Friday, January 29, 2010

Homework #2 (Assigned 1/28 - Due 2/4)

-Draw 1 pair of shoes
-Use contour line
-Use line to describe texture and pattern
-Focus on line quality
-No shading
-Use 1 full sheet of the heavyweight, white drawing paper
-Use pen (remember my demonstration of the homework - think about using graphite pencils to sketch your pair of shoes before applying pen - then erase all graphite)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Texture and Pattern

The most important thing to remember when translating textures and patterns is that they exist on the surface. It is topical information following the curves and planar shifts of the form it covers. The subject must be drawn accurately first, then the texture or pattern may be applied.


Composition is a relationship you create between positive space, negative space, and the format (your drawing surface). The center, top, bottom, and sides of the format are of equal importance until the image is placed; then priority is given to a specific area.
Centralizing an image results in maximum balance and symmetry, while offsetting an image can create movement and asymmetry. The arrangement of value, line, shape, form, texture, and space within the format greatly impacts your subject matter.

Negative Space

There are two components in drawing, the form/positive space, and the area around the form/negative space. It is most common to focus on the subject of a drawing, making sure the proportions are correct and the shapes are accurate. However, the space around and in between the subject, the negative space, is just as important to focus on. The form must be correct, but so must its relationship to any of the other subjects in the picture plane. Placement, spacing and proportion are considerations taken when constructing both positive and negative space. And think about this, when you draw your subject, you're simultaneously drawing/defining the negative space.
Homework #1 ( Assigned Thurs., Jan. 21 - Due Tues., Jan. 26 )

-Choose 2 organic objects (i.e. fruit, plants, rocks)
-Choose 3 geometric/planar objects (i.e. luggage, tools, furniture)
-Arrange a still life using all 5 objects (2 organic and 3 geometric/planar)
-Create a CONTOUR LINE drawing of said still life
-Use 1 full sheet of 18"x24" heavyweight, white drawing paper
-Use your full range of graphite pencils (2H, HB, 2B, 4B, 6B)
-Focus on contour line and line quality, as well as proportions and accurate shapes

Monday, January 18, 2010

The use of a measuring device to check the relative size and position of a subject and its individual parts is known as sighting.
A measuring device is any straight and narrow tool with clean edges, we will most likely always use a pencil as our measuring device in this class, and I will refer to the measuring device as a pencil below. The goal is to create a unit of measure for comparison throughout your drawing, so how do we do that?

Be consistent. Hold the measuring device in the hand you are not using to draw, and extend your arm fully. Make sure the pencil is at a right angle to your line of vision (imagine being pressed into a microscope slide so that you become a flat plane) keeping your pencil parallel to you, not pointing forward or backward.

To gauge proportions, line up one end of your pencil with one edge of the object and adjust the tip of your thumb on the pencil to line up with the opposite edge of the subject. Between your thumb and the top of your pencil is one full dimension of the subject. Without moving your thumb position, rotate your hand to compare your first measurement with another major dimension of the
subject or space between objects.

To assess the position or angle of a subject, line up your pencil along the angled edge and bring that down to the page in the appropriate location. Use this process to understand the degree of the receding edge or the slope of a curved edge. This is also useful in drawing relations between subjects.

Basic Shapes
There are four basic shapes, and it is possible to draw any object, regardless of it's complexity, by employing said shapes. The cube, the cylinder, the sphere, and the cone are the basic forms you may combine to achieve a desired structure. When combining shapes, pay particular attention to position and scale.

The illustration below is an example of how to

construct an object using basic shapes.

The Ellipse

There is a fifth basic shape, which is really a modification of the sphere, which is called an ellipse
. In geometry, an ellipse (from the Greek elleipsis, a "falling short") is a plane curve that results from an intersection of a cone by a plane in a way that creates a closed curve. Circles seen in perspective are ellipses, or flattened spheres. You will encounter ellipses often, they are an integral part of drawing from observation, showing depth and conveying perspective. And remember, circles don't have corners, therefore ellipses should not come to a point on either side.

