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Mary Smierciak3

Mary Smierciak3       Blind Line Contour

Lisa McGuffey3

Lisa McGuffey3  Blind Line Contour

Jerry Young

Jerry Young  Value Study

The above drawings are from my beginning drawing class that just finished up. Over a six week period, they worked their way through blind line contour, negative space, perspective, simple value studies and still life. They worked from both life and photo reference and learned how to use their pencils for measuring, a viewfinder for focus and a simple crosshair grid for perspective.  If you would like to view more of their drawings, click here.

David Hess

David Hess

Dianna Burt

Dianna Burt

The above paintings are examples of portraits painted in the six week watercolor portrait class that just finished up. They concentrated on facial features the first week and then worked their way through using a grid for obtaining a likeness, skin colors, color combinations, and compositon as it pertains to portraiture. The last night of class was devoted to painting a self portrait. If you would like to view more of their work click here.

Thankyou to all the students who have contributed their art to be viewed here.


  1. Never have seen blind contour drawings done as well as these! I’ll bet your students have a blast.

    • Hi Sherry. Most of these drawing students had some experiences, previously, in drawing. They wanted to learn more. I think one of the things that holds us all back from seeing and recording something in the way we want is how we approach the subject matter. I have always taught the idea of drawing a form as though you had your pencil scrolling over the surfaces of what you were seeing (continuous line drawing). It is best explained on “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”. Most students come to my classes and they are sketching a line, scratching the form out in little scratches at the paper. How much easier to imagine you are scrolling your pencil all over a form than trying to transform it across midair from eye to pencil point. I hope my students have a blast. Thank you for this comment.

  2. The David’s portrait looks very delicate, really good use of colors. All in all, great works!

    • David is our super realist in the group, Nuno. He works layer upon layer with very tiny brushes. Thank you for your comment.

  3. You must be proud of your students and, certainly, their instructor was doing a great job. These creations are wonderful Leslie.

    • You hit it on the nose, Gretchen. I am proud of these students. I don’t think it is so much me, not in the way of telling them “how to”. What I most enjoy about these classes is that they are all willing to come to the table with their skills, listen to ideas and then, without complaining, apply those ideas to what they create. Thank you, so much.

      • Perhaps you are an inspiration because of a non condesending nature. I see from your comments that you are open to their experience. It would provide energy for them to learn from you.

      • I hope that is the way it works in our classes. Thank you, Gretchen.

  4. Beginners? Amazing talent. The instructor must have something to do with it:)

    • No. The class was called Beginning Drawing. The students all came to it with prior skill. They usually say things like I want to brush up on my skills or I want to get back to drawing now that I have time. I have had students who have attended who are true beginners, but not so with this class. We began from the beginning though. The watercolor portrait group are not beginners. Many of them have been painting for years. I suggest reminders and we cover the basics of color, composition and improve our “seeing” skills. It is a group that continues to grow and share. Thank you so much for your comment!

      • Continueing to grow and share is the important part.

      • That is so true. Thankyou. 🙂

  5. Your students’ success is yours as well. And this post just shows how talented your students are and what a wonderful teacher you are.

    • Thank you, Carol. I am always so amazed at what these groups bring to class. They give it their all, each and every one an artist.

  6. I am enjoying looking at so many successful results. It’s interesting to see how each individual brings something of their own into the mix.

    • You nailed it, Al. These artists know who they are and they come to class with their own styles and take the assignments and come up with wonderful compositions. Thank you, so much.

  7. You are one amazing teacher Leslie, I have said it before and the students work reflect the fact! It is always a pleasure to enjoy their work when you share them.

    • Thankyou for saying this, Padmaja. I believe it is more to do with them. I try, very hard, to teach technique and try to encourage them to bring their own take to any subject manner. Each and every one of them really spend a lot of time brining their own voice to a subject.

  8. It is very interesting to see your student’s work. I love that you generously share your blog with them. Very good work.

  9. nice painting

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