Monday, October 30, 2017

Daily Sketchbook 10/30

Remember that page you put some watercolor on several days ago that you were asked not to draw on top of?
Great, go to the following page of German Expressionism woodcuts and choose a not too complex image to begin drawing on top of that watercolored page.
Ultimately I'll want you to fill in the black parts, but I don't expect that will happen today. Does that give you a clue as to what you'll be working on for Wed.? Great. Another continuation day!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Daily Sketchbook 10/26

You had one due last week, and you have one due next week. Please use today to work on your next independent practice piece.
Things to consider:
  • is there a media you feel you could still use some improvement in (pencil, p&i, watercolor, etc)
  • do you want to do a piece based off a previous d.s. topic so you can make it more refined/complex looking
  • do you want additional drawing from observation practice
  • do you want to do a series of three of pieces that are quite small but all go together
  • do you want to work on something larger than you usually do

Gradebook and ipad update for Art 2, 3, 4H

Afternoon y'all.

1. I forgot to mention this to 3rd period today, but it should serve as a good reminder to everyone...if you have any content on the ipads in class you need to make sure it is uploaded to your google drive account before lunch tomorrow (Thurs., 10/26) is over. There are a few that will be gone for a few days and will likely be set back to where they look like they are brand new. This means all content will get erased. Please make sure you have a backup of all of your images before this happens.

2. There are SO MANY HOLES in the grade book. I count nearly 20 people in Art 2 that have at least part of the content you are responsible for missing in the gradebook. More than 20 Art 3's are in the same boat. Art 4's, there are 12 of you.

I shouldn't have to chase you for this work as it's your education here. I have been leaving ample comments in Canvas and I have been giving you face-to-face reminders as well. You need to make sure that you are responsible.
For ex., Art 2's, you simply cannot even begin your next assignment without the prep work ahead of time, and you are already a week late on this expectation (if you don't know what I refer to pls check the gradebook). Some others of you are multiple weeks late on other content. Just because it may be marked as complete/incomplete instead of being given points doesn't mean it isn't necessary. Every single item needs to be paid attention to. That is the need in order for you to attain success and even pass the class, so do the right thing and don't make me keep reminding you. 

I need everyone to take the time to go through and check the different assignments in the gradebook and make sure you are up to date. Please.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Daily Sketchbook 10/24

First, watercolors.
Second, mix up a bevy of monochromatic colors in your palette.
Third, make sure they are not very dark (so add a decent amount of water).
Fourth, with your big brush, create a regular series of brush strokes (each one separate from the other(s)) across a single or double page spread.

Make sure to cover the entire space.

Do not put this on top of something else, and please do not draw on top of this until you are asked. This is a precursor to another activity later - which is why we don't want it to be that dark.

Fifth, if you have questions because you don't feel like the directions are clear, please ask.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Will You Take the Time...

I randomly found THIS VIDEO titled "Quit Social Media" on YouTube, and while I think the whole thing is interesting, if you want to cut some out, try starting at around the 7:30 mark. That should give you the best nuggets.
I think his views are a little extreme, but I know there are studies that back up some of the claims he is making.
Warning: he isn't a super dynamic speaker, but he isn't terrible either.

There are also some really interesting things discussed in THIS Time Magazine article about smartphones. I think there is a pretty decent job of not laying blame for anything, but it does make me think...especially in light of other things I have tried to share recently.

I just wanted to pass this information along in case you thought it was interesting.

Actually, now that I type this, I think I would begin with the article and check out the video second.
But maybe not.

Per the Perspectives Ideation

I was thinking about your brainstorming for the "perspectives" topic from NUMU and then I was leafing through a book from the de Young (a great museum in the city if you've never been) and I saw the below painting from Aaron Douglas.

I'd never heard of him before, and I quite like this painting. I enjoy how the composition is dynamic in its use of scale and color, and then I noticed the shapes that radiate out from the seated figure. Those are cool.
This may not be the ideal way for you to show off your painting skills for a large project like this since there is, essentially, no modeling of form, but the idea works quite well. Especially if you take the time to read the snippet from the book you'll see how there is a lot more going on in this image than meets the eye.

On p. 95, the following is said about the above piece (titled, Aspiration)
"During the 1920's, African Americans created a thriving culture of jazz, theater, literature, and visual art in New York/s Harlem district. Known as the Harlem Renaissance, this artistic explosion fostered a cultural community of people who set about celebrating the opportunities of modern urban life in a language that drew inspiration from their common heritages as people of African descent. Aspiration is one section of a four-part mural cycle that Douglas created for "Hall of Negro Life" at the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition in Dallas. The cycle reflects the optimism among African Americans that lingered well after the halcyon days of the Harlem Renaissance. In this mural Douglas organizes his visual image of African heritage according to a highly rationalized, didactic scheme: the shackled hands reach up in a gesture that links them with the experience of slavery, while the monumental figures represent the transformation from forced labor to a community of modern workers inspired by leaders trained in literature, science, and engineering, as symbolized by the book, beaker, globe, and compass and right angle. As a further celebration of African heritage, Douglas uses and Egyptian inspired figure and the pictorial conventions of Egyptian representation, which combine frontal and profile images. In this way he unites the flattened, abstract language of avant-garde modernism with the visual vocabulary linked to ancient Egypt and, therefor, African origins."

