Drawing Winter 2013

July 29, 2017 | Author: Fidelis Junior | Category: 9 1 1, Drawing, Spirituality, Fee, Paintings
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This cast drawing was executed by Sophia Panova, a part-time student at ARA since the age of 14. Originally from Kazakhstan, Sophia has always had a passion for art in all forms. During high school a teacher introduced her to ARA, where she discovered the discipline she needed to achieve her lifelong dream of being an architect. Having now completed her undergraduate degree, Sophia credits the school for providing the foundations and support she needed to help her along her career path. You can also learn to draw and paint beautiful, accurate, realistic artwork based on the teaching traditions of the Renaissance and the great academies of the 19th century. Our fine art training offers a step-by-step approach to mastering fine art skills. Whether you are a hobbyist, seeking a career in traditional drawing and painting, or a trained professional, this results-oriented system will help you achieve your ambitions and expand your skills. We offer flexible full-time and part-time programs with individualized instruction to suit your skill levels and schedules. You can choose from an ongoing weekday class schedule or join us for one of our workshops taught by our full-time instructors. Topics include portrait and figure sketching and painting, still life and landscape painting, red chalk drawing, and a variety of great artists’ techniques. At ARA, the results are always beyond your expectations. “I’ve been interested in art since I was a child, and tried all sorts of classes as I was growing up. When I was 14, ARA took me in as a part-time student. I was intimidated at first, but as soon as I had my first lesson with Fernando, it was so easy to understand. I quickly realized just how professional and well-designed a program it is. I hadn’t seen anything like it anywhere. ARA was an ideal way to build my technical skills, because architecture is also very precise, calculated, purposeful and delicate. What I learned at the studio has definitely played a part in my success throughout university. I can’t wait to come back.” —SOPHIA PANOVA

Academy of Realist Art Toronto: [email protected] 416-766-1280 | Boston: [email protected] 617-426-3006 | www.AcademyofRealistArt.com

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Étude: Fawns Leap— Catskills (detail) by Thomas Kegler, 2008, ink and gouache on toned paper, 9 x 12. Collection the artist.


Advice for Composing a Landscape: The Three Key Principles




Measuring the Figure Made Easy

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Colored Pencil: 3 Artists Discuss Their Materials and Techniques


Use Household Materials to Enhance Your Drawing


Surfaces That Make Your Drawings Pop 2 Drawing / Winter 2013

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contents feAtures 22

Choosing Color

A sponsored guide to colored pencils. 26

To Sketch and To Sculpt Don Gale creates sculptures and drawings that relish the possibilities for drama and movement inherent in the human figure. We sat down with the artist to talk about the role that drawing plays in his practice, how he captures the gesture of a model, and why quick poses are the essence of the artistic process.



Understanding the Anatomy of the Landscape by Austin r. williAms

Thanks to years of careful observation and diligent study, Thomas Kegler is able to create landscapes that are true to the laws of nature and honor his own vision. 42

the importance of drawing in an artist’s education. Their answers shed light on many of the ways that drawing can advance one’s practice. 50

Why We Draw

We asked several instructors at the American Academy of Art, in Chicago, to share their thoughts on


Pat Averill has worked with colored pencil for more than 20 years. Here, she shares some of the self-taught techniques that continue to invigorate her practice. 74


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Megan Seiter: Colored Pencils or Bust by nAomi ekperigin

In just three short years, this young artist has developed a signature style and passion for colored pencil that informs her process for creating emotive still lifes.

by jon DemArtin

4 Drawing / Winter 2013

Colored Pencil Demonstration: Combining Techniques for a Unified Drawing by gAry greene

Drawing Fundamentals: Measuring the Figure Using this easy technique, you can measure key proportions in the early stages of drawing and be sure you have an accurate foundation from which to work.

Work With Whatever Works by nAomi ekperigin

Curator’s Choice: 10 Masterpieces From The Crocker Art Museum In this new series, we ask leading art institutions to select some of the best drawings from their collections and discuss what artists today can learn from these masterworks. Here, we visit the Crocker Art Museum, in Sacramento, where William Breazeale, the museum’s curator of European art, chose 10 amazing drawings that take us from Mannerist Italy to the bohemian salons of 19thcentury France.




Cataloguing Imagination

Artists of all stripes are invited to submit to The Sketchbook Project’s library and touring exhibition. w w w. A r t is t D A ily.c om

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Contributors N aomi Ek pErigiN (“Work With Whatever Works” and “Megan Seiter: Colored Pencils or Bust”) is an associate editor of Drawing.

g a ry grEENE (“Colored Pencil Demonstration: Combining Techniques for a Unified Drawing”) is the

author of The Ultimate Guide to Colored Pencil, Creating Textures in Colored Pencil, and Creating Radiant Flowers in Colored Pencil, all from North Light Books (www.northlightshop.com). Gary has won numerous awards, including three Awards of Excellence from the Colored Pencil Society of America. He has conducted workshops, demonstrations, and lectured nationally and internationally since 1985. For more information, visit www.ggart.biz.

JoN dEm a r t iN (“Drawing Fundamentals: Measuring the Figure”) is a New York City artist whose work can be found in many private collections. He teaches life drawing at Studio Incamminati, in Philadelphia, and at Parsons The New School For Design and the Grand Central Academy of Art, both in New York City. DeMartin is a contributing artist at Hirschl & Adler Modern, in New York City, and John Pence Gallery, in San Francisco. He is featured in a new instructional DVD from American Artist about painting the grisaille. View his work at www.jondemartin.net. aus t iN r . W il l i a ms (“To Sketch and to Sculpt,” “Understanding the Anatomy of the Landscape,” “Sketchbook,” and “New & Notable”) is an associate editor of Drawing.

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The Many Uses of Graphite Through March 10

Indianapolis Museum of Art Indianapolis, Indiana (317) 923-1331 www.imamuseum.org

Diamond No. 2 by Karl Haendel, 2009, graphite on paper with MDF frame, 90 x 66. Courtesy the artist and Harris Lieberman Gallery, New York, New York.

12 Drawing / Winter 2013

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Experienced draftsmen know that graphite comes in many formats other than No. 2 pencils. It can be machined or carved; used as a powder, liquid, or in stick form. “Graphite,” a current exhibition at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), explores the diverse uses for the centuries-old medium in both traditional drawings and more contempoarary art forms. The exhibition examines the ways that the material itself is used formally and conceptually with a look at drawings, sculptures, and installations, created by 15 artists during the past decade. “By bringing together works that share only the basic similarity of the use of graphite, we hope to provoke a re-examination of topics like material choice and the experience of an object—ideas embedded in contemporary artistic practice but often taken for granted,” says Sarah Urist Green, IMA’s curator of contemporary art. “This exhibition seeks to create a conversation about the significance of medium at a time when the subject has been largely ignored.” w w w. A r t is t D A ily.c om

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Among the more than 50 works in the exhibition is Carl Andre’s Graphite Cube Sum of Numbers, which comprises 164 geometrically arranged units of machined graphite. In this company, Robert Longo’s recent miniatures paying tribute to the work of earlier artists appear almost classical. O PP OSITE PAG E Untitled (After Lichtenstein, Other artists represented WHAAM! , 1963) in the exhibition include by Robert Longo, 2008, graphite on Kim Jones, Dan Fischer, paper, 3 1⁄16 x 75⁄16 . Courtesy the artist and Metro Pictures Gallery, New and Karl Haendel. York, New York. A digital catalogue acB E LOW cessible via web browsGraphite Cube Sum of Numbers ers and e-readers—which by Carl Andre, 2006, graphite cubes, will include video and 4½ x 229½ x 40½. Image courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London, England. © audio elements—will be Carl Andre/Licensed by VAGA, available in early 2013. New York, NY.



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Drawing / Winter 2013 13

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Graphic Designers Take Center Stage in Philadelphia

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Double Portrait: Paula Scher anD Seymour chwaSt, GraPhic DeSiGnerS

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Through April 14

photo: peter mauss/esto

Philadelphia Museum of Art Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (215) 763-8100 www.philamuseum.org


above rig ht

Lucent Technologies Center for Art Education, New Jersey Performing Arts Center


by Paula Scher, 2001, paint.

14 Drawing / Winter 2013

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by Seymour Chwast, 2009, digital print, 35 x 23¾.

Paula Scher and Seymour Chwast’s influential illustrations and designs have graced record albums, books, magazine covers, and posters, and also include typefaces, logos, and other graphics. Both artists are members of the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame and recipients of the medal of the American Institute of Graphic Arts. In conjunction with their receipt of the 2012 Collab Design Excellence Award, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has mounted the exhibition “Double Portrait,” which marks the first time the husband-and-wife pair’s work will be shown together. w w w. A r t is t D A ily.c om

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Chwast studied at the Cooper Union, End Bad Breath in New York City, and co-founded by Seymour Chwast, 1967, Push Pin Studios in 1954 with class- offset lithograph, mates Milton Glaser and Edward Sorel. 37 x 24. The group broadened the boundaries of modern design, proving widely influential on a range of graphic styles. Chwast’s designs have been used in advertising, animated films, and editorial, corporate, and environmental graphics, and in publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Time. Scher began her professional career as an art director designing record covers for CBS and Atlantic Records, and she went on to develop an influential approach to typography. She has developed identity and branding systems, promotional materials, graphics, packaging, and other designs for a broad range of clients, including The Museum of Modern Art, the New York City Ballet, Citibank, Microsoft, and the Sundance Film Festival.

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Destitution on Paper


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Picturing Poverty: Artistic views of the Poor in the BAroque erA

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Beggar Seen From Behind by Jean-Pierre Norblin de la Gourdaine, 1787, etching and drypoint on Japan paper.

16 Drawing / Winter 2013

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During the 17 th century, artists in Europe began Minneapolis looking to everyday life Institute of Arts for their subjects, payMinneapolis, ing special attention to Minnesota the poor. The plight of (888) 642-2787 the impoverished came www.artsmia.org to the fore during the Thirty Years War (1618– 1648), which reduced broad swaths of Europe to subsistence living or starvation. As this exhibition demonstrates, many artists were able to find a sort of ragged dignity in the lower levels of society. They showed the poor in attitudes of industrious acceptance or stoicism, where a battered hat became a crown of virtue, a sign of resolute endurance of a miserable life. Such fortitude found adherents, especially in France with the Le Nain brothers, whose sympathies are evident in their works portraying poor farmers in all their deprivation and


resignation. A strong note of compassion also informed the work of Stefano della Bella and Rembrandt, whose portrayals of wretched humanity often took on a remarkably personal character. In other cases, an insistent attention to the decorative value of tattered and patched clothes, wrinkles, and sagging cheeks suggests a colder curiosity—a simple pleasure in the representation of the picturesque and a willingness to caricature misery.

Adoration of the Shepherds by Abraham Bloemaert, ca. 1566–1651, pen-andblack-ink, brown wash, and white and black chalk on laid paper.


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1/17/13 5:04 PM

Rembrandt and Co. rembrandt’s century January 26 through June 2 de Young Museum San Francisco, California (415) 750-3600 http://deyoung.famsf.org

This new exhibition at San Francisco’s de Young Museum comprises a wide range of artworks from many 17th-century artists, but the core of the show is a group of etchings by Rembrandt. Also included are works by contemporary European artists both famous—Wenceslaus

Hollar, Jusepe de Ribera—and forgotten. “Rembrandt’s Century” explores the artist’s predecessors and the impact of the master on followers in Holland and around Europe. The collection on display includes engravings, ink drawings, and watercolors, and focuses on the rich body of prints produced in the era. “Rembrandt’s Century” will complement the de Young’s concurrent exhibition of one of the world’s most recognizable paintings, Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring. The masterpiece is on loan to the museum while its permanent home at

the Mauritshuis, in the Hague, undergoes renovation and will be displayed alongside 34 other paintings from the collection of the esteemed Dutch museum. Both exhibitions reveal the shifting subject matter and techniques used by artists over the course of the 17th century, as secular subjects began to replace religious themes and portraitists turned their attention toward ordinary people. “The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are thrilled to have this rare opportunity to share these works from the Mauritshuis,” says Dr. Lynn Orr, the museums’ curator of European art. “The brilliant flowering of the Dutch school exemplified in these paintings was a unique achievement, and the works continue to intrigue and delight to this day.”

