Essential Art Vocabulary

International Women's Day - Annie's story, art pioneer (subtitled video)

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Week 4: portraits, group portraits, landscapes and rock music

Tonight we worked on a range of projects including single portraits, group portrait work and some Vallotton landscape studies. Early days for the work but all are in a good place in the process to make good progress over the coming weeks. Big apologies to Ella for omitting her fabulous drawing - will add this next week!

Andy: so much stronger as a painting to see the background fully painted and the more carefully painted lettering. Try to add some tone areas on the face to make it more solid and interesting on the eye.
Caroline: a strong start to your Vallotton study. Good ground colour layers. Now look with extra scrutiny and thought on what colours to use to blend in the next layers. Think about blending technique - we will look at this together next time you are in so you know how to proceed in pastels.
Claire: Good start with applying the ground colours and very good under-drawing of the main shapes. Look again at all of the shapes the Vallotton painting you are studying and draw them in again to ensure you understand them. Then continue adding ground colours within these shape until all the white paper is covered. We will look at how to add the next layers of colour and blending techniques together next session so you know how to proceed. 
Dorothy: a very good "freehand" study of a complex group image. Just do a bit of measuring to make sure you have understood the proportions of the figures especially the legs which you rightly thought needed a second look. Then either draw this freehand again on larger scale or grid this study onto an A3 sheet. 
Graeme: this is developing really well with increasing sense of solidity and more consistent interest across the whole sheet. Look to completely paint out the white paper so all we see is paint and colour. 
Jeff: a challenging group image choice but loads of potential to enjoy it - a strong start with the main character. Think about how to contrast this figure with the others when you add them. The sfumato technique will certainly help.
Rebecca: very good start with all areas of the paper now covered with the ground colour. Good to see you have identified the main shapes in your initial underdrawing showing you understand the design. You're in a good position to now start adding the second layers of colour. We will look at this together next session so you know how to proceed. 
Yvonne: a lovely sense of the closeness and quietness of the moment in your drawing study. Work up more studies to help you build up your understanding of what makes this image work and to refine your decisions on choices of line, shape and tone. Use some measuring from time to time to help support the "realness" of the drawn figures.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Week 3: Portraits looking interesting!

Very good progress made tonight by everyone and in very individual ways. Here is the latest instalment from everyone's work.

Andy: Great to see you continuing your long term ideas. Be brave and add different shapes on the face where the skin is darker/lighter. It is well worth taking this much further with a full background colour and more style on the lettering. 
Dorothy: lovely tone work and great variety of technique (contrast the linear work on the hair with the tone work on the jacket). I would continue adding more variety line weight around the eyes, nose and mouth to finish this off.
Ella: such well observed detail and lovey sensitive use of line weight which is actually helped by your use of the H grade pencil :-) Keep adding variable line weights around parts of the eyes, nose and wrinkles. Move slowly out from the eyes and nose to do the rest of the face and hair.
Graeme: Good to see you still enjoying your long term goal (complementing Andy's). Great to see the blue background and textures. Keep developing the background and the motifs around the central figure. 
Jeff: this is turning into a really interesting portrait. Increase the amount lines and vary the weight of each line to add depth and texture to the beard and hair. You just need to make the beard seem more dense and much darker. 
Rebecca: such a well observed and sensitive study. Keep going like this and you will create a great portrait.  Work you way out from the centre of the face slowly. I like the way you gently map the shapes e.g. the shadow under the eyebrows, before adding line and darker tones. Keep it up!
Yvonne: such a wonderfully "fulsome" range of tones. This guy feels real and solid. That is due to your depth of tone and contrast of values, dark to light. Continue adding lines to the beard and vary the weight and shape/direction of those lines as much as you can. 

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Week Two: Portrait drawing

Great progress being made in the group already. From beginners to more experienced learners, everyone is showing strong observational "moments" in their drawings even at this early stage which we will discuss in our next session.

Now is good time to "read" your drawing and check some measurements to ensure proportions are okay.  Plus it's a chance to look again at your use of line e.g. on the hair/beard and your use of tone e.g. on the flesh, jacket and background. How did you shade? Was it a precise hatching or a more informal sketchy line?

There is no wrong or right, it is more about you making deliberate decisions about technique you want to use, how much atmosphere or feeling you want to evoke using tone/shading and your contrast values (the levels of tone from dark, middle and up to lightest).


Thursday, 27 September 2018

NEW TERM! Portraits, group portraits and free choice projects

We started our new term last week with a look at drawing portraits using line and tone, reading our pictures and measuring for proportion.

This term we are having a go at portrait drawing, different styles, how to see better through careful measuring, how to use line to get the shapes right and tone to create the depth we need to turn a share into a 3D (implied) form. Watch the two short videos, look to the top right of this post, on LINE and FORM as two of the seven essential elements of art.

This is to be followed by a go at group portraits or trying something a not different if we have had enough of portraits!

The final four weeks will be for paintings of people's own choice.

Pictures will be posted to this blog after week two.

Here is the "model" we used in session one:

Thursday, 12 July 2018

How Art Made Mexico

A fabulous series well worth a watch. Click the image below to go to the BBC website page to access the programmes and more information on how art has made Mexico what it is today.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Week 11: Final week of term - superb progress!

Well, today was our 11th and last class of the term/year. We return on September 19th 2018. A great final class and term - so much to enjoy! Including someones marvellous baking - yum yum.

Have a lovely summer all and see you in September.

Andy and Graeme's joint project in its full glory! 
Graeme and Andy