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Pat Dooley 2

We studied Blind line contour.

Tina Rutledge 3

We studied drawing in one continuous line as though we were feeling the edges of the form with the point of our pencil.

Tina Rutledge

We practiced drawing cross contours to describe form.

Sheila Kiester

We learned to see and use negative space; the space and shapes around a form.

Edmond Strange 3

We learned about and practiced perspective and how to use our pencils to measure distance and determine angles.

Sheila Kiester 3 Cloud Study

We talked about different marks we could make to describe values and form.

Lauren Pena

We practiced value studies from photographs and

Mary Ann Roach 2

Jeanne Franke

value studiesย we drew from still lifes illuminated by a light source.

Last night we finished the above class in beginning drawing. You can view the above drawings and more by visiting the Student Art 1 Page here. Thank you to all those who participated in this class!


  1. Always a pleasure to peek in at the results of your talented students, Leslie. Man! These are beginners? Are you running classes for folks who want to be masters in a year or so?

    • Amy, you are awesome! My students are going to jump for joy over your comment! ๐Ÿ™‚ They had a very difficult time accepting their drawings and always wanted them to look better. They worked HARD! Someday, I am going to convince students in a beginning drawing class that art is not always about perfection but an experience in seeing, recording,creating and expressing. Thank you for this comment!

  2. I remember doing all of those same exercises when I took Drawing at the university. I always enjoy seeing the blind contour drawings. Lovely work from your students!

    • Blind line drawing was my first introduction into what thrills me as an artist. I had always relied on my eyes and the thinking left side of my brain to draw. Blind drawing and continuopus line drawing frees me and helps me to be intimate with what I am trying to create. I, like you, love blind drawings. Thank you!

  3. Great drawings. Thanks for sharing the experience.

    And I take note of your comment: art is not always about perfection but an experience in seeing, recording, creating and expressing. Perfect!

    Thanks again.

    • Thank you, Nuno. It took me a long time to realise that art is not really about perfection. I don’t know why because I could appreciate all forms of art once I learned what it was the artist was doing as he or she created. Our society is too geared to being the best as compared to others instead of appreciating the best of who we are as an individual, at any given moment, with our current skill level in our journey to create. There is no bad art, just art.

  4. I always love seeing your students’ work. They really are very talented. And I’m sure you are an excellent teacher!

    • You are so kind to say that. I think back on the joy of watching these students progress. I am very lucky to be able to share enough of what I enjoy to help others start their journey. Thank you, Carol.

  5. I am so impressed with all you are teaching. I never had formal art training, but I was taught by a friend to contour draw. It totally freed me to enjoy my art. I notice that this is the first thing you posted. I don’t know if this was in sequence, but it would definitely play a difference on all drawing to come. Nice to see this work.

    • Hi Gretchen,
      Yes. This is the sequence I teach. I feel very strongly that what we draw should be felt as well as seen so normal progression seems to me to be feeling the form, seeing the shapes beyond, putting what we draw into perspective, learning the marks we can use to render value and then begin to see the lights and darks of things. The only thing I would like to include that I don’t is gesture drawing. I have tried it but 6 weeks is way too short to include that in this class. Thank you for this observation. Blind line drawing was my key to feeling when I took beginning drawing. It opened doors for me.

  6. Awesome student work! Not everyone who is a master at something can teach it. You are talented at both!

    • I was very fortunate to have excellent teachers in education in college. I would not trade my theory classes and philosophy of education exposure for any other classes I took. I am ever mindful that teaching is more sharing and inspiring than hammering in the dos and don’ts.
      Thank you for this comment to these artists’ drawings, Anne! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. A wonderful beginning… Do especially love the horse though..

    • ๐Ÿ™‚ I remember your post about the horses walking up the walkway of where you were staying on vacation. Gotta love a horse! Thank you, Brian.

  8. Your students are all supremely talented! It is not fair!!! I never show drawings from my first class to anyone: there is a reason for that :lol:!

    • I have to smile at your comment, Alex. ๐Ÿ™‚ I share my first drawings with my students so they see where I started years ago. Everyone has their own idea of where they want to go with what they are learning. I think these students did a great job and they wanted BETTER! But, that is what keeps us going, I think. Once we reach perfection and draw that end-all picture or paint that masterpiece, would the endeavor be half as fulfilling afterwards? I don’t know the answer to that one as I have not had an “end-all”, as yet. There’s always more! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you!

  9. It is lovely to see such a varied collection, interesting to watch the different brain approaches Leslie.. lucky them, to sit in your class! Tell Jeanne that I loved her bottle collection a little extra!

    • That bottle collection just glows, doesn’t it? I would love to see that one in paint! Thank you, Padmaja!

  10. Those students are showing a lot of potential and I am sure by the time you’re done with them they will be pretty good. Wish I was a student. Have a good one and I hope to see your art next ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I did get a chance to paint this week, Alonso. I will post it, soon. Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Ras Alonso
        • Posted March 3, 2012 at 1:25 pm
        • Permalink

        Can’t wait to see it and you’re welcome ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I remember doing all these exercises when I took drawing. In that class I went from stick figures to being able to draw something I felt good enough about to hang on my wall.

    • ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for saying this, Bongo! Sometimes my students don’t see their own achievements until they pull out these drawings weeks later and look at them from start to finish.

  12. Whoo hoo! New work! I love the start of new artistic journeys! Everyone seems to have a handle on graphite. I’m excited to see everything in the future. Thanks for posting.

  13. wow! Wonderful work from your students. They’re off to a good start. I particularly like the cloud study – great energy.
    Thanks for showing off their work, Leslie. It’s enjoyable to see.

    • Thank you, Nanina. I thought the same thing about the energy of the cloud study. I was so pleased that one of my students took that step into making marks that actually expressed energy and movement. It took me a long time to learn that I had that kind of expression at my fingertips.

  14. Brings me back to my beginning drawing days and the fun of learning how to see!

    • I’m smiling because this is exactly what my first drawing instructor said to me. That she was going to teach us how to “see”. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think we learn to see more every we time we sit down to create. Thank you, Al.

  15. Wow Leslie! This post is a class unto itself! Thanks for all the ideas and for reminding me about things I should be doing. I get lazy and take shortcuts I guess!

    • I’ll bet you use all these skills everytime you sit down to create, Linda. I think they become second nature but it never hurts to brush up our drawing skills, like you say. Thank you!

  16. Love these exercises and then it’s amazing to see how people improve over time. Wonderful. Thank you for posting.

  17. Wow, your students are really working well! Wish I lived closer so I could come to your classes and bother, ahem, I mean learn much from you. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • You could always bring the manikin, each week, dressed in a different outfit. We could warm up by drawing him. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you, Virginia.

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