Drawing Blog

Teaching Week 1

Friday 27th Icebreaker with Foundation: Drawing Portraits

Teaching at International Institute of Fine Art (IIFA)

Monday 30th: Painters
2nd and 3rd Years

Intro to Figure Drawing
Drawing figure as whole (moving away from head to toe outline). Discussed this in relation to weight and posture, looking at Goya drawings. Rembrandt ink drawings in discussion of economy of line. Practically encouraged students to look at connections or 'invisible lines and angles' though the body to rapidly find the form. Doing this while emphasising weight and effect of gravity with importance of grounding the figure. Using charcoal for many different marks (not heavy outline).

Tonal Drawing. Used lighted brick to introduce drawing without lines; looking for contrasting tones, edges not lines. 30 minutes drawing figure, naturally began to include interior in drawings.
Figure in Space. Drawing the room - then introduced model. Discussed e.g. plains of figure matching room, space in extreme foreground in one students work (who had added page) created sense of sharing the space (words used: intimate, artist's view point) (re. Tim Hyman).

Afternoon. Working on single large drawing outside. Chose backdrop at end of road, old factory gates overgrown weeds and rusted up truck. Asked students to think about including whole space in drawing (using thumb nails to plan - seemed not to have done before) . Introduced figures one at a time in different areas of scene. Often extended pages. Encouraging to loosen drawing, rework drawing, use mark making and more tonal variation, think about spaces - calm/busy and breadth of vision i.e. peripheral.

Tuesday 31st: Foundation
Groups B&C in Morning. Group A in Afternoon

Introduction to Figure Drawing
Similar introduction as Monday class, followed by longer tonal drawing. This done by covering model with sheet to give basic shape defined tonally. Sheet removed and students tasked to render their figure over tonal figure.

Wednesday 1st: Applied Arts
2nd and 3rd year

Character Portraits
Class set up in circle, students take turns to model two at a time in centre. Using ink and brush on an A1 sheet divided into 16 A5 sections for each portrait. Focusing on ways of drawing, use of media, marks, design and composition as means of visually communicating a message about the sitter i.e. personality, character. Once students got the hang of this, we introduced a charades type exercise where each sitter chose a piece of paper with a characteristic written on it which the students then had to communicate through their drawing. Each time we discussed the characteristic, asking for words to describe it and then a Hindi translation, sometimes encouraging the students to direct the pose in an appropriate way. Final exercise was a full figure drawing based on an event chosen at random, introducing students to using the space around the figure to build atmosphere.

Chris Wallbank