CloCk wis e from to p le f t

 Shell: Major Harp (harpa major) by Wenceslaus Hollar, ca. 1646, etching, 311⁄16 × 59⁄16 . All artwork this exhibition © Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; San Francisco, California. Village Romance by Adriaen Van Ostade, ca. 1652, etching, 6 3⁄16 × 47⁄8 . A Youth Singing attributed to the Candlelight Master, 1650, oil, 26½ x 19½. The Large Cat by Cornelis Visscher, 1657, engraving, 5 11⁄16 × 75⁄16 . Salt Flats at Le Croisic by Lambert Doomer, ca. 1671–1673, brown ink and brown and gray washes on ledger paper, 9 7⁄16 × 16 1⁄8 .

18 Drawing / Winter 2013

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Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando by Edgar Degas, 1879, black chalk with touches of pastel, 18½ x 12 5⁄8 . Courtesy Trustees of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham; Birmingham, England. All artwork this article courtesy Morgan Library & Museum, New York, New York.

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Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando by Edgar Degas, 1879, oil, 46 1⁄8 x 30½. Collection National Gallery, London, England. © National Gallery, London / Art Resource, NY.

Degas In-Depth

DEGAS, MISS LA LA, AND THE CIRQUE FERNANDO F E B R U A R Y 1 5 T H R O U G H M AY 1 2 The Morgan Library & Museum New York, New York (212) 685-0008 www.themorgan.org

National Gallery, in London—with nearly all of the artist’s preparatory works, as well as artwork by Degas’ contemporaries, providing further context for his treatment of circus spectacle.

For several evenings in 1879, Edgar Degas (1834–1917) attended performances at the Cirque Fernando by the famous aerialist Miss La La. For her extraordinary act, Miss La La was slowly hoisted nearly 70 feet into the circus’s domed roof, suspended solely from a rope clenched between her teeth. Degas produced a number of studies of the performer, leading up to his celebrated painting, Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando. The Morgan’s current exhibition brings together this remarkable painting—on loan from the W W W. A R T IS T D A ILY.C OM

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Shades of Gray by Sue deLearie Adair

Tati with Attitude by Carey Alvez

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to sketch to sculpt and

Don Gale creates sculptures and drawings that relish the possibilities for drama and movement inherent in the human figure. We sat down with the artist to talk about the role that drawing plays in his practice, how he captures the gesture of a model, and why quick poses are the essence of the artistic process.

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Le f t

Three-Brained Man No. 6 1985, bronze, 19 x 13 x 9. Collection Seven Bridges Foundation, Greenwich, Connecticut.   O pp Osite pag e

Study for Three-Brained Man 1984, black iron oxide chalk, 12 x 16. All artwork this article collection the artist unless otherwise indicated.

Drawing: Is drawing for sculpture much different from other modes of drawing?

sculptors sculpt, they have to make the whole form—they can’t create it just with tone.

Don gale: There’s a difference between how

Dr: Do you create many drawings specifically in preparation for a new sculpture?

sculptors and painters draw. Sculptors such as Michelangelo and the Florentine artists drew in line that defined the form. They were interested in where the form began and ended. Painters define form through light and through shades, so a lot of the time they don’t show the whole boundaries of a form in their drawings. When w w w. A r t is t D A ily.c om

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Dg: Drawing, for me, is a way of understanding form, and more often I’ll make drawings to understand a specific part of the figure. I’ll make a drawing that depicts an arm, for example, to study Drawing / Winter 2013 27

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“Some teacherS are oppoSed to Skill becauSe they feel it killS creativity. but in fact it’S the oppoSite—Skill giveS you the capacity to create.”

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2008, bronze, 32 x 26 x 10.   far rig ht

Standing Figure 1980, black iron oxide chalk, 16 x 12.

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str yo th wa

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how to create an arm. Then I put that knowledge to work in a sculpture.

DR: Do you find that the physicality of sculpture and the physicality of figure drawing are closely aligned?

Rig ht

Walking 1985, bronze, 34 x 16 x 11. Collection Tom Chess.

DG: Yes, but they are also different. The physicality of drawing is instantaneous—it’s muscle memory, it’s how the hand works. In sculpture, the challenge is to maintain the energy much longer; that same level of energy and excitement needs to be there whenever you’re working. If you get tired, you should leave your work and come back later. If you work on a sculpture when you don’t have the right energy, you’ll destroy it.

DR: You are a dedicated draftsman of quick poses. After having drawn thousands of them, what still compels you to draw two-, three-, or five-minute poses? DG: Creativity takes place in the unknown— the discovery of a form or image not yet manifested. It is why artists make art. Consider Van Gogh in the last 70 days of his life—he created about one painting a day. Why? It doesn’t seem his motivation was money. Just imagine coming back each day with a painting, propping it up on the bed, and wondering where the image came from. I believe what motivated him to go out the next day and paint again and again was the excitement of not knowing what was going to happen next. That excitement is also the reason I draw quick poses. It is like automatic writing, where you put words on the page without judgment or thought. It also leaves the door open for the possibility of accidents. Just look at all the things that have been created by accident—penicillin, chocolate, champagne, Teflon, popsicles. My wife once said that in my drawing, even accidents are correct. You want to work on the form as you see it, but leave room for accidents. The quick pose also has a lot of unobstructed, instantaneous energy to it because you don’t have much time. You see something, and you’re excited about it, and you want to get it down on paper. There’s no w w w. A r t is t D A ily.c om

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Le f t

Quick Pose No. 2 2012, charcoal, 18 x 12.   B e Low Le f t

Quick Pose No. 3 2012, charcoal, 18 x 12.   B e Low Rig ht

Quick Pose No. 4 2012, charcoal, 18 x 12.

time to worry about getting it exact. When working on something more prolonged, part of the challenge is to maintain that same level of intensity. If you can do that, you can create something really remarkable. The Mona Lisa is an example. Leonardo worked on it for four years, and he painted it with a brush as thin as a hair. And it has an intensity way beyond most painting—it’s not overworked at all. How do you work on a painting for four years and not overwork it? It’s incredible.

DR: Your figure drawings possess a tremendous sense of gesture. What is the importance of the gesture, and how do you capture it in a drawing? DG: The gesture is a representation of the total figure, and drawing is all about the total figure—learning to see the total figure and find how the parts relate to that whole. If you can conceive of the total figure and keep it in mind as you’re drawing the individual parts of the body, you can’t miss. I draw the gesture as a line of action that comes all the way up through the figure. It’s almost an abstract line; there’s

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Three-Brained Man


1999, bronze, 77 x 45 x 56. Collection Seven Bridges Foundation, Greenwich, Connecticut.






not definition to the form yet. But that line has a rhythm, and it gets at the total figure. I then add the definitions of the figure on to that initial line.

DR: Many of your works juxtapose the curving, organic, idiosyncratic forms of the body against the rigid forms of walls, chairs, and rectangular pedestals. Does this contrast hold special interest for you? DG: There are two kinds of lines: straight lines and curved lines. I see combining them as a way of marrying the intellect to the emotions. The straight line is the line of the intellect, the line of the architect. The straight line sets the mind up into a thought process. The curved line is the line of emotion. w w w. A r t is t D A ily.c om

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By connecting and balancing these two types of lines, we can bring the intellect and emotions into one experience. Look at the paintings of Giotto or Piero della Francesca. They work a lot with the straight line, but they run very controlled curves into them. Michelangelo would draw a straight line, then add a curve to it, giving structure to the drawing. Or in Gothic cathedrals, you find arches that go up as straight lines and then start to curve. Within this framework, classical art balanced these two lines to create a harmonious balance between thought and emotion. Later, art entered into the rococo period, with a predominance of curved lines as art became more emotional. Of course, straight lines are not all the same. Vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines convey different meanings. The vertical is the thrust—it’s an action, it’s how we Drawing / Winter 2013 31

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“Skill iS applied knowledge. it’S when you know Something and can apply it over and over again.” walk. The horizontal is more passive—it’s how you sleep, it’s what you see at the beach. The vertical and horizontal together are the active and the passive, the yang and the yin. Then there is the diagonal line, which is variation and movement. If you look at anything in perspective, a diagonal is what takes you into three-dimensional space. Curved lines are not all the same, either. There are fast curves and slow curves. The fast curve creates a staccato movement; the slow curve comes gently, like a symphony. And these lines can curve into one another, creating a rhythm.

DR: How do you define “skill” with regards to art? And how should it figure into an artist’s education? DG: Skill is applied knowledge. It’s when ActionReaction 1980, lithograph, 16 x 48.

you know something and can apply it over and over again. People understand it in regards to music better than in regards to art. A musician has to know how to press the keys, how to position the fingers, and so on. And to really understand

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that knowledge, one has to apply it again, and again, and again. It’s the same with something as simple as learning to type or as complex as performing surgery. When it comes to drawing, you have to have knowledge of how light hits the form; how to model it. Those are programs that you learn—a little like programming a computer to perform certain functions. That’s skill. Some teachers are opposed to skill because they feel it kills creativity. But in fact it’s the opposite—skill gives you the capacity to create. Take quick poses, for instance. You wouldn’t be able to create them without applied knowledge—the different programs your hand learns through time and repetition. In these drawings, you move at such speed, without thought, that the drawings just come out. And that speed and absence of thought is what the drawings are about, in a way. They show the emotion that comes through the hand, and they also show something beyond the emotion; something unknown. And the core of creativity is the unknown.

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DR: How did your training impact you as an artist?

interest in sculpture?

DG: I studied at Art Center College of

arrive much faster if you find the right teacher. It’s possible to figure out how sculptures, paintings, and drawings were made just from looking at them. However, an instructor can tell you what to look for in the analysis of the old and new masters. Magazines like this are also a good place to start—especially for drawing. All these articles have an abundance of knowledge.

Design, in Los Angeles. It was mostly a commercial art school; I was one of three students studying fine arts at the time. The drawing instructors were mostly fine artists—Lorser Feitelson and Harry Carmean, in particular, were key instructors for me. We had an intense program—we drew 6 hours a day for two years. There were also night classes, where I would draw more. All I did was draw. However, my instructors had their own strong styles, and although I learned drawing from them, it came with baggage—I learned to draw in their styles. When I finished school, I needed to break from those styles, and to do that, I decided to draw in a new medium. I got a book about how to make drawing materials, and I came up with my own medium made from red and black iron oxide mixed with a binder. It was almost impossible to draw with—just to make a mark was a struggle. But I drew with it. It was personal, I could connect with it, and it was so difficult that it forced me to break from the habits I’d learned from my instructors.

DR: What advice do you have for artists who are studying drawing and have an

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DG: You can do it on your own, but you can

DR: Do you consider your drawings to be “finished” works of art? DG: I think any drawing is finished when the thought is put down on paper. Art is communication, in a way. Even what the cave painters were doing was communicating through symbols. A two-minute drawing is finished once it communicates the thought that the artist seeks to express. v

AbouttheARtist Don Gale studied drawing at Art Center College of Design, in Los Angeles, and later studied sculpture and drawing at Otis Art Institute, also in Los Angeles. Gale has exhibited his work at venues across the country, and he is currently represented by Gallery Henoch, in New York City; and Nuart Gallery, in Santa Fe. For more information, visit www.dongalestudio.com.

