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I just finished teaching a six week class of beginning drawing. I have posted a selection of drawings on a page that you can reach by clicking here. Thank you to all the students who contributed their work to this post and the attached page.

Here is a description of some of the things we worked on in this class:

Andrea Ritter

Andrea Ritter

We worked on blind continuous line and looking continuous line drawings. The students were asked to feel the form of what they were drawing. We did this with hands and apples and self portraits and they practiced with other objects they found around their home for homework. We discussed and practiced cross contours, not just the outlines of things we were studying.

Rose Clair

Rose Clair

We studied negative space and drew the shapes we viewed between the legs and supports of a stool in order to find the positive shape of that stool. Drawing the shapes between the edges of the leaves of plants and slats on a chair are good for practice seeing negative space and shapes.

Andrea Ritter2

Andrea Ritter2

Donald Cooper4

Donald Cooper4

We learned to measure shapes and to determine angles with our pencils and how to translate them onto our page. Everyone practiced this skill by drawing an interior room. We learned that objects overlap in space and get smaller when distant. We learned that objects became blurry and less clear in the distance and that all these things enhanced depth in a drawing. This helped us to get our drawings into perspective and to become more believable.

Rose Clair3

Rose Clair3

On the 4th week we began to study value. We, first, studied the different ways we could shade and make marks; side of pencil, pointillism, crosshatching, squiggles and lines rendered side by side.

We used photos of strips of eyes to practice shading in the value shapes in medium and dark tones, leaving the white of the paper for our lights.

Susie Covitt3

Susie Covitt3

We also cut a colored photo into strips and studied the value changes in color by translating the shapes of values we saw into graphite.

Susie Covitt4

Susie Covitt4

We practiced drawing and shading clear glass objects from life. Note how this artist used different pencil marks to indicate the contours of the bottles.

Dianna Chad3

Dianna Chad3

We practiced drawing and shading a self portrait as viewed in a mirror. We all remarked about the “self portrait stares” we were getting. 🙂

Donald Cooper

Donald Cooper

Andrea Ritter3

Andrea Ritter3

We learned to grid a photo and transform the format of the photo and the grid onto our drawing paper.

Dianna Chad4

Dianna Chad4

We used all the skills we had learned to draw a still life of a pile of boxes.

Viewers can enlarge any of the above drawings by just clicking on them.

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25 Comments

  1. These are really nice line drawings by your students. Your teaching skills is getting great results from your students.

  2. Great to see that all your students are working hard and the results look very good…. Good drawing practice before moving on to color…

  3. Impressive!

  4. very absorbing

  5. I think that most of us want to be able to draw. It’s such a helpful thing that you provide art instruction and that your students respond so well is a testimony to your skill as a teacher.

    • I agree with you on the drawing, Gretchen. Painting is really drawing, too. We have to be concerned about line and shape and value and perspective in all things we do. I think we always return to drawing because it seems to be the bare bones of recording what we see, don’t you think? Thank you for this comment.

      • Yes. For me both drawing and painting are similar except that the painting allows for less confinement…….less control in the case of watercolor and more possibilities.

  6. I can see you must be a fabulous teacher! These are wonderful!

    • You are too kind. I just provide them with possibilities and different ways to see and record that. They do all the hard stuff. Thank yu for this praise, Isabelle.

  7. Once again, a talented group of students. I love all of the work. And a talented teacher too!

  8. I’m especially impressed by the interiors. We could all benefit from these multiple explorations. (K)

    • …and that includes me as well! The interiors do help us to see just through perspective and concentrating on things we would not usually choose to draw, don’t you think? I am enjoying your self portraits! Thank you for this comment!

  9. Terrific class as usual. I could learn a lot from practicing these things. Sometimes it’s hard to choose what to work on!

    • Thank you for this, Cindy. Where are you? You have not posted in so long.

  10. You as a teacher never leaves a stone unturned, such interesting and variety of lessons. My mind went back to those days when I just began my art journey!

    • Wasn’t it fun to discover some of these things, Padmaja? It’s like a whole new world opened for me just when the instructor shared with me that drawing was really “seeing” and that it involved actually pretending as though I was touching the form with my pencil. Blind drawing opened so many doors that just continue to open and open just on that idea alone. Thank you, Padmaja.

  11. This post is a great reminder to return to the basics with drawing – or as I like to call, it ‘learning to see’. It is clear from these rather good drawings that if you have an expert teacher, (they do!) it is a learnable skill and definitedly improves with practise.


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