I also like this image.
I want you to push how you think with your thumbnails and think about ideas and feelings and perceptions that you could convey. Even if you know you are doing a master oil copy, this is a good process to go through. Besides, it will help you think of ideas for Independent Practice and daily sketchbook pieces as we go through the year as well.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Re: Art 1 P & I work on 101/7

I wanted to share this so that my "intro" will be a little shorter tomorrow. First, before the nitty gritty, check out these two images I recently saw on Instagram. So fantastic. I'm sharing to show how something so simple looking can be so interesting. I really want you to zoom in on those and check out the hatch work - which I will demo this week. Pretty amazing stuff.

I also want to give you an option. If you have looked at the student examples that are online or that I had in class last week, you'll see that we are going to draw an object from observation. We will be executing this object three times using one technique at at time while using three separate techniques. I have a variety of objects for you to select from in class that I know work really well for this project. 
However, you have the option of bringing in something of your own. If you choose to do this there are a couple of requirements. It can't be too big, and it must be here every day that we are working on this project. If you have any questions please feel free to ask.
Bringing your own "thing" to draw isn't a requirement, I just like to give it so that you might find it easier to "connect" with the project itself. I have plenty of objects to choose from so don't worry about it if you don't want.
I do retain the right to veto an object. If I do this, please don't beg for an explanation as to why. I've seen some objects that look like they should be just fine turn out to be incredibly difficult and disastrous. I don't want that to happen to you.

What should happen on Tuesday in class?
  • continue working on your stipple value scale and sphere if they are not already finished
  • has yours gotten a little sloppy and/or should you have a do-over? (I have more worksheets if the answer is yes)
  • get a piece of printer paper from my desk to draw your object (it should be large-ish, but use the guides/examples in class to judge the approx size - remember that you have to fit three of it on the final piece of paper)
  • watch the hatch demo - I'll probably do this in 2 parts
  • begin working on your hatch value scale and sphere - practice on scratch paper first since you can't erase ink!
  • begin drawing out your chosen object in pencil on your printer paper - pay attention to all the stuff we've talked about all year like proportions and shapes and symmetry and ellipses, etc., etc.
  • work on sketchbook if there is time
What is due this week?
  • Ch 2 sketchbook check is Thurs.
  • finished value scales and spheres for hatch and stipple (the worksheet)
  • finished shape drawing of your chosen object

Let me know if you have any questions. I'm excited to see you tomorrow!
Note, other than reading this, you really don't "need" to do anything for tomorrow. I'm just trying to be open and give you options. Don't stress. No worries!

Daily Sketchbook 10/16 (and for 10/18)

Here is a two parter for you. Mostly to reinforce that you can build something quite interesting from small chunks of time, as small chunks gradually build up to something much more significant and complex.
Use the below image to create a portrait that is intermingling with nature.
It can be a straight copy of the below image, or you could utilize a different piece of plant, or you could use a different portrait (maybe yourself?!).
Note the media - ball point pen. You can do this, or not. It's up to you.
You might sketch out in pencil one day and add ink/shading the next, or you might go straight to ink and get it as close as possible.
Remember - esp if you are going straight to ink, it isn't about getting as much done in one sitting as possible, but paying attention to the character of the work that you are doing.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Regarding your Chopped project

Hey all you wonderful Art 3's.
I have not "graded" your chopped project, and we will do some assessing/commenting in class before I do as such, but I did want to make a few comments after looking through the ones I received today.

First, some of you still don't have the control over your watercolor that would be most ideal. I know some of you feel the struggle with this medium, and because of that you avoid it. Ugh. You WILL NOT GET BETTER if you don't allow yourself to struggle with it, and then put in the continued and thoughtful time to do something in a different way.
Second, white. Very very few of you retained white paper for bright highlights in your pieces. I don't know how many times I have reiterated the need for contrast and value variety over the years, but I know it has been A LOT. If you look AT THESE paintings you'll see what I mean. Nothing about those pieces is special, but her use of white space makes all the difference.
Third, ink. It's hard to have too much stipple, and most of you didn't go far enough with that small pen. The same can be said for hatch. Now with that said, some of them have great uses of ink in some places, but taken as a whole I think there could be more.

You have some really fun ideas, but some more time would be beneficial. Are you willing to come in and add additional work to yours?

Daily Sketchbook 10/12

I'm taking today's challenge from a version of p. 88 of Tanner Christensen's book, The Creativity Challenge.

Your Challenge:
Spend up to 13 minutes thinking about why clocks look the way they do and drawing your best alternative to modern-day clocks.