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Understanding the

Anatomy of the Landscape Thanks to years of careful observation and diligent study, Thomas Kegler is able to create landscapes that are true to the laws of nature and honor his own vision. by Austin r. williAms

O pp OsiTe pag e

Étude: Kaaterskill Falls 2010, ink and gouache on toned paper, 12 x 9. Collection Nathaniel Stewart. All artwork this article collection the artist unless otherwise indicated.

Thomas Kegler is never at a loss

for something to paint or draw, and for this, he feels fortunate. “So many artists get ‘blank-canvas syndrome,’” he says. “I consider myself really lucky—I have no shortage of concepts and subjects I’m attracted to. I’ll take a walk through the woods and by the time I’m home, I’ve seen ten good potential paintings.” Even though Kegler’s oil landscapes are often inspired by the sweeping panoramas of the Hudson River School, the subjects that attract him aren’t all soaring vistas and romantic forest scenes. “There’s as much beauty in a dead tree as in a live one,” he says. “The thing that inspires me can just be the shape of a tree or a log on the ground. It’s the same with whole landscapes—there’s beauty in the overlooked. And the great thing about working on a landscape is that you have so much stage to work with—you get to work both on an intimate level and on a vast level that you often don’t have when painting a still life or figure.”

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Kegler has always gravitated toward the landscape, and this is no surprise considering his upbringing. “My father ran a small mom-and-pop hunting-andfishing store,” he says. “I think that hunting, fishing, and camping can all nurture an appreciation for nature. The landscape itself was just a natural muse for me.” On top of this, his father eventually added a wildlife-art gallery to the store, and Kegler’s older brothers went into a range of creative professions, from graphic design to fine art. “There was always a very creative atmosphere in the house,” he says. Many of Kegler’s drawing efforts are devoted to understanding what he refers to as the “anatomy of the landscape,” which allows him to comprehend what he sees and translate elements of the natural world into invented compositions that appear entirely real. “The word ‘anatomy’ refers to the physical makeup of something based on laws,” the artist explains. “In human anatomy, this includes the laws w w w. A r t is t D A ily.c om

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in in in nu th fa es sk co di va th wi th étu ra de of sp br wh ce

Kegler offers the following advice for designing the composition of your landscape.

CONCEPT: “The composi-

tion should be simple, and it should be about one thing, or concept. A deft artist can make even the most mundane subject interesting. As in poetry, how you say something is as important as what you are saying. Distill the elements to speak to this objective.”

SIMPLICITY: “When in doubt, keep it simple. Less is more.” PLANNING: “Take the time to plan out your composition.” ASYMMETRY: “Interesting

paintings have a harmonious balance (not equal amounts) of opposites, such as cool and warm, dark and light, thick and thin texture, detail and ambiguity, and hard and soft edges. The unequal treatment of these elements is pleasing to our senses.”

FLOW: “Seek an interesting flow of eye movement—avoid a static composition.” ARMATURE: “When I am

choosing an area to place a subject of interest, I strive to adhere to a harmonic compositional armature, such as the golden mean. This and other armatures are derived from harmonic musical scales, translating what is pleasing to our ears to proportions that are pleasing to our eyes.”

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of proportions, physiology, and physics. The landscape works on a similar set of physical principles. At first it can be very overwhelming, because it’s so complex—there are temporal aspects to it such as atmosphere and light that are constantly changing. But once you spend time with it, you begin to see the recurrence within the chaos. It never becomes predictable, exactly, but many patterns and consistencies emerge. “For example, during my first year in the Hudson River Fellowship, we would go to the same spot every night to paint the sunset,” Kegler continues. “After a few weeks, we saw that some things about the sunset never changed. The dome of the sky, for one, was always the same. That’s a rule—part of the landscape’s anatomy. Once we knew

that, we would pre-paint the dome of the sky, and then when we went to paint the sunset, it was just a matter of painting the cloud variances. The same can be done with understanding a tree— through study, you learn how branches form on a certain type of tree and how it responds to the environment. Once you acquire this knowledge of the landscape’s anatomy, you gain freedom to make contrived but convincing landscapes based on real experiences.” Most of Kegler’s paintings combine aspects of real locations with a degree of invention. “I try to mirror the Hudson River School’s approach,” the artist says. “You want to be as true to the spirit of the land as you can. But if a tree would look much better moved two feet to the right of where you see it, you W W W. A R T IS T D A ILY.C OM

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of nt ntan — es ow ce dto d-

should be free to make that change, as long as you’re true to the character of that tree and true to what the landscape would really look like if that tree were in that location.” Gaining this thorough understanding of the landscape is a long undertaking, and for Kegler, the pursuit is rooted in drawing. He draws constantly and in numerous media, both en plein air and in the studio. Many of the artist’s drawings fall into three groups: croquis, esquisses, and études. A croquis is a thumbnail sketch that establishes the image’s main concept and sets the composition by indicating the most important shapes and values. An esquisse is a refined version of the croquis: a more resolved thumbnail with a refined value structure and something closer to the final composition. An étude is a drawing of an individual natural element, such as a tree, a patch of undergrowth, or a rock outcropping. Most of Kegler’s études are not created for a specific painting; rather, he keeps a library of these studies and refers to them when he needs guidance during the process of planning a larger work.

Kegler’s 3 Key Principles of Landscape Drawing


Strive for the gesture and character of your main concept from the start.

“You want to take in the whole picture from the start,” Kegler says. “This is where the importance of a thumbnail comes in. The thumbnail is a way to say that your image is a statement about this subject, this lighting, this atmosphere, this time of day. It reveals what it is that you’re really trying to create a painting about. With a pencil, you can get this down very quick in a thumbnail.”


Work from big to small.

“Once you have your concept, the quickest way to capture it is to get your big values set,” the artist says. “Start with your big sky value, your big land masses, flat planes, and any uprights. Once you have those large masses in, everything else will fall into place.”


Work from general to specific.

“This follows the same concept as the previous principle. Start general, then add the big details, and finally the little ones.”


Croquis: Conceptual Thumbnails 2012, graphite, 10 x 8.

Esquisse: Morning Fog at North/South Lake—Catskills 2010, graphite, 3½ x 3½.

mehe he to fa wo ou



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m ho en ar “T in m fo in ve so ac an fo

To p Le f T

Étude: Schoharie Creek Rocks— Grid Study 2008, graphite, 7 x 10.

To p Rig hT

Passing Front: Proverbs 16:20 2012, oil on linen, 32 x 24.


Étude: Birch Trunk—Catskills 2010, silverpoint on hand-toned paper, 11 x 8½.

fre in or ize pe to Ke

Rig hT

Étude: Hemlock at Devil’s Kitchen 2008, ink and chalk on toned paper, 12 x 9.

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Étude: Fawns hatching with them to show Kegler selects his instrument depending on what he Leap—Catskills form, and you can use washes 2008, ink and to indicate atmospheric space hopes to accomplish in a givgouache on toned paper, 9 x 12. and a sense of environment. en drawing. “Graphite pencils And ink also has a natural are the workhorse,” he says. “They’re my staple for basic informa- crossover into painting.” Finally, Kegler is somewhat unique tion gathering. I use them for most of my thumbnail sketches, and for some among landscape artists in that he ofétudes, as well. They come in many ten works with metalpoint. He finds grades, which makes them very versa- that drawings done with various metal tile. And although there are some limi- tips—such as silver, gold, and copper— tations to the values they can achieve, are perfect for capturing nuances of graphite still allows more variance in value and detail, and he uses them for value structure than silverpoint, for studies that, like his ink drawings, also stand as independent works of art. “Ink example.” Ink is another medium Kegler uses may be the most useful medium for frequently, and many of his ink draw- sketching, but I think metal tip is the ings—often incorporating a little wash most beautiful,” he says. “The drawings or gouache—stand alone as fully real- take on a warm tone and a jewel-like ized works. “Ink drawings, done with sheen.” Metalpoint poses significant pen or brush, can act as good indica- challenges—it doesn’t offer a full valtors of structure—of a tree for exam- ue range, for one, and it can’t be erased. ple,” Kegler says. “You can do cross- But these difficulties can be overcome, w w w. A r t is t D A ily.c om

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and the results are worth it. “You cannot get detail that fine with any other instrument,” the artist says emphatically. Kegler believes a drawing should serve two purposes. “It should be an informative study and also an aesthetic piece of art,” he says. “I’m always trying to create a beautiful piece at the same time that I’m trying to get information.” A quick look at Kegler’s wide portfolio of drawings reveals that the artist is equally successful in both of these pursuits. Even the parts of the drawings that are explicitly intended to convey inforturn the mation—the notations, pAge for the grids illustrating surface form—work A Demo of to enhance the imagkegler’s es’ beauty by revealing process both the science and art that underscores the natural world.

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From Thumbnail to Canvas

Kegler first started thinking about the concept for the painting Thunderstorm—Catskill Park: Psalm 9:9–10 during his first summer in the Hudson River Fellowship. When he returned to the fellowship for a second summer, he went with a list of things he needed to finish the piece—for example, he wanted to find a suitable rock structure to place in the painting’s foreground. His preparation for the painting included drawings made specifically for this project, as well as drawings already in his reference library.


St lan


In these initial rough sketches, Kegler focused on his overall concept and laid in the largest masses.

Step 2

First, Lathem laid in the initial washes, working broadly on wet paper.


On pa Ke gr all of se str


In this refined version of the croquis, the artist resolved the composition and further established the image’s armature and value structure.


Kegler referred to previously completed studies of oaks, white pines, and red pines for information about the structure of the trees he planned to incorporate into his painting.

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te he ng.


Études—Landscape Elements

Studies of rock formations and larger views of the landscape.

ABOUTTHEARTIST Thomas Kegler hails from western New York, and many of his paintings depict the landscape of his home state. He has participated in the Hudson River Fellowship as both a student and an instructor, and he teaches workshops throughout New York state. Recently, he produced an instructional documentary titled “Painting en Plein Air: Resolving the Landscape,” which is available through his website. He is represented by John Pence Gallery, in San Francisco; Beals & Abbate, in Santa Fe; Meibohm Fine Arts, in East Aurora, New York; Oxford Gallery, in Rochester, New York; Beacon Fine Art, in Red Bank, New Jersey; and Cavalier Galleries, in Greenwich, Connecticut. For more information, visit www.thomaskegler.com.

Tonal Grisaille Study Once the plan for the painting was complete, Kegler painted this grisaille, which includes all the major elements of the composition and sets the image’s value structure.

The Finished Painting

Thunderstorm—Catskill Park: Psalm 9:9–10

2009, oil on linen, 24 x 36. Courtesy Cavalier Galleries, Greenwich, Connecticut.


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Emily by Joel Pace, charcoal. All artwork courtesy American Academy of Art, Chicago, Illinois.

why we

draw For many artists, drawing is a way to develop fundamental skills of design and perception and a tool for planning work in other media. Because so many motives inform the act of drawing, we decided to step back for a moment to consider some of its many functions. We asked several instructors at the American Academy of Art, in Chicago, to share their thoughts on the importance of drawing in an artist’s education. Their answers shed light on many of the ways that drawing can advance one’s practice.

