawing list in class.

Notes on supplies:
I buy almost all of our supplies from Dick Blick Art Materials in IL.
If you need some supplies for yourself, University Art is a great place locally, but there are retail stores from Dick Blick (just called Blick Art Materials), too. I know there is one on Van Ness in San Francisco...but that's a pretty long way to drive for a tube of paint. But if you happen to be in the city...

I can't wait for more of the year to get under our belt, and can only hope that everything else we do goes as smoothly as week one!

And one last thing: I know nobody really enjoys the still life process, but stick with it. It can be a great learning tool if you allow it, and before you know it all of those bottles, tea kettles, bones and cloth will be behind you!

Friday, August 21, 2009


As the beginning of another year is now upon us, let me take a moment to welcome everyone to the initial lghsart blog post.
Officially, welcome! I'm expecting great things out of everyone this year, as usual, and am ready to get started.
As you should already know, we are moving to block scheduling this year, so each class will be 90 minutes in duration. This should provide us all with the opportunity to get further into our tasks in each period, but also allow for a bit more variety in terms of what we do throughout the year.
My goal for this blog is mostly as a forum to update everyone on events that I announce/post in class - but might get forgotten or not have the information reach home. I get really busy throughout the year with teaching and committee duties, but I will try and put updates out every couple of weeks.
They could be long and rambling, as this one is, or short and to the point. If there is ever a question, definitely email me at and I will get to you as soon as I can.
Two big things before I sign off so I can enjoy my weekend...
One - I will be sharing the Art I duties with Mrs. Christie this year. So an official welcome to her as she shares her talents not just with the sculpture students, but with the drawing/painting students, too.
Two - As usual, the materials cost will be due this first week of school. The sooner you can bring it in, the better. If there are any questions concerning this, please email me.
For now I'll sign off with a quote from a very influential 20th century German artist, Joseph Beuys: "Everyone is an artist."