Upload your sketch(es) when finished.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Daily Sketchbook 10/10

AOTM time.
Join me at my desk for all the goodness you know you are excited for.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Regarding your oil concepts

I know I was really frustrated after class on Monday, and I hope you understand where that frustration comes from. I know I am asking for a lot of ideas, but you all have ideas, and sometimes you are just overthinking it all. Sometimes, I'm telling you, you just need to get it out. You just need to be ok with sketching out what you know isn't good enough, because that's part of the process of getting to what IS good enough.

I was also disappointed today that there were a few less than complete larger sketches of your idea. Additionally, beginning your explanation with an excuse is not ideal. That is a good life lesson - and one I have to admit that I also do at times, but try my best not to.

However, I will say that although I am exhausted, I am ending the day feeling that there are some really good and interesting directions I feel some of you are ready to head in the direction of.
At some point along the way you will all get a little lost, and that isn't just expected, but wanted. Not knowing is uncomfortable, but healthy. You learn so much by getting there and subsequently having to find yourself back on the path of intention.

I am asking more of you in terms of intentional content and composition, yes. I am asking more of you in terms of color use and paint handling as well. I am just plain asking more of you. You are in a higher level of Art and need to be willing to stretch your abilities and willingness. Being ok with the level you were at even one year ago won't be enough to pay the bills - if you catch my drift.

You are all so very talented, I just want your focus and potential to be effectively directed for the best product possible. Thank you for your attention today (though some of you could have been more active listeners) and willingness to at least pretend like you were ok with taking questions and ideas that are all directed towards improving your product.

Have a great extended weekend. Have that canvas ready to go next week!


Daily Sketchbook 10/4

FIRST, before anything else, upload your independent practice drawing from procreate now as after our daily sketchbook the ipads will be going down to the digi photo class for the day.*

If your are an Art 4:
As I said in a message to you, many of you did not get me your thumbnail ideas on time during Monday's class. Instead of the previously set up d.s. topic that the Art 3's are doing I want you to do the following:
On the next available page in your sketchbook begin drawing out a more full version of what you want to do for your painting. We will be sharing these ideas out with others after the d.s. today. It doesn't need to be highly detailed, but it needs to be specific enough that we know what is going on.
Since you have more room with one image for the page vs 4 thumbnails on the one page, we should have a much better idea of your composition, foreground and background, proportions of objects, etc.

If you are an Art 3:
With a pen, draw a plant. Use only lines. No shading. From memory and/or imagination. You'll need to simplify. Do not look anything up online. Do not look at photo references of any kind. Draw until I ask you to stop. Style and quantity are up to you. Get started right away. Don't think too much. Please do not talk to your neighbors while you focus on this activity.

*if you are an Art 3 and doing your project for Chopped on the ipad please come see me

Monday, October 2, 2017

Daily Sketchbook 10/2

A wee bit o' art history time.

First, go to THIS PAGE in Safari.
You'll be able to listen to The Lonely Palette podcast about JMW Turner's painting, The Slave Ship there. You could, alternatively, pull up that podcast in the podcast app on your ipad and listen to it there. Maybe even subscribe from your ipad (hint hint).

While you are listening, sketch out the below painting in your sketchbook or in procreate. Feel free to use any color you want, but sketch up until the episode is over, but when all the extraneous talking and ad type things begin a few minutes before the end is when you can begin photographing/exporting and uploading your image.

Additionally, on your own time, you might find THIS interesting.

Sunday, October 1, 2017


I was listening to a podcast while doing some yard work this afternoon and had the following rough thoughts that I wanted to share.
What was the podcast? The Lonely Palette. If you don't know about it, it's pretty interesting, but I'll be introducing it at some point later, too.

They were talking about post-impressionism (you know, van gogh, cezanne, gaugin, etc.) and van Gogh specifically in this episode, but I was thinking about the Perspectives theme that the NUMU has put out there for this year. I don't know if the below will help, but it might. If it doesn't make sense, that's ok, I just ran in the studio and jotted these things down.

What does it mean to be you?
     -showing your truth?
     -showing your struggles?
     -showing your vulnerability?
          as in, your perspective on who you are or where you are in this time and place; how different that is from even my generation; the things you feel hoisted upon you; the stresses you feel...

What does it feel like to be you?

Doesn't have to be a painting
     a chronology of your day
     a chronology of your experiences
     small ink drawings
     tied or sewn together as an installation or acordian book
     30 days
     17 days - or just one drawing for every year you have been alive

What about small studies of everyday things (or routines - check out some of Hadley's ideas in this slightly related vein).
Documenting that which goes unnoticed. A grid of pieces.
Maybe the pieces tell a story. Maybe they don't.

Maybe it is a series of studies of the classrooms you are in this year. Maybe you have text included (layered underneath is a fav of mine) that is made up of thoughts you have as you go through that class. Maybe it is a collection of thoughts of how your peers feel about that class. Maybe you "interview" them and ask what it is they think about while in that class while they daydream.

Anyway, that's how my brain works. I can see some of those ideas being interesting things to explore for the NUMU show, a portfolio, or just because (at least to me) they are interesting ideas.
But that's just me.
Take them if you like them, leave them if you don't.