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develop ideas. Through drawing we establish a sensibility and an understanding of the principles of line and tone, contrast and emphasis, focus and balance. Visual artists working outside of painting and drawing need to speak with a visual vocabulary and develop sensitivity in their medium, which a study of drawing will provide.

toM HerzBerg: For many artists, no matter how the finished piece will look, it often begins with a drawing. In traditional media, drawing can be very important, especially with representational art, but many abstract painters rely on drawing as part of the expression. Every sculptor I know relies very heavily on drawing as a key element in the conceptualization and realization of the finished piece, and they often exhibit drawings alongside the sculptures or installations. Joel Pace: In representational paint-

What is the importance of drawing for an artist whose goal is to work in painting, sculpture, or something other than drawing itself? Mat BarBer Kennedy: For every absolute statement about what defines drawing or what every artist needs, there will be just as many objections and contrary examples of successful contemporary artists who cannot draw. But within my own practice, and as a studio teacher at a school with a strong commitment to foundational tools, I see drawing as a core language with which to explore and 44 Drawing / Winter 2013

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“It’s all about gesture—when tellIng a story, It’s what the fIgure Is doIng that’s Important, not who the fIgure Is.” –tom herzberg

ing, the advantages of a strong drawing foundation are obvious. Getting an accurate drawing on the canvas quickly saves time that can be spent on other aspects of the painting. If a strong understanding of light and shade is developed in drawing classes, the students can better understand and depict them in paint. In regards to sculpture, I find that my drawing students tend to be very enthusiastic about the sculpture classes that are part of their post-foundations curriculum at the Academy. I don’t know that drawing ability directly contributes to success in sculpture, but I think that devotion to the depiction of form leads to an appreciation of the nature of sculpture. The threedimensional representation of the figure can be a thrilling experience for those who are already tuned in to the beauty of the human form.

tina engels: For many, drawing is the core of one’s process, in the purest tactile form. One day we rise and our practice insists on a crosscurrent, finding expression in color, paint, or other media such as the graphic novel and w w w. A r t is t D A ily.c om

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y le f t

Italian Cottage by Tina Engels, oil on linen.

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Dimetrodon by Tom Herzberg, gouache.




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Tall Bus by Lucas Bianchi, digital drawing.

digital work. Drawing with paint— not in the sense of “coloring in,” although that can work as well—is one example of such a desirable goal. There is also the reverse of this: the sculptor, painter, or photographer who returns to drawing to ask questions related to other media. Cartier-Bresson, for instance, devoted the last years of his life to work with drawing instead of photography. Although drawings were once perceived as studies, they no longer function with such singular intention, hidden away in closets

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until the final works emerge. Visceral, intelligent mark making is an activity related to observation and can also act separately from looking. It may seek to find place in the realm of the imagined or the constructed.

What role do you think drawing should play in an artist’s education? Mat BarBer Kennedy: Drawing is an essential bedrock for my classes. In my painting classes, I focus on line quality from the outset and encourage exploration and presentation of ideas before the commencement of final artwork. I encourage watercolor students to consider the transparency of the medium and to use line in a way that contributes to the character of the finished work.

tina engels: As preliminary instruction to any art form, drawing is invaluable as a way of thinking and exploring. Plainly stated, when thinking visually, drawing lowers the risk of failure. A drawing asks questions of the creator and assists in the development of portraying a desired interaction. Is this depiction stylized? Carefully perceived? Is there an emotional component or cultural discussion? Is the subject biographical? Bringing questions into one’s work leads to discovery. There was a time when people espoused the requirement of “accuracy” in drawing as a means to making great paintings—in some places, this is still the case. But what is accuracy? How is this defined? Do we repeat technical ability or breathe life into the work? I ask my students to suspend disbelief. I encourage them w w w. A r t is t D A ily.c om

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“A drAwing Asks questions of the creAtor And Assists in the development of portrAying A desired interAction. is this depiction stylized? cArefully perceived? is there An emotionAl component or culturAl discussion? is the subject biogrAphicAl? bringing questions into the work leAds to discovery.” –tina engels to make mistakes and to fail so that, the next time, they “fail better.” They learn that there is something to taking these experiences in their toolbox beyond the classroom and into the studio. In this way, they learn to coach themselves as artists.

Tom HErzbErg: I don’t think you can teach an artist much if you don’t teach some kind of drawing. My drawing lessons are designed to demonstrate fundamental decision making with regard to working with the figure, whether it has to do with anatomical decisions, proportions, lighting, or how to work a figure into a composition. When drawing from the model, I teach students to exaggerate their poses. It’s all about gesture—when telling a story, it’s what the figure is doing that’s important, not who the figure is. It’s important that my students understand how the body works; they need to learn from observation and apply that knowledge. They need to be able to anticipate so that when they are working with a model, they can pose the model to achieve a particular effect and not just react to what the model is doing.

JoEl PacE: The Academy’s philosophy, like my own, is that drawing should be a major element of the training of every artist, w w w. A r t is t D A ily.c om

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for many reasons. One is tradition: Particularly in regards to the figure, the act of drawing is an experience shared by artists for centuries. Students are replicating the processes of Raphael, Rubens, and Rembrandt. Figure drawing is a kind of initiation into the artist club. A second reason is design: When students are concentrating on representing people and objects through drawing, they are learning

valuable lessons in design. Setting the figure in the page, cropping, balancing values, focusing interest, line dynamics, and storytelling are all issues that go beyond drawing. Third, discipline: Students grow up in their beginning drawing classes. They learn to not be satisfied with their first attempt or idea and to elevate their expectations as to the quality of their work. Through drawing, students learn to accept and respond to criticism, which is one of the most valuable lessons of art school. Fourth, objectivity: Drawing is an ideal training tool for students because it can be judged objectively— at least in a school that focuses on representational art. Either the drawing looks like the object or figure in question, or it doesn’t. Fifth, drawing is the basic language for artists, as math is for scientists. A student who majors in graphic design may eventually become an art director and need to be able to sketch when presenting ideas to clients. Finally, the future is unknown. Students may start their college career with a specific direction in mind, but that direction often changes during school or after graduation. So even if students think they will not need to draw in their careers, it is sensible to have drawing in their skill set. Drawing / Winter 2013 47

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“Through drawing we esTablish a sensibiliTy and an undersTanding of The principles of line and Tone, conTrasT and emphasis, focus and balance. Visual arTisTs working ouTside of painTing and drawing need To speak wiTh a Visual language and deVelop a Visual sensiTiViTy in Their medium, which a sTudy of drawing will proVide.” –mat barber kennedy

About the AmericAn AcAdemy of Art

What are some exercises or productive ways that you encourage your students to use drawing in relation to work in other media? Tom Herzberg: I encourage my students to draw all of the time. A lot of what we do is figure-based, so I’m always trying to get the students to work from observation. They might pay attention to how a face looks, but what about hairstyles? What do the shoes look like? You can’t draw hands? Then draw them until you figure them out! I teach several classes relating to illustration, and it’s important to me that my students don’t just think of drawing as a stage or as practice but think of it as an option. There is no reason why they can’t conceive of an illustration solution in purely drawing form—they don’t need to always be thinking of painting.

maT barber Kennedy: I ask students to draw a cup from their imagination. Then, I have them draw the cup on a table. Then, the room with the table in it. Then, the room through a porthole window; then the space station with the porthole; then the space station orbiting the earth. It’s a simple

Since 1923, the American Academy of Art, in Chicago, has been one of the country’s leading art schools, and one that has often emphasized drawing, design, illustration, and the classical artistic tradition. All students participate in a foundation program that teaches core visual-art skills, and the school awards B.F.A.s in illustration, graphic design, life drawing, and painting, among other programs. For more information, visit www.aaart.edu.







Mat Barber Kennedy is a watercolor painter who teaches watercolor and figure drawing at the Academy. For more information, visit www.matbarberkennedy.com.

ha fro tic su co

Tina Engels is a painter who teaches life drawing and painting at the Academy. For more information, visit www.tinaengels.com. Tom Herzberg is an artist, illustrator, and the chair of the Fine Art Department at the Academy. He teaches watercolor, drawing, and several classes related to illustration. For more information, visit www.tomherzberg.com.

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Joel Pace is a painter who has taught numerous subjects at the Academy, including drawing, painting, anatomy, and art history. For more information, visit www.joelpaceart.com.

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Arezzo by Mat Barber Kennedy, graphite. o pp osite pag e

Ken Kee by Amoreena Tarvas, watercolor.

work, as well. In the past, my work was more content-oriented. Now, I find that I’m most fulfilled by working from the figure. So the role of drawing in my work is paramount.

Tina engels: As a painter, my work is half-hour exercise that takes students from drawing the intimate to the galactic and demands that they addresses surface, space, light, content, and composition through line and tone.

What role does drawing play in your own artwork? Joel Pace: In recent years I have been concentrating almost entirely on drawing, working in charcoal and Conté. As a drawing teacher, I find that the focus on the figure that drives my classes has taken over in my personal w w w. A r t is t D A ily.c om

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rooted in drawing and the act of seeing, with all its oddities. At some point, I realized that owning the drawing component in my paintings is critical to the work. For some years I worked with drawings and always felt they were like paintings, and through this process I became more interested in painting.

Tom Herzberg: I work mainly in gouache and acrylic, and in my work drawing is hugely important—I think of my paintings as colored drawings. I’m not a typical watercolorist; my work is not really that “painterly.” I try to pursue drawing in some

form each day, usually in my role as an instructor at the Academy.

maT barber Kennedy: I am a painter working mainly with watercolor and other water-based media, and drawing is an integral component of my work. I see my paintings as compositional arrangements of line and tone and color, some of which is applied with a brush and some with a pencil or pen, all contributing to the quality of the whole. I work loosely with watercolor and capitalize on its transparency so that the line work remains apparent even if it is overpainted. In fact, I often celebrate areas of “misregistration,” where the paint and the line don’t match up, so that each has its own statement about the shape of an element in the piece. I frequently paint first and draw second so that my paint marks are not constrained by a need to stay within the lines. v Drawing / Winter 2013 49

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Curator’s Choice

10 Masterpieces From The Crocker Art Museum


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In this new series, we ask leading art institutions to select some of the best drawings from their collections and discuss what artists today can learn from these masterworks. We recently visited the Crocker Art Museum, in Sacramento, where William Breazeale, the museum’s curator of European art, chose 10 amazing drawings that take us from Mannerist Italy to the bohemian salons of 19th-century France. Here, Breazeale explains why these drawings are beautiful, intriguing, and why they rank among his personal favorites.

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1 Elephant and Monkey, by Jan Savery ca. 1589–1654, black chalk and brush-and-brownwash on cream laid paper, 5½ x 83⁄8 . E. B. Crocker Collection. All artwork this article collection the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California.

“I’m drawn to this work because it’s such a wonderful characterization,” says Breazeale. “You can really feel the elephant’s sagging skin, its flapping ears, and its trunk caught in midair. And by showing these different views, the drawing shows more than an ordinary profile could. Savery also creates this fantasy landscape, with date palms and shells. It’s certainly not what he had in front of him, but it creates a nice exotic context for the image.” Elephant and Monkey is also notable for its technical virtuosity. “All this is done only in black chalk, with brown wash for some of the shading, and it’s very believable,” Breazeale says. “Just look at the wrinkles on the elephant’s neck or its beady eye staring at us. It shows what black chalk can do when it’s finely sharpened.” There is also the mystery of the drawing’s origin. “The question,” Breazeale says, “is where would this artist have seen an elephant and a monkey? There are several theories. His uncle, Roelandt, who was also an artist, worked in Prague at the court of Rudolf II, where there was a menagerie. Jan also worked for Roelandt in Amsterdam, and the city was a port for exotic things from all over the world, including animals.” w w w. A r t is t D A ily.c om

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Self-Portrait, attributed to Giovanni Baglione ca. 1566–1643, black and red chalk with touches of white on blue laid paper, 9¼ x 7¼. E. B. Crocker Collection.

