Charcoal Drawing

We start our exploration of Charcoal pencils and sticks tomorrow in class. Bring your set of charcoal pencils, plus erasers and sandpaper to class. Tuesday is a do not miss class as I will demonstrate with the new drawing materials and talk about how cool this medium can be. It is a messy material, so dress down or bring an old shirt or apron to class.

Check out these samples for inspiration.



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Mid Terms Grades posted

I currently have 21 students in Drawing I. Of those 21 students, I had 12 in attendance on Tuesday for a major mid-term critique on two important projects from the first half of the semester. This is unacceptable.

I’ve posted your mid-term grades online. Due to the results from the critiqued work on the board, some of you have improved your grades (great); some of you have lowered your grades (go online to see your final mid-term grade). On Tuesday, I handed out your mid-term evaluation sheets, which is an explanation of where your strengths lie in Drawing I and where your weaknesses are. There is a high degree of talent in class this semester. But as I explained on day one and in the syllabus, I grade on: focus, effort and progress. The attendance is so poor for many of you, focus and progress are sorely lacking. To all my A and B students, congratulations; you need not read any further………………..

Drawing I is a three-hour lab class meant to be used for concentrated effort in learning a skill that is new to you. Missing these 6 hours per week of discussion, demonstration, and drawing time has impeded many of you from succeeding up until this point. April 2o, at noon, is your final drop date for all NCC classes. Please keep this in mind if you find that your personal schedule will not allow you to succeed in class. On the other hand, this is called mid-term because we are half way into the course of study; so you have the second half of the semester to kick “it” in gear and do much better from this day forward. Many of you must improve or your GPA will suffer or you may fail Drawing I. Should you wish to discuss your grade further, email me and we can set up a time to talk.

Start by turning in your homework that is past due. Catch up as fast as you can: Sketchbook, Fine Marker Drawing, and the Essay are all past due. The essay and the marker drawing is deducted -5 with each week that they are late.

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Back to business. Tues. March 24

In class on Tuesday, we will finish the gray-scale value study. Be prepared to work hard in class. On Thursday, we will critique the Fine Marker Black and White drawings, the Gray Scale value study and as per every Thursday, your sketchbooks are due.

Spring reminds me of a favorite illustrator I love. Charlie Harper was such a designer, colorist and imaginative illustrator. He is worth a look up.

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March 12. Agenda

IMG_0342We return to the three-session gray scale study on March 12 and March 24. This is a large drawing on your Strathmore paper illustrating 4 shades of the gray scale: black, white, and two medium grays. It is also a study of a more complex compositional arrangement.

  • Continue with your sketchbook pages, due each week on Thursdays.
  • Essay-with each week the essay project is past due, your grade is deducted a half of a grade.


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Snow Day. Thursday March 5

What a winter. Bring it on Mother Nature!

Next week we will start a multi-session graphite drawing, learning to recognize varied values of the gray-scale; we will be working with a large still life setup. Remember to bring your good papers into class; we will be using the Strathmore paper for this large in-class work.
Within that framework, I will discuss: shading, positive/negative observation, composition dynamics, perspective, and contour verses dimensional drawing.

Save your sketchbook pages until next Thursday and add the two new pages to your books.

Mid-term grades are due any day now, but, are postponed due to so many classes being canceled/snow. I will work on these very soon. Mid-term evaluations will not remain on your permanent record but they do give you a good idea of your strengths and weaknesses in the course so far.

Reminder: Your Essays are due on March 10th. See you Tuesday;
Next week is supposed to be warmer. We deserve it.


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Join me: carpool to exhibits

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I hope to drive to Westport after class on Tuesday, March 3; I plan to see the exhibit Coney Island, Slide Show. Contact me if you would like to come along with me. This would be a good show to write about for your essay project. But it is also a good show to visit for art reasons alone. I have room in my car for four.

On Thursday, March 5, after class, I hope to drive to the Center for Contemporary Print Making, to see the exhibit, Kindred. Contact me if you would like to come along with me. This would be a good show to write about for your essay project. But it is also a good show to visit for art reasons alone. I have room in my car for four.

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On Thursday, at CCP, this special day includes the following:

The Center for Contemporary Printmaking invites you and your friends to visit us on Thursday, March 5, 2015, between 10am and 5pm, to share in Fairfield County’s Community Foundation Giving Day. On that day, CCP has numerous events and activities planned:
10am – 10:30am: Croissants and Coffee Meet and Greet
10:30am – 12:30pm: Etching Demonstrations
12:30pm – 1:30pm: Luncheon Snacks
1:30pm – 3pm: Letterpress Demonstration with Artist-in-Residence Eckhard Froeschlin
3pm – 4pm: Artist Talk and Portfolio Presentation with Eckhard Froeschlin
Come to the Center to experience the many printmaking activities available to our member artists. A designated kiosk will be set up for your convenience so that donations can be made while you enjoy croissants and coffee in the morning and snacks throughout the day. If you are unable to come in person, there will be a dedicated webpage for you to donate at your studio, office or home. If you would like to donate but are unable to join us, click here to make a donation during Giving Day.

This one-day, regional effort harnesses the collective power of individuals, friends, families, businesses, employee groups, school groups, and others to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in giving to non-profits.

Created by Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, and sponsored by Bank of America, Giving Day inspires and empowers our region to raise as much money as possible for local nonprofit organizations in just 24 hours. Giving Day invites those who love Fairfield County to come together and make an incredibly powerful, collective impact by supporting local nonprofits on March 5, 2015.

The minimum donation is $10 and there is no maximum. Matching funds and prize money will be made available to amplify charitable donations, excite nonprofits and donors to participate, and keep momentum going throughout the day. Whether you give $10 or $100, your donation will make a difference!

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Homework III-Assigned

I announced in class today that I think the Fine Point Marker drawings would make a great Homework III Assignment. You have had a good three session start in class to the drawing already. And many of you have interesting work developing but need just a little more time to complete the piece. At this point take your work home and finish these. Due date for Marker Drawing/Homework III is March 26.

Remember that at this point you can research reference to add detail to your drawings. Possible ideas might be: wallpaper designs, fabric patterns, and any repeated objects or patterns (bugs, flowers, guns, fish, toads, city scape, trees, etc.) that will enhance your final project. This is an option if it fits your work and carries your idea or theme forward. You have accomplished working from observation and are now allowed to add to your observation drawing, elements  from photo reference materials. Key to a successful blending of this new material would be that you draw the reference patterns-do not trace from or over your reference (that would appear odd as if you had two different drawing styles in one work of art).

Research © Jeremy Fish for inspiration.Used for educational purposes only.



We start fresh with large-scale color pencil sketching next week. Theme: Peeps-the glorification, alteration, and arrangement of colorful marsh mellow candies employing the exaggeration of scale in a drawing. The collaboration is to be a hall assemblage.



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