Contour Line
Contour line drawing describes the touchable edges of an object; identifying the edges of every shift in plane with a line. There is no color, value, shading, or topical information included in this practice.

When working in this manner, it is helpful to slow down your observation. Look at your subject carefully and translate every curve and shift as you come to it, corresponding the movement of your hand with the movement of your eye. It is important to stop relying on your memory of what an object should look like, and start focusing on true observation and honestly recording the object in front of you.

It is possible to reduce everything we see around us into line. It is the most basic form of drawing. Think about how natural it is to use line to define a three-dimensional object on a two-dimensional surface. However natural it is to use line on the page, we actually recognize and identify forms in real life through light and shadow, not line... so why use it?

Translating what we see in our environment into a drawing requires a new way of looking. Careful observation and attention to detail are necessary. Working with line allows us to focus on accuracy in shapes and proportions of objects, giving you a strong foundation on which to build value and texture and pattern. A successful drawing starts with a strong base.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Materials List

-Large Newsprint Sketchpad, 18"x24", rough surface
-Large Strathmore Sketchpad, 18"x24", smooth surface, heavy weight (400 series, premium recycled)
-Drawing board with clips for 18"x24" pads
-Graphite Pencils: 2H, HB, 2B, 4B, 6B
-Charcoal Pencils: Soft, Medium, Hard, or 2B, 4B, 6B
-White Chalk (soft)
-Compressed Charcoal Sticks
-Vine Charcoal Sticks
-Sandpaper or sandpaper block
-Blending stumps
-Chamois (art cloth)
-Kneaded Eraser
-Pink Pearl or white plastic eraser
-Pencil Sharpener, with container for shavings
-Fine, Medium and Thick black magic marker
-Can of Spray Fixative, workable (use outdoor only)
-18 - 24" Metal Ruler with cork backing
-Roll of 1/2" white Artists Tape
-Glue Stick
-Supply box

Art Supply Stores

-Art Supply Warehouse, 6672 Westminster Blvd., Westminster, CA 92683, (714)891-3626
-Lyon Art Supply Co., 420 East Fourth St., Long Beach, CA 90802, (562)435-5383
-The Art Store/Dick Blick, 7301 West Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036, (323)933-9284
11660 Santa Monica Blvd., West Los Angeles, CA 90025, (310)477-0451
44 South Raymond Ave., Pasadena, CA 91105, (626)795-4985
-Utrecht, 1167 Santa Monica Blvd., West Los Angeles, CA 90025, (310)478-5775
-Pearl Art Supplies, 1250 South La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035, (310)854-4900
-Aaron Brothers, for locations call 1-888-372-6464 or visit
-Michael's, for locations call 1-800-642-4235 or visit

*Bring your student card for possible discounts
Art 15-Beginning Drawing, Spring 2010
Tues/Thurs, 4:00-6:50PM, K135
Instructor-Lauren Dees


Prerequisite: None

Course Description: This is an introductory studio experience in freehand drawing with an emphasis on creative expression through the use of drawing media. Focus is placed on drawing methods and skills (i.e. line, volume, tone, texture, perspective, composition), as well as the observation and exploration of media. This course is conducted with the assumption that the student has no formal training in freehand drawing.

Course Overview/Objectives: This class will introduce you to the fundamental skills of drawing and composition. The emphasis will be working from observation. You will acquire a working knowledge of basic drawing skills including value, gesture, contour, perspective, color and composition that will act as a good foundation as you continue in your artistic career. This course will involve observational in-class assignments and homework, as well as a midterm and final project. There will be class critiques, lectures, and demonstrations. Each project is designed to teach a specific skill in drawing while introducing a variety of drawing materials.

Text: You are not required to purchase a text book for this class. You will find all the information needed online, on our class blog. Please check prior to each class meeting, you may be instructed to print a hard copy to bring to class. I also encourage continuous use of the books and periodicals available in the library.