“One of the difficult and interesting things about studying drawings,” Breazeale says, “is that you’re often dealing with very basic questions. Who drew it? How was it made? What was its purpose? Those things can be extremely difficult to sort out. That’s one of the challenges of studying drawing, but also one of the pleasures. This self-portrait is an example of a drawing that poses such challenges. We know that it’s from the beginning of the 17th century, but it has not been entirely decided who drew it. One possibility is Giovanni Baglione, a painter in Caravaggio’s circle. And he was made a knight of the order of Christ, which would explain the red cross on the artist’s shoulder. “I find this an arresting image for several reasons,” Breazeale continues. “The first is the pose: The sitter is addressing the viewer, as if he has just turned from whatever he’s doing. It’s an interesting pose—and a difficult one, which requires a lot of foreshortening in order to look believable. There’s also an intriguing contrast in the shading. The volumes of the face—the nose, the cheeks—are stumped or blended somehow. But as you move into the clothing and hair, that starts to break up and the shading is done in a completely different way. You’re left with smooth volumes for the skin and very loose volumes everywhere else.” Drawing / Winter 2013 51

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Reclining Nude, by Jean Jouvenet 1682, black and white chalk on brown laid paper, 15 3⁄8 x 217⁄16 . E. B. Crocker Collection.

Jouvenet was an instructor at the prestigious French Academy, and he likely created this drawing as he worked alongside his students in the Academy’s life-drawing class over the course of numerous sessions. “This drawing is interesting for being a sort of French Academy hybrid,” Breazeale says. “Academy models often posed on boxes with drapery below them, and that’s what’s going on here. But what makes it a hybrid is the setting. Jouvenet takes what’s happening in the life-drawing class and imagines something outside it—these classical columns and trees. Another excellent thing about this drawing is the way the artist picks up the light with the highlights. Without them you wouldn’t really understand the ribs or the leg; he does that solely with the white chalk. And of course, there is the great dramatic pose. Often the poses set by the professors were meant to be used in a history painting, and this figure looks like he might be a fallen warrior—certainly, he is someone in extremis.”

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The Hunter, by Juriaen Jacobsen ca. 1625–1685, brush-and-gray-wash on cream laid paper, 5 x 11¼. E. B. Crocker Collection.

“What draws me to this image is something technical: the fact that it’s done entirely with the brush,” Breazeale says. “You can see how the artist uses various shades of wash, how he works with drybrush in some places and with a fully wet brush in others. It’s just wonderful. And he manages to get so much into this relatively small space. First, you have the hunter—I’m not sure what he’s doing, but it looks like he might be unwrapping something. Then there is his rifle leaning against a bush; his catch of two or three birds and a hare; and his hunting dogs looking on with their great expressions. And all this is done only with wash. It’s useful, I think, to be reminded that even back in the 17th century, artists were working with self-imposed limitations such as this, which can result in wonderful images.”

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A Standing Cavalier, Seen From Behind, by Jacopo Confortini ca. 1602–1672, red chalk on cream laid paper, 8 x 5¾. Crocker Art Museum purchase with funds from the Anne and Malcolm McHenry Fund.

“What I love about this drawing is that it’s so much about the swoop of drapery,” says Breazeale. “The cavalier’s cloak is caught on his sword, which creates this very graceful curve that both covers the body and defines it. You’ll also notice that little bit of shadow at the bottom. Just those few lines give the figure the ground to stand on. It’s a subtle way of doing a shadow, but it creates depth and makes the drawing that much more believable.” This drawing also has significance as part of the Crocker’s ever-expanding collection. The bulk of the Crocker’s holdings were acquired in the 19th century, during the institution’s early years, and today the museum is continually looking to fill gaps in its collection. A Standing Cavalier was acquired only four years ago, and it stands as one product of the work that the Crocker is constantly doing to expand its formidable collection.


“M W co “I zi up lan wi ho of us

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The Stag Hunt, by Dirk Maes ca. 1659–1717, graphite on buff laid paper, 8 1⁄8 x 12½. E. B. Crocker Collection.

“Maes was a court painter who accompanied the Dutch stadtholder Willem III to England, and here he shows us a different side of life at court with this scene of pleasure and entertainment,” Breazeale says. “I love how gestural this drawing is—he creates this entire scene with zigzags that are all pretty parallel, running from the lower left to the upper right. By building up these squiggles he gives us quite a deep landscape. He also gives a wonderful sense of action and of the chase— with just a few lines, he is able to capture the way that dogs move, that horses move, that people run. Even though the medium doesn’t offer a lot of contrast—it’s hard to get very dark darks in graphite—Maes still gives us this very believable scene working within that limitation.” w w w. A r t is t D A ily.c om

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8 Portrait of the Artist Parrocel, by CharlesNicolas Cochin the Younger ca. 1715 –1790, black chalk on buff laid paper, 13¼ x 8¾. Crocker Art Museum purchase.


Self-Portrait, by Johann Gottlieb Prestel

“This portrait really gives you a sense of character and personality, and I find the attitude of the drawing very engaging,” says Breazeale. “Cochin was a wonderful portraitist, and also an engraver. He was actually the engraver to the king, as well as the keeper of the king’s drawings. The cliché about engravers’ drawings is that they tend to be done in penand-ink and heavily hatched— that they look like engravings, essentially. But that’s not what was done here at all. “With the sitter’s hands under his clothes, he appears very casual and approachable,” Breazeale continues. “But in terms of technique it’s rather highly finished. You can think of it as a sort of contrast between formality and informality.”

ca. 1739–1808, black chalk, brush-and-black-ink, gray wash, and white chalk, 12¼ x 8 9⁄16 . E. B. Crocker Collection.

“What I love about this drawing is that Prestel was in 18th-century Nuremberg, yet this drawing looks like it could have been done yesterday,” Breazeale says. “The interaction between the chalk and the ink, and the angularity he uses when working with the ink, make it a very modern image—even though he’s wearing a peruke.” The way that Prestel focuses detail and attention on the features of the face is also notable. “Look at the area next to the chin, where he’s put a shadow,” Breazeale says. “He doesn’t show you the shoulder, but you still know that is the shadow against the shoulder. He provides just enough information.”

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Libation Scene, by Jean-Guillaume Moitte ca. 1746–1810, pen-and-brown-ink and brush-and-brown-wash over traces of black chalk on cream laid paper, 13¼ x 1211⁄16 . e. B. Crocker Collection.

“The fragile, nervous pen line that the artist uses in this drawing to create the curtains, drapery, and clouds is terrific,” Breazeale says. “All of the folds become so believable when he uses that very fine line. It’s very subtle. The only areas of deep shading are the narrow bends at the right of the figures, which create an almost raking light coming in from the left. This gives you those deep shadows and adds volume to everything. It’s a clue that the drawing was intended

to be a relief, although I don’t know whether it was executed or not. “This work is also interesting for showing a different way of depicting the classical world,” Breazeale continues. “It looks back to this time and culture in a somewhat archeological sense. Moitte looks closely at what the classical world did and what it looked like, and he does so in a more direct way than many of the artists who preceded him.”

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10 Portrait of Mme. Sabatier, by Thomas Couture ca. 1815–1879, black crayon with touches of white chalk on faded blue laid paper, 20 x 167⁄16 . Crocker Art Museum purchase with funds from the Maude T. pook Acquisition fund.

About the crocker

The CroCker ArT MuseuM, in sACrAMenTo, is one of CAliforniA’s leAding ArT insTiTuTions, wiTh exTensive ColleCTions of drAwings, pAinTings, CerAMiCs, And phoTogrAphs froM Around The world. for More inforMATion, visiT www.CroCkerArTMuseuM.org. w w w. A r t is t D A ily.c om

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“With portraits, it’s always difficult to be sure who the subject is unless there is an inscription or other documentation,” says Breazeale. “We don’t have records saying that this drawing is of Madame Sabatier, a salon hostess who was at the center of the literary and artistic world of Paris in the mid19th century. But from the other images I’ve seen of her, it’s very believable that this is a portrait of her. And this makes the presentation interesting, because Couture doesn’t give any sense of transgression or bohemian behavior, which you might expect to see in a portrait of someone from Madame Sabatier’s milieu. “The drawing is also visually very interesting,” Breazeale continues. “The way Couture deals with the features and hair is amazing. He doesn’t draw every hair, but he really gives it a texture—a very 1840s coiffure with that wave and the fine hairs at the side of the face and neck. And then, there is the earring. It’s Couture’s device for creating volume in the drawing. The earring accounts for the only white chalk in the image, aside from maybe a dusting on the volumes of the face. That earring brings things forward into space—if you cover up the earring, I think the entire drawing gets very flat. It’s wonderful how something so subtle can entirely change the way you experience a drawing— and I think that’s a useful thing to be reminded of.” v Drawing / Winter 2013 59

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drawing fundamentals



Th the Ac Vit Vit

by pe bru wa po Co de Ve

In ing me im som cla at inv fam Kn cal yo dis cau ma ide yo dif eac

Fu n d a m e n ta ls o F P r o P o r t io n


Measuring the Figure Using this easy technique, you can measure key proportions in the early stages of drawing and be sure you have an accurate foundation from which to work. by jon DemArtin 60 Drawing / Winter 2013

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n order to appear lifelike, a figure drawing needs to accurately represent the proportions of the model. And in order to represent the figure in correct proportion, we need sound measurement strategies that will allow us to check what we’ve drawn for accuracy. Such basic measurements are not difficult to make, and in this article, we will look at a simple technique that allows you to verify that the most important proportions of your figure drawing are correct. By checking your drawing with this technique early in the process, you can then continue to work with confidence that your drawing truthfully captures the most important proportions of the figure.

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IllustratIon 1

The Proportions of the Human Body According to Vitruvius (The Vitruvian Man) by Leonardo da Vinci, pen-and-brown-ink, brush-and-brownwash, and metalpoint, 13½ x 95⁄8 . Collection Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice, Italy. In addition to applying basic proportional measurements, it is important to have some knowledge of classical proportions— a topic Leonardo investigated in his famous drawing. Knowledge of classical proportions helps you avoid serious distortions, and because nobody exactly matches the classical ideal, it also allows you to appreciate the differences that make each body unique.



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Starting Out: Setting the extremitieS Of the figure One of the first things the figure artist must consider is the size and placement of the subject on the page. Remember that it is vital to compose your figure in relation to the overall page and not make the figure so small that it “floats” against the background. Inversely, the figure shouldn’t be so large that it goes beyond the limits of the page or touches the top or bottom of the sheet, creating uncomfortable tangents. In classical academic life drawing, on a typical 18"-x-24" page, it’s advisable to fit the figure approximately ½" to 1" from the top and bottom of the page. See Illustration 2 for a typical academic life-drawing format. Working large in this way not only fills the page compositionally but also allows you to see proportional relationships more easily. Good proportion is based on division; bad proportion is based on addition and subtraction. In other words, we first need to establish the outer dimensions of our subject and keep this size unchangeable. Then, we can consider the correct division of the parts within the whole. When an artist adds to or subtracts from the outer dimensions of the subject in an attempt to repair incorrect proportions, the drawing can fall into a continual state of flux with proportions spiraling out of control and figures that don’t even fit on the page. But with a little discipline, you can avoid this. The first marks you make should indicate the extremities of your subject’s


longest dimension. For a standing figure, these marks should define the uppermost and lowermost points of the figure. (See Illustration 3b, with horizontal marks indicating the figure’s extremities.) Throughout the rest of your drawing process, do not alter or deviate from these marks. By keeping them sacred, you create a definite baseline against which incorrect proportions can be adjusted and corrected. If you were to “fix” proportional inaccuracies

IllustratIon 2

Young Man in Profile Holding a Ball by Charles Bargue, ca. 1826–1883, lithograph, 24 x 18.

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by adjusting the overall height of the figure, you would soon find that your correction in one area threw everything else out of whack, leading to adjustment after adjustment as you attempt to solve more and more problems.

