My initial observation at the very start of the class today, was that the students seemed more relaxed waiting to hear instruction.
The class started by getting instruction to move the classroom around the create two separate work stations. Each station, so to speak, has a table in the center of the room and then students circle the center table, with there easel or chosen work surface.
The Professor instructs the students to get paper and charcoal, pencils and erasers, out and ready for use. It is important that they have soft materials and different types and shapes of charcoal and pencil. The students need to be able to use the side of their chosen drawing tool, as well as a pointed tool.
Once the students are set up, which was about 15 minutes, WARM UP begins. The professors, re-briefs the students on techniques used in the first class. She instructs them to make marks from darkest dark to the lightest light in one single motion. To do this it is all about pressure. It is utilizing the brain and optics.
This exercise involved the switching of charcoal to pencil, right hand to left hand.
At this point in the class, most students WILL NOT, use the whole page for mark-making.
"BE THE DUCK THAT LANDS ON THE SURFACE OF THE WATER"......this is to help them VISUALIZE making a continuous line that transitions to dark to light.
The professor wants to work on confusing the muscle memory that we have, by switching hands, moving from dark to light, light to dark and moving your hand in all directions. Make curvilinear marks, with an organic tempo.
Once the students warmed-up, a discussion on ATMOSPHERIC PERSPECTIVE , and PICTORIAL DEPTH was initiated. Words such as SALIENT (what come forward) and RECESSIVE (what move backwards) are discussed in depth. These are the important aspects of drawing techniques that will be used and practiced to achieve to create good drawings.
Music is flowing at this point during the class. There is an aliveness that is happening with in the students. They are discussing their knowledge, laughing and some struggling...
Now the class moves into 4 short drawing sessions that last about 4 minutes each. One object is placed in the center of each work station table. The students have 4 minutes to use the techniques discussed to create a drawing with atmospheric perspective.
Most students in the beginning of this exercise do not ground the object, because they are focused on trying to draw the object only. But I would say that over half the class got the grounding part down.
"ALLOW THE PAPER TO SINK INTO THE FIGURE"....."THE PAGE IS LIKE OXYGEN"
The class was ended with the students displaying their favorite drawing from the day. There was discussion on how an edge is where 2 values meet and pointed out drawings that had this quality, also most all the drawings had characteristics of the object. The students are quite good drawers at this point.
The professor took a few minutes to ask each student to tell everyone to share something that they are good at other that art. A lot of cooks are in the class....which makes me think we will have a potluck possibly at the end of the semester! :-)
Today, the class was so fun. I found myself interacting and participating with the professor and the students. I was smiling ear to ear when the students were creating drawings with FREEDOM and a looseness. Their whole arms were moving! The professor and I drew for one session too. We all had a great time today!
A final reminder of the assignment "ON STAGE" is due on Thursday. Anything goes with material and subject matter. I am looking forward to seeing the students projects!
I have just begun my journey in the Masters of Fine Art Program at The University of Montana. I am currently "Shadowing" an art professor in her class to observe and learn what being a professor all about. As part of this process I have created this blog to document what I am learning.