Grading: Homework = 40%. Portfolio (Midterm and Final) = 20%. Midterm Project = 15%. Final Project = 15%. Attendance = 10%.

Evaluation and Grading Procedure: Your final grade is based upon the entire body of work done throughout the semester. Projects will be evaluated on assignment objectives, completion and presentation, creativity and effort and growth.

Student Expectations: Attend class, arrive on time and do not leave early. Arrive with required materials at the start of class and be prepared to work. Give active and thoughtful participation in class discussions and critiques. Have a good attitude.
Attendance: Role will be taken each period. Arriving late to class and/or leaving early on two occasions equals one absence. If you accumulate more than 6 absences in the semester, your grade will lower one letter. It is essential to attend all classes, arrive on time and remain working for the entire period. If you choose to do otherwise, it will be reflected in your grade.
Studio Policies and Guidelines: Turn off all cell phones and pagers, no incoming or outgoing calls/texts. no friends visiting during class. Clean up your work area before you leave class, throw out food and drink trash and dirty paper towels, and wipe off your desk. Maintain a quiet, clean and productive working environment. Spray fix outside the classroom, away from open doors, in a well ventilated area. Learn your classmates' names - get to know one another.
Homework: In-class assignments not completed during the class period will have to be finished at home, unless otherwise instructed. There will be an assignment given at the end of class on Thursday of each week, to be completed at home and due at the beginning of class the following Tuesday. Be sure to keep everything you've done for portfolio reviews. If your work is late, your grade for that assignment will be lowered. Any completed drawing that is turned-in on time may be reworked and resubmitted for a new grade.

Portfolio: Portfolios will be turned in twice and will contain work done in class. Do not throw away any work nor fold or mutilate it. Please sign and date work, then arrange it chronologically, from earliest to most recent, when placing it in your portfolio. A small sketchbook for outside work (i.e. ideas, sketching, layout) is highly advised.
Exhibits/Books/Periodicals: While there are no formal assignments to look at art, it is useful to know what is going on outside the classroom. Art exhibits, exhibit catalogs and art books provide valuable access to techniques, imagery and ideas. If you have the time and inclination, I recommend them. Check ArtScene, Artweek and the Calendar section of the LA Times Sunday edition for a listing of exhibitions, The LA Times Arts section also contains exhibition reviews during the week. Some local art galleries and museums include: our own Art Department Gallery, the Long Beach Museum of Art, the Museum of Latin American Art, the CSULB Art Museum and Galleries and any of the galleries or open studios located in San Pedro or the East Village Arts District in Downtown Long Beach. Los Angeles is a wonderful place to look at art with institutions like the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and L.A.C.M.A. West, the Museum of Contemporary Art - Grand Avenue, Pacific Design Center, and The Geffen Contemporary; the UCLA Hammer Museum, the California African American Museum, The Museum for Jurassic Technology, the Norton Simon Museum, the Pacific Asia Museum, the Orange County Museum for Contemporary Art, the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, and the Laguna Art Museum. There are also numerous galleries around the L.A. area with complexes like Bergamot Station, The Brewery, 6150, Chinatown, and Culver City.

Other very good sources for information on contemporary art are periodicals such as: Art in America, Art Forum, Art News, Print, Juxtapoz, and High Fructose. Magazine sections in Borders and Barnes & Noble bookstores are usually pretty good sources if you'd like to purchase your own.

Instructor Information: The best way to communicate with me is via email. My email address is Lecture, demonstration, discussion, field trips, and projects are the structure for this class.

Important Dates:
-Jan. 18, King's Day - College Closed
-Jan. 30, Last day to drop without record
Last day for students to use a permission number
-Feb. 12, Lincoln's Day - College Closed
-Feb. 14, Last day for students to change their grading basis (pass-no pass)
-Feb. 15, Washington's Day - College Closed
-Feb. 25, Graduation applications due for May graduation
-April 4-10, Spring Recess - No Classes
-April 25, Last day for students to drop and receive a "W" mark
-May 17-25, Final Exams
-May 18, Final Critique for this class - Final Projects due