IllustratIons 3a and 3b

After marking the extremities of your drawing, find the action both inside and outside using light and breezy lines that relate to the figure’s most important projections (usually boney landmarks). Remember that the head is a crucial shape that can telegraph good proportion (or bad). It should be drawn at the outset. Lightly indicate the surface centers (median lines) of the head, rib cage, and pelvis; these lengths are the basis of good proportion.


The Body’s Landmark PoinTs Before we discuss strategies for measuring the figure, I should emphasize that it is important to first draw by eye so that you can use your estimated drawing as a basis of comparison. The measurement strategies described here should be employed after you have made an initial line drawing, such as the one in Illustration 3b. As you study the principle lines of the figure, you will notice that they invariably relate to the boney landmarks of the skeleton. This brings up an important point: It is the skeletal frame that determines proportion, not the muscles. The boney landmarks are the nails upon which the body’s whole structure depends for solidity. To determine the proportions of the figure, we will look for major points of the skeleton that can serve as landmarks on any model. When measuring the figure I find it easiest to focus on just two very significant proportional landmarks. On the front of a figure, these two internal landmarks are the bottom of the chin and the pubis. (See Illustration 4a.) The chin is vital because it gives us a correct head proportion, which will give scale to our drawing. The pubis,

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or groin, meanwhile, functions to establish the base of the torso, which varies on each individual. Once we’ve found these two landmarks, the body’s other parts will fall into place. It is similar to the importance of locating the tear duct when drawing the head—after you’ve correctly located the tear duct, all other facial features can be found in relation to it. On the back view of the figure, I use the base of the skull as the first landmark, if it is visible. If not, I instead look for the 7 th cervical vertebra, which generally protrudes prominently near the bottom of the neck. The second landmark on the back of the figure is the coccyx, or tailbone, at the base of the torso. (See Illustration 4b.) w w w. A r t is t D A ily.c om

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Bottom of chin

Base of skull 7th cervical vertebra





IllustratIons 4a and 4b

To check your initial proportions on a frontal view of the figure, locate the chin and the pubis. For a back view, locate the base of the skull (or if it is not visible, use the 7th cervical vertebra, located at the base of the neck) and the coccyx, at the base of the torso.

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is yo so in th us in al Ill als

ho m th na po 6. bl la th Ill at it

5 IllustratIon 5

Remember to keep both your measuring stick and your drawing surface vertical when evaluating your proportions.

Whether the pose is foreshortened or not, these landmarks are the basis for good figure proportion. Once you have completed your initial line drawing, to ensure your drawing has correct proportions, measure whether these two landmarks are correct. If they are, you can move on to placing and refining smaller forms within the figure. If you find that these landmarks are incorrectly placed, adjust them, and then re-measure. Once they are correct, you can move on to other parts of the drawing, knowing that your figure’s foundation is accurate.

Measuring the internal landMarks There are a variety of ways to determine whether you have accurately placed landmark points on your drawing. Some artists use comparative measuring, sometimes called counting heads—seeing how many head

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lengths fit into the overall figure and comparing the length of various parts to the length of the head. Personally, I find this method tedious and inaccurate because the head doesn’t always align itself to a convenient landmark. I prefer the technique of optical reduction, introduced to me by my teacher Michael Aviano. This is an ingenious, empirical method for locating the figure’s proportional landmarks, which requires only a measuring stick, such as a knitting needle.


One advantage Of Optical reductiOn is that yOu dOn’t have tO fully extend yOur arm, which eliminates a cOmmOn sOurce Of errOr. w w w. A r t is t D A ily.c om

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One advantage of optical reduction is that you don’t have to fully extend your arm, which eliminates a common source of error. (Comparative measuring, in contrast, can only be done with the arm fully extended.) However, when using optical reduction, your measuring stick must remain vertical and parallel to the picture plane, as shown in Illustration 5. Your drawing paper must also be vertical. To find a landmark in the figure: hold your measuring stick so that the top of the stick aligns with the top of the model’s head, while your thumbnail aligns with the bottommost point on the figure. (See Illustration 6.) Holding the stick as still as possible, place your free thumbnail at the landmark you wish to capture—in this case, the bottom of the chin. (See Illustration 7a.) Keeping your fingers at the same points on the stick, hold it in front of your drawing. By mov-

b e low le f t

IllustratIon 6

To check proportion, hold your measuring stick so that the top of the stick aligns with the top point on the model and your thumbnail aligns with the lowest point on the model. le f t

IllustratIons 7a and 7b

To check whether you have drawn the model’s chin in its correct position, “point off” the model’s chin with your free thumbnail. Hold your thumbnails in place, align the needle with your drawing, and compare your upper thumbnail (the chin’s location on the model) to the chin’s location on your drawing. In this demonstration, the measurement shows that the chin in the drawing is located in the correct spot.

7B 6

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IllustratIons 8a and 8b

Use the same technique of “pointing off” to check the location of the pubis, our second proportional landmark.





ing the stick forward or back, align the top of the stick and your bottom thumbnail with the top and bottom of your drawing. Make sure both the stick and your drawing surface are absolutely vertical. Then, check the location of the chin in your drawing. If it is located at the same point as your upper thumbnail, the chin is correctly placed. If your drawing does not match your thumbnail, adjust the drawing as necessary, and then re-measure. To find the pubis, repeat the operation, this time placing your upper thumbnail at the location of the pubis, and again comparing it to your drawing, as shown in Illustrations 8a and 8b. This measurement technique takes a little manual dexterity, but once you become adept with it, you’ll find it to be the most efficient and practical of

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all measuring techniques. It is, in essence, a linear proportional device: It compares the length of part of the body to that of the whole. The technique can also be used along a horizontal line—if you are drawing a reclining model, for instance. In this case, simply mark the extremities of the figure’s width, and then locate the head and pubis along a horizontal length. Optical reduction can also be applied specifically to the head if you’re drawing at a close enough distance. Using the same technique, you can check the location of the tear duct on your drawing, related to the top and bottom of the model’s head. (See Illustrations 9a and 9b.) Once you’re sure the tear duct is correct, it can serve as the determinant for the proportions of the head’s other features.


Op the the lan

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By using optical reduction, you can rectify any proportional problems early on, which then allows you to develop your drawing with confidence that what you’ve drawn is accurate. This tool guarantees accuracy, reduces frustration, and enhances creativity, all for the price of a knitting needle. v




IllustratIons 9a and 9b

Optical reduction can also be applied to the head. Use it to check the location of the tear duct—the primary proportional landmark on the front of the head.

IllustratIon 10 Samir

by Jon deMartin, 2012, black and white chalk on toned paper, 25 x 19. Demonstration drawing at the Grand Central Academy. Each human being is unique, and when we gain the mastery of controlling the size of our drawing and of the subject’s proportional relationships, we can then tackle even more challenging poses—and the creative possibilities of drawing become endless.

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work with

whatever workS Pat Averill has worked with colored pencil for more than 20 years. Here, she shares some of the self-taught techniques that continue to invigorate her practice. by NAomi EkpErigiN


at Averill is an artist more interested in the process of creating than in basking in the finished result, and the key to her process is spontaneity. “I’ve found that if you do too much prep, you lose the spontaneity and fun of actually working on the drawing or painting,” says Averill. Luckily for her, there’s little chance of this happening. Although she lists colored pencil as her favorite medium, her exploration of art began with oil paint, and she says that she started working in colored pencil “because I could take it anywhere and really capture those tiny, minute details.” Over the years she has continued to work with watercolor, casein, acrylic, graphite, and pastel, using whichever medium—or combination of media—best suits her subject.

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The best way to describe Averill’s approach to art is “fearless and focused.” She considers herself largely self-taught and guided by an emotional response to her subject, but she is quick to note the importance of planning and troubleshooting before she begins working on her final surface. “When I have an idea, I make a small value sketch on a piece of scrap paper,” she explains. “It’s basically a thumbnail in which I mark the two or three basic values. I then move to a different surface and do a small line drawing where I mark the area of focus.”

Once she’s satisfied with her composition, she moves to her final surface, which can be anything from 140-lb watercolor paper to fourply black museum board from Strathmore. She begins placing lines lightly, usually starting with the sky if she’s working on a landscape. Using four to five colors, she lays in what she calls a “color map,” which shows the basic range of dark, medium, and light values that form the base of her composition. Over the years, Averill has learned that correct placement of values is far more important than exact proportions of objects. “I find that line Secret Visions 1997, colored pencil on board, 16 1⁄2 x 23 1⁄2 . Private collection.

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rig ht

dr to m th

Wildwood 2004, colored pencil on black museum board, 17½ x 24½. Private collection.

an to Pr Sh wa Al in Iw wh sk pa

rig ht b e low

Dew Drop In 2011, colored pencil, 5½ x 71⁄8 .C ollection thea rtist. o pp osite pag e

Citrus Duo 2006, colored pencil, 4½ x 7. Collection Darcy Schray.

Av cy us ch pi Iw sa ta or sh m pl th

m wh er ra on su sh th us is ce pl sc ev pa fe ex pa wh la

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drawings are very limiting,” she says. “I like to go with what I see as I see it. Of course, this means sometimes my fruit is bigger or smaller than it should be, but that doesn’t bother me.” When asked to discuss her list of materials and tools, Averill is at a loss for words. Where to begin? To start, her favorite pencils are Prismacolor and Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor. She also uses some Derwent pencils, and for water-soluble pencils, she uses Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer. “I have so many little tricks in my arsenal,” she says with a laugh. “When I want a very light layer of color over an area— when I’m putting down my earliest layers of sky color, for example—I use a square of sandpaper and a used dryer sheet.” Yes, sandpaper and a used dryer sheet. Averill is not only clever—she’s also into recycling. “Well, of course the sheet has to be used,” she says, “because you don’t want any chemicals imparted onto your paper. I might pick a pencil that’s a bit darker than the color I want to put down and rub it across a piece of sandpaper, depositing it on the surface. I then take the used dryer sheet and rub it over the color swatch I’ve just made. I then apply the dryer sheet to my drawing’s surface using a circular motion and light pressure. As I continue to apply color, I increase the pressure to ensure that the area has the same value across the surface.” The artist estimates she spends up to three months on a single colored pencil drawing, which can include upward of 10 layers of color that may incorporate a range of media, even Crayola crayons. “They create this great slippery surface for the pencil to glide over,” she says. “I’ve done light tests on them, so I know which ones I can use for my fine art.” In fact, testing is a big part of Averill’s creative process, and not just something employed in the early stages. She keeps scrap paper on hand at all times, and even cuts strips of her artist-grade paper to experiment with. She prefers to work with Fabriano Artistico extra-white hot- and soft-pressed paper, as well as Stonehenge paper, which she says holds up against the layers needed to get rich darks. w w w. A r t is t D A ily.c om

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recommended materials Averill has taught her colored-pencil techniques around the country and continues to lead small workshops in the Pacific Northwest. Below is a list of materials she suggests participants bring to her landscape-painting workshop. l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l

set of 120 Prismacolor pencils 1077 colorless blending pencil Crayola wax crayons—white and black Stonehenge paper—white two-hole pencil sharpener drafting tape clear tape value viewer soft and sticky kneaded eraser plastic eraser flat razor blade small drawing board two-headed stylus birthday candle (wax) paintbrush (to dust off your surface)

OptiOnal Materials l l l l l l l l l

stiff bristle brush watercolor pencils wax crayons watercolors acrylics caseins oil pastel sticks battery-powered eraser anything that works!

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b e low

rig ht

Light Catchers

Meadow Camp

2008, colored pencil on black museum board, 11 x 14. Private collection.

“Really, the surface I use depends on what I’ve got on hand and what I want to play around with,” the artist says. “I like to use different-colored papers, as well. If my subject has a reddish hue, for example, I’ll use a paper that’s a complementary color. For Wildwood, I used black Strathmore museum board, which required a sort of ‘reverse grisaille,’ where I used white to block in the values. I learned during that process that the board absorbs the wax-based pencil—my whites turned sort of gray. In the end, I had to go back in and rework the highlights. I used a water-soluble colored pencil on areas like the handrail and pathway to make sure they really popped.” When working on a white surface, Averill uses the corner of a f lat razor blade to pull out highlights, such as the white foam on ocean waves or the bubbles atop the leaf in The Gathering Place.

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2001, colored pencil, 16 1⁄2 x 29 3⁄4 . Collection B.W. Cardwell.

Crayola, razor blades, dryer sheets—not your typical materials list. But for Averill, there’s nothing to be gained by being typical. With every trial and the occasional error, the artist learns something new not only about herself but also about the myriad options that are available in your local art store, hardware store, or even grocery store. In recent years, she’s further challenged herself with an in-depth exploration of landscape painting and drawing. With its everchanging patterns of light and color, there’s no doubt Averill will find new techniques to help capture exactly what she sees when looking out over a dappled forest or sunny hillside. “The other night I was really in the zone,” she says. “I was working on a piece inspired by a view I saw while traveling in Ireland this summer. I probably spent five hours on it, just listening to my classical music and trying to get those greens right. I loved every minute of it.” v w w w. A r t is t D A ily.c om

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I, C



ur e’s th ist ut ble en alof erno lp ut h“I aw bmy ns v


AbouttheArtist Pat Averill is a signature member of the Colored Pencil Society of America, and has been juried into all but two of the organization’s international exhibitions. Her work has been featured in International Artist, The Artist’s Magazine, American Artist, and Art Business News. Averill’s work is featured in several instructional books, including Step by Step Colored Pencil and Watercolor Pencil Step by Step (Walter Foster Publishing), and she is the coauthor of Watercolor Pencil Kit. She has conducted workshops around the country and now offers ongoing classes at her home. For more information, visit www.pataverill.com. I, Candy 2010, colored pencil, 8 x 11. Collection the artist.

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Gary Greene is a veteran artist whose books are some of the most widely used resources for learning colored pencil techniques. His demonstrations provide precise descriptions of how he draws a given subject, in most cases working from a reference photograph. This demonstration, adapted from his book The Ultimate Guide to Colored Pencil, incorporates the methods of layering, burnishing, and underpainting to depict a time-worn wagon wheel. By following along with this demonstration and honing the techniques used here, you can develop skills that will help you to draw any subject.

COL OR ED PENCIL DEMONS T R AT ION Combining Techniques for a Unified Drawing BY GARY GREENE

This demonstration involves separate underpaintings of water and solvent that are subsequently either layered or burnished. In the portions of the wagon wheel that have paint remaining, an electric eraser is used to partially remove some of the underpainting, then color blended with solvent is applied. The bare, weathered wood is best completed with oil-based or Verithin pencils because their harder cores produce the crisp linework required to depict cracks and overall texture. The burnishing process used for the metal portions of the hub and the background was simplified and completed in one step; an Icarus heated drawing board was employed for expediency. The results would be identical without the use of this device.

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Cr th th wi ap as

Reference photo


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Gary’s Materials Colors l l




fast orange (Caran d’Ache Pablo) cream, dark umber, light cadmium red, ochre, warm gray III and IV (Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer) alizarin crimson, brown ochre, dark red, dark sepia, green gold, madder, ochre, and Van Dyck brown (Faber-Castell Polychromos) beige, black, bronze, cool gray 20%, 30%, 50%, 70%, and 90%, cream, French gray 20%, ginger root, green ochre, and yellow ochre (Sanford Prismacolor) dark umber (Sanford Verithin)

surfaCe l

Fabriano 300-lb, soft-pressed watercolor paper

other tools l l l

l l

l l

Bestine rubber cement thinner cotton-tipped applicators medium and small watercolor brushes electric eraser emery board or sanding block (to sharpen electric-eraser strip) colorless blender pencil Icarus® drawing board (optional)

1 The Layout

Create a layout, or line drawing, of the image that shows the outlines and main elements of the design. Use sharp pencils, and apply them with light pressure. If you are working from a photograph, a light table or projector can assist you in tracing the image.

2 Layer the Weathered Wood Underpainting

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3 Apply the Solvent

Apply Bestine rubber cement thinner (or equivalent) with a cotton-tipped applicator in the same direction as the colored pencil lines.

4 Layer the Axle

Layer the axle with warm gray III.

basic colored pencil technique Layering is the quintessential technique of colored pencil. Color is gradually applied, or layered, dark to light, building increasingly complex values and hues. The result can have a soft, airy look when more paper is allowed to show, or it can have an almost painterly look with additional applications of color. Burnishing begins where the layering technique leaves off. White (or

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another light color) is used to burnish, or mix, layered colors together. Then, the same sequence of layered colors (except for the darkest) is re-applied. The process of layering and burnishing is repeated until the paper is completely covered with colored pencil, and then any remaining tooth is removed with a colorless blender. Burnishing gives heightened control over value, hue, and texture, allowing colored pencil to

more closely resemble the look of oil or acrylic paints. Underpainting allows you to create amazingly lifelike textures. Pale colors, such as cream, yellow, beige, or sky blue are layered, and then dissolved with a solvent (or, if using water-soluble colored pencil, water is added). Darker values are then layered or burnished on top to create the desired texture. w w w. A r t is t D A ily.c om

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5 Wet the Axle

Apply water with a medium-dry, round watercolor brush.

6 Paint the Shadow Cast on the Axle

Layer the cast shadow on the axle with warm gray IV. Apply water with a small, round watercolor brush.

7 Underpaint the Old Yellow Paint


Break the point off an Albrecht Dürer cream watersoluble pencil into a watercolor palette, then fill the palette well with water. When the point softens, mix thoroughly. Apply a thin layer of color with a round watercolor brush to the spokes’ light-yellow painted areas.


d e te


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8 Underpaint the Background

Using the same method as in Step 7, apply dark umber (Dürer) with a round watercolor brush to the background.

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9 Refine Shapes

Refine the edges of the light-yellow painted areas with a sharpened electric eraser and Prismacolor cream pencil.

10 Re-Paint Erased Gray Areas

Re-layer the erased bare-wood areas with French gray 20%.

11 Paint the Second Underpainting

With an electric eraser, lightly lift portions of the yellow underpainting. With medium pressure, layer beige and ginger root over the yellow as shown, and then apply Bestine or an equivalent solvent.

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12 Paint the Peeling Yellow Paint

Layer scattered linear strokes of brown ochre, ginger root, or beige, and then erase an adjoining parallel line with a sharpened electric eraser. Decrease the thickness of the erased line with the local background color. Before adding color, lightly erase the areas to be painted dark yellow with a sharpened electric eraser, allowing some of the light-yellow underpainting to remain. Using small, circular strokes, apply layers of green ochre, bronze, green gold, brown ochre, yellow ochre, ochre, and fast orange. Burnish with cream (Prismacolor), and re-apply the first sequence of colors until the surface is covered. Finish with a colorless blender pencil. Retouch any areas that were unintentionally erased using cream or French gray 20%. w w w. A r t is t D A ily.c om

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13 Weather the Wood

With varying pressure, draw the cracks with linear strokes of dark sepia, Van Dyck brown, dark umber (Verithin), and brownish beige. Use the darkest value (dark sepia) for the deepest cracks, and lighter values as the cracks become shallower. Layer light, linear strokes of dark and brownish beige for the weathered wood. Carefully leave a line parallel and to the left or bottom of each crack free of color to show depth. Using short, linear strokes, layer burnt ochre on the wood at the edge of the hub. Using a sharpened electric eraser, erase small areas to show chips of yellow paint. Burnish these areas with cream (Prismacolor). Draw lines around edges of the yellow painted areas with Van Dyck brown or dark umber. Layer yellow ochre to show yellow paint remnants on the weathered wood.

g nt

ger ne ckor. be er, to of ow am olss n%.


14 Paint Weathered Red Paint

Apply varying intensities of dark red, madder, and alizarin crimson to the weathered wood on the spokes and hub.

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15 Underpaint theM etal Portionso f the Hub

Break the points off Albrecht Dürer ochre and light cadmium red pencils into a palette, then fill the palette wells with water. When the points soften, mix the colors thoroughly and apply to the metal hub with a round watercolor brush.

16 Burnish the Metal Portions of the Hub

Paint the leading edge of the upper hub ring with bronze, yellow ochre, Van Dyck brown, brown ochre, and cool gray 20%, leaving the light-yellow underpainting free of additional color. Burnish the top of the upper metal hub ring and the metal hub with black, cool gray 90%, 70%, 50%, 30%, and 20%, leaving portions of the underpainting free of additional color.

17 Paint the Axle

Burnish the red areas with pale vermilion and cool gray 50%. Burnish the red areas in shadow with pale vermilion and cool gray 70%. Burnish the yellow areas with bronze, yellow ochre, and cream (Prismacolor). Burnish the yellow area in shadow with cool gray 70%, bronze, and yellow ochre. Burnish the gray areas with cool gray 70% and 50%. Burnish the gray areas in shadow with black and cool gray 70%.

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18 Finish With the Background

Using circular strokes, burnish the background with random, overlapping applications of black, dark umber (Verithin), and chocolate. Adjust your painting as needed. v this demonstrAtion is AdApted from GAry Greene’s book the ultimAte Guide to Colored penCil (north liGht books, CinCinnAti, ohio). to purChAse the full book, downloAd A diGitAl Copy, or find other resourCes from GAry Greene, visit www.northliGhtshop.Com.



AbouttheArtist Gary Greene is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Colored Pencil, Creating Textures in Colored

Pencil, and Creating Radiant Flowers in Colored Pencil, all from North Light Books (www.northlight shop.com). Gary has won numerous awards, including three Awards of Excellence from the Colored Pencil Society of America. He has conducted workshops, demonstrations, and lectures nationally and internationally since 1985. For more information, visit www.ggart.biz.

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Spiraling Lettuce 2010, colored pencil, 21 x 31. All artwork this article collection the artist.

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megAn seiter:

coloreD pencils or



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Snow Dancer 2010, colored pencil, 26 x 18. “I almost never do color sketches before I start a drawing—usually I only do an outline version on tracing paper that I can transfer onto the black work surface,” the artist says. “But for Snow Dancer, I sketched out the tutu to find the right amount of pressure for portraying multiple layers of the green, see-through material. I also worked to figure out how to create reflected light on the sequins that was realistic but not overwhelming.”

In just three short years, this young artist has developed a signature style and passion for colored pencil that informs her process for creating emotive still lifes. by Naomi EkpErigiN


hey say God is in the details. Although I can’t vouch for that, I can certainly say that details can help artists create things of beauty, and the work of Megan Seiter is no exception. The young artist’s still lifes are the result of a painstaking focus on detail and a thorough and patient approach to drawing. She applies layer upon layer of colored pencil to her surface, resulting in still lifes featuring crisp, bright color against stark black backgrounds. The result is a vibrancy and moodiness that one wouldn’t usually attribute to such subjects as stuffed animals or cupcakes,

and certainly not a head of lettuce. “I pick subjects that mean something to me,” Seiter says. “The toys are things that my brother and I grew up with. When I draw food or flowers, I’m not trying to get it perfectly right—I’m trying to personify it, make it come alive, and be more than just an object.” As unconventional as some of Seiter’s subjects may be, she finds that viewers are even more shocked when they discover that her work is done with colored pencil. “Usually when I tell people I’m a colored pencil artist, they say, ‘You should try oil,’” the artist says. “It can be discouraging, but I don’t take it to heart.” After all, Seiter has tried oil and many other media, in her studies at the Rhode Island School of Design’s Pre-College Program, in Providence; Hobart and William Smith Colleges, in Geneva, New York; and Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), in Baltimore. Although she’s open to exploration and recognizes that she’s early in her career, she knows what she likes and is sticking with it. “I first worked with colored pencils at MICA as part of a homework assignment, and I just clicked with it,” she recalls. “From there, I kept working at it. None of my teachers used it as their primary medium, so I mostly taught myself technique.” Drawing was always Seiter’s first love, which may have been inevitable. “My mom was an artist,” she says, “and my parents owned a printing business. There was always a lot of paper lying around, and I could pick up leftover

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Nature’s Dazzle 2011, colored pencil, 27 x 24.

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Flora and Alexander 2010, colored pencil, 19 x 25.

sheets and draw whenever I felt like it. It’s always been about pencils and paper for me. ” It wasn’t until high school that she began formal study and learned the range of possibilities available with various drawing media. After graduation, she was committed to pursuing an art education, and enrolled at Hobart and William Smith. “It’s a liberal arts college,” Seiter explains, “and art wasn’t a big major but I wanted a well-rounded education.” By her second year, however, Seiter had outgrown the small program, and after spending a semester in Rome, she transferred to MICA, where

“For this drawing, the tooth of the Mi-Teintes paper was an advantage,” Seiter says. “As I drew in the fabric and texture of the stuffed animals, the grooves in the paper helped it to really pop.”

she majored in General Fine Arts. “I chose that because you weren’t confined by taking certain classes,” the artist says. “I was able to try a lot of things, which is how I got to colored pencils.” As one of the country’s top art schools, MICA offers students a depth and breadth of knowledge that goes far beyond technical mastery. The General Fine Arts program, which allows students to shape a unique course of study

in order to achieve a more personal artistic vision, embodies this approach. And Seiter is evidence of the program’s success, as she has developed a unique style that combines old and new—both in her subjects and in her media. “One of my favorite classes was Illusionism, taught by Susan WatersEller—I basically followed her for the rest of my time at MICA,” Seiter recalls. “She combined the study of art with study of philosophy and psychology, really getting into how and why the human eye sees things the way it does.” Waters-Eller, whose career as an art-



ist sa tio su ou wh os m tu co an th dr st wo im re ex ag ov

Fl D en ed tio of sh in th yo it, of a fu str

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arh. m’s ue th

as rshe ls. th reu-



Mimi 2009, colored pencil, 11 x 30. “Clowns are haunting to some and cute to others,” Seiter says. “I drew one clown at a time, using the same doll but changing the lighting. My goal in changing the lighting was to add a degree of visual confusion—an intangible quality that might create more of that haunting feeling.”

ist has spanned more than 40 years, can see the progression in Megan’s resays, “I became fascinated with percep- cent work and appreciate the haunting tion when I did a master’s thesis on the qualities she brings to her objects that subject. I began to realize how much of make each one more than the thing itour reality is constructed individually, self,” says Waters-Eller. “There’s a feelwhich has profound implications phil- ing of intense life and silence that tranosophically. This exploration led me to neuroscience, and I evenDelphinium tually created the Illusionism 2012, colored course to present this material in pencil, 20 x 11. an experiential way. Megan used the course to develop her ability to draw realistically, although other students use it to aid surrealist work or give a sense of realism to imagined scenes. I think Megan responded to my belief that the expression of ideas through imagery has a distinct advantage over words.” Drawings by Seiter such as Flora and Alexander and Nature’s Dazzle show signs of this influence. Everyday items are elevated beyond their common associations, largely due to Seiter’s use of a black background and strong shadows. “I’ve found that if you include a background, you give the viewer everything that’s in your head,” Seiter says. “Without it, the subject dominates and pops off the surface—and it evokes a range of responses, which is fun.” Her mentor and former instructor echoes this sentiment. “I w w w. A r t is t D A ily.c om

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scends the subject.” Although most of Seiter’s subjects are in a state of stasis, she primarily draws from life, only employing photographs to help recall minute details. “For Nature’s Dazzle I started by drawing the flowers that looked like they had the shortest lifespan,” the artist says. “As they wilted, I kept them in the vase and added other flowers as needed so that my shadows would remain consistent throughout.” After much trial and error, Seiter has settled on Prismacolor and Caran d’Ache pencils, which she likes for their range of colors and waxto-pigment ratio. Her preferred surface is Colourfix paper, which she buys in black. “When I tried coloring the background myself, I just couldn’t get that same brilliance,” she says. She also likes Mi-Teintes papers, which served as the foundation for Flora and Alexander. In such drawings as Mimi, Seiter employed some of the techniques she learned from Waters-Eller. “There was only one doll, but I wanted to present all three of them,” Seiter explains. “I’d learned how to draw things that weren’t there, so I felt comfortable putting the clown under different lighting Drawing / Winter 2013 87

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“If you want to be an artIst, you have no choIce but to be drIven. ... I’m learnIng to be my own boss and accept dIsappoIntment when a pIece Isn’t jurIed Into an exhIbItIon or awarded a prIze.”

conditions and drawing each one individually. I think they look unique but similar, which is what I was going for.” She notes this piece was one of her most time-intensive, with the first clown alone requiring 12 hours of drawing due to the range of textures it contains. The porcelain of the doll, the silk jacket, and the fur collar were all new challenges that proved to be very exciting. Seiter now lives in Northern California, where she works part time and spends her remaining time focused on her art. She already shows signs of business savvy. She enters as many competitions as she can, using the entry deadlines as motivation and structure for her studio time. “If you want to be an artist, you have no choice but to be driven,” she says with a confidence that belies her years. “Some of my classmates graduated and discovered that without assignments and grades, they weren’t that passionate about their art. I’m learning to be my own boss and accept disappointment when a piece isn’t juried into an exhibition or awarded a prize.” The artist has also created an “art series,” through which fans of her art can pay for a “subscription” to her work. For a fixed price they receive an original drawing from Seiter once a year for five years. It’s a win-win situation: Admirers receive five one-of-a-kind works by an up-and-coming artist, and Seiter develops a client list and is able to pay off her student loans. “I just want to do whatever I can do so that I can keep making art,” she says. “I feel so lucky to have opportunities already, and I hope this is just the beginning.” v

AbouttheArtist Megan Seiter earned her B.F.A. in

Curious 2011, colored pencil, 16 x 22.

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general fine arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art, in Baltimore. She is a member of the Colored Pencil Society of America and has served on Prismacolor’s advisory council. For more information, visit www.meganseiter.com.

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Ar cr ot pa ve al M ly es ex

Artists of all stripes are invited to submit to The Sketchbook Project’s library and touring exhibition.

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A Artists know that much of their most creative work never gets seen by eyes other than their own. This is due in part to the difficulties of securing venues to exhibit artwork, but it’s also a result of the creative process. Moments of high creativity frequently come in the form of quick sketches, casual drawings, and unplanned experiments in journals and sketch-

My Commuting Companion (pages 13–14) by Carl Licence. All artwork this article from The Sketchbook Project, 2012, courtesy Art House CoOp, New York, New York.

books—work that often doesn’t make it into exhibitions and portfolios. The Sketchbook Project is an international art initiative that seeks to expose these sorts of hidden creativity. The project amasses a huge collection of sketchbooks by artists of all levels working in a multitude of subjects and media, and then make the books available online and through tours to

cities across the country and world. Since its founding in 2006, the project has revealed the creative lives of artists of every sort, and it offers an uncanny view into the raw creative energy that informs much of contemporary drawing, painting, and mixedmedia artwork. To participate, artists pay a small fee that covers the cost of supplies, shipping, and archiving. In return they receive a sketchbook—brown on the outside with blank white pages on the inside. They can then do pretty much whatever they want with it—draw, paint, cut, or paste. As long as the book still fits on a shelf and doesn’t leak sequins and glitter, all bets are off.


Treehouses of My Imagination (pages 13–14) by Jeanie Wogaman.


She Has Hope (pages 13–14) by Melissa Patton.



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ncluded here is a small selection of pages taken from submissions to the 2012 Sketchbook Project. Although it is by no means comprehensive, this sample gives some idea of the breadth of approaches, media, and subjects that make up the library. Carl Licence, for example, titled his book My Commuting Companion and filled it with scenes of passengers sleeping and reading on trains and visions of the city flashing by. Kara Lynn Ingalls’ sketchbook, Travel With Me… To the Napa Valley, depicts travels of a more leisurely sort—her framed, deliberately composed drawings depict scenes near her home in California’s wine country.


Travel With Me … To the Napa Valley (pages 9–10) by Karen Lynn Ingalls.

in tis sk af Je av

Participants return their completed sketchbooks to Art House Co-Op, the organization that runs the project. Books then embark on themed tours that travel to several cities via the Mobile Library, a custom-built trailer that functions as an interactive exhibition space. Artists also have the option of having their sketchbook scanned and made available online as part of the Art House’s digital library. The project affords artists something close to total creativity within the confines of a sketchbook. They can not only choose their subjects but also their entire approach to the project—including whether to spontaneously fill in pages with all sorts of art or create a single, coherent work. Many artists go all out, decorating every side of every page and blanketing the front and back covers with intricate designs. Others take a more restrained approach, presenting individual drawings that may form a series or narrative.

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on sok no is he elied on rs vinn … a ect a’s

Many artists take a mixed-media approach, and collage makes a strong showing throughout numerous books. Melissa Lynn Patton, for example, composes intricate assemblages combining decorative elements, words, and figures made of bold geometric forms similar to paper cutouts. The results are pages that explode at their seams with color and energy, and which investigate topics of happiness and beauty. Illustration, animation, and cartooning constitute another prominent artistic strain. Brett Nelson turned his sketchbook into Mad Jack: Chapter One, a farcical, violent, rollicking comic book. Jeanie Wogaman’s sketchbook explores a very different sort of imagined world;


Mad Jack: Chapter One (pages 11–12) by Brett Nelson.

her pen drawings depict tiny people living peacefully in the trees. She draws mostly in black but dots her pages with great red apples, and these generous splashes of color energize her complex compositions. Thousands of sketchbooks are available for viewing online at the Art House’s digital library and in person at the Brooklyn Art Library, the project’s New York City exhibition space and storefront. The level of creative energy in the works is remarkable, and the project offers a rare opportunity to see the creative process at its most raw and joyful. It reminds us that a small, well-worn book can contain as much imagination as all the walls of a hallowed gallery. ❖

VIEW and PARTICIPATE IN THE SKETCHBOOK PROJECT The Sketchbook Project is the flagship program of the Art House Co-Op, a New York-based organization that stages collaborative art projects. Beginning in 2013, participants may sign up at any point and assign their book to a multi-city tour of their choice. For further information on entering or viewing The Sketchbook Project, as well as other Art House Co-Op initiatives, visit www.arthousecoop.com.

The Brooklyn Art Library, the Art House’s base in New York City, is filled with artists’ sketchbooks.



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Andrew DeCaen

WH Y NE W ? In recent years, this Texas-based artist has shown his work in numerous exhibitions around the country, including solo shows of his extensive “Metabolism” and “Sonogram” series.

WH Y NOTABLE? DeCaen’s Metabolism series includes works in numerous media and features his inventive and complex responses to scenes from Italian cinema that depict food and eating. Disconnect III, for instance, shows a man and a woman sitting together for a meal that hardly seems joyful. The figures overlap, but the composition reveals them to be decidedly divided. Many pieces in the series were drawn with ink or graphite over a screenprinted pattern, but the series also included lithographs, papier mâché, and sculptures made of paper, household items, and other materials.




Disconnect III

2012, graphite over screenprint, 23 x 22.

2011, graphite, lithograph, and colored pencil, 11 x 22.

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IF YOU LIKE IT… See more of the artist’s work at www.andrewdecaen.com, or visit the website of Norwood Flynn Gallery, in Dallas. W W W. A R T IS T D A ILY.C OM

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