When Viewing Examples of Student Work:

Often a single example of work may not demonstrate all the required objectives for a particular assignment. Instead students should collectively consider: the required objectives for each assignment, the multiple examples presented on this blog and during in class presentations. As well ideas discovered through a student's independent research in combination with various examples and ideas presented by instructor will ultimately be the best approach for synthesizing ideas and reaching the requirements (and unique outcome) for any particular course project.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Assignment 1: Blind Drawing - Process Drawing with Feel and Memory (Drawing Studio 2 Assignment)

Blind Drawing Assignment Text & Examples of Work

Supplies Required:
• Some sort of blindfold (or anything that will completely block your
eyesight from viewing your drawing while you draw)

• Chalk or Oil pastels (preferably oil pastel – if using oil pastel you
will need something to scrape and scratch the oil pastel away)

Charcoal  material no longer allowed to be used in school of art

• Rubber Eraser for subtracting chalk pastel, charcoal, chalk line
dust, or graphite powder. As well pencils, markers, and coloured pencils

• Stencils and Templates (as shown in class and also see below at the bottom of this post):
An assortment of organic and geometric stencils and templates at
various scales should be used to maximize the shape variations and
compositions in your drawings. Some stencils/templates should be
considerably larger than your hand while others may be same size and
smaller than your hand.

To make stencils: cut out (or tear) shapes in materials such as paper and or cardboard (the shaped hole in the material is the stencil, the shape removed from the material to create the shaped hole is the template). Geometric shapes may include squares, rectangles, circles and triangles and a combination of those shapes. As well organic shapes may include blob shapes and/or bean shapes and/or asymmetrical clover shapes. Or you may find some ready made stencils or templates that are abstract. The more ambiguous and abstract the stencil is the more successful your drawing will be in reaching the assignment objectives. As you draw blind folded you will feel each cut out stencil and template to trace and layer shapes in your drawing using an additive and subtractive process.

• White or off-white paper, 18 x 24 inches minimum in size, 3-4 sheets
of drawing paper (white cartridge paper is suggested but it is only one
option in terms of white or off-white paper).

• (Optional) Chalk line dust or graphite powder – if you use either of
these mediums bring a dust mask.

Student Examples and Historical Reference:
Further explanations will be given in class. Some
examples of previous students work (are posted below)
Here are also some historical examples related to the assignment by Robert
’s Blind Time Drawings (Began series Circa 1970s).

Purpose of Assignment:
• Increase the awareness of other senses. In particular this assignment
focuses on the sense of; touch, the variety of pressures applied to
drawing tools, and the emphasized awareness of arm, hand and finger
movements while drawing.

• Becoming aware of one’s own body in relation to drawing.

• Becoming sensitized to the physicality of drawing mediums and to the
physical variations of the layers in a drawing.

• Allow chance to take place and letting unexpected accidents to happen
which will give new ways of approaching drawing when considering formal
issues of abstraction. Overall this is opening up the possibility for
intuition and instincts to play a greater role in the drawing process.

• Offer students a variety of options/alternatives to their usual
system of drawing and or to traditional methods of drawing.

Evaluation criteria:

Variation of interesting stencil and template shapes

Variation of drawing materials

Maximized layering process in major parts of drawing

Physical presence of materials on surface

Variation of mark making

Experimentation and innovation

Overall uniqueness

Here are some examples below of stencils and templates cut into 2 -dimensional geometric shapes most of these examples below are not symmetrical.  Stencils and templates using organic shapes are also required for assignment. 

Here are some blind fold drawing examples completed by students. These examples represent only a small sample of potential outcomes for assignment.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Assignment 2: Pure Abstraction/Modernist Drawing Assignment (Drawing Studio 2 Assignment)

Pure Abstraction/Modernist Drawing Assignment (Assignment Text and Examples):
Intuitively exploring the formal languages and physicality of materials within the drawing discipline

Assignment Instructions and Objectives:
Complete a large-scale drawing (3 x 4 feet) with 3 or 4 small studies that emphasize concepts OR 4 smaller drawings 18 x 24 inches each with small studies demonstrating the language of drawing.
(The Language of Drawing meaning the physical act of drawing with traditional drawing materials as a language in itself).
The work should demonstrate a variety of formal concerns in the picture plane such as the use of colour, shapes, scale shifts, composition and mark making using primarily drawing materials. You have the option of developing collaged materials into the drawing provided the above objectives and the points below are followed. All attempts should be made in the drawing assignment to not reference anything representational.

1) Your drawing should consist of as many forms and spaces as possible with a complex but unified composition in each work. Consider intervals between elements and allow for focal points where there are areas of multiple overlapping shapes that interact with each other while simultaneously interacting within the overall composition.

2) Space should vary from deep to shallow with a variety of line and shapes. Also consider variations of visual weight in the line and shapes.

3) Avoid literal or conventional methods to depict shallow and deep spaces. (Rely on overlapping of elements instead of depicting converging planes to vanishing points). Spaces and forms can be fragmented and or abstracted through experimentation with drawing materials.

4) Consider the reality of the drawing medium (language of the medium) on the 2 dimensional surface of your picture plane. (thick and thin applications of drawing mediums and mark making) and consider your options in terms of a surface. Some areas will require numerous layers of drawing materials while other areas will work with minimal applications of materials. As well during the drawing process some areas of the drawings should involve scraping and erasing.

Suggested Drawing Materials:
-It is suggested people use the coloured oil bars for this assignment but many other options are also available in conjunction with the oil bars.

-Drawing materials such as oil or chalk pastels that cover large areas of your drawing quickly and offer good colour and have strong physical presence on the drawing surface allowing for an investigation of mark making will also work as well.

-Over all you can use all other types of coloured drawing materials for detail work such as coloured pencils, coloured inks and coloured markers, but keep in mind these should not be your primary drawing tools since they do not cover a large area quickly nor do they offer any sort of physicality in terms of the mediums presence or mark making.

-As well you may use acrylic or watercolour as a base or intermittently as long as the work emphasizes drawing materials.

-It is recommended that you use a fairly thick paper as your drawing surface. Some people have used canvas in the past but keep in mind the texture of the canvas causes the drawing materials to erode and ware out considerably quicker than if paper was used for a drawing surface.

-This 3 x 4 feet work can be one large sheet of paper or it may be smaller sheets of paper joined together. Consider how the seems of smaller paper will be integrated into the drawing and or hidden in the drawing.

Studies or Smaller Preliminary Works:
The purpose of the studies is to assist you in the investigation of this assignment. All the objectives do not have to be met in each study but rather should be used to take risks and experiment with to find all the required objectives. The studies are not about making something small and then duplicating that small study at a large scale. Instead the studies and the larger work should feed off each other.

During the process of making the assignment there should be a back and forth of working between the studies and the large work (especially at the beginning stages of the drawing) As well studies may include manipulations of digital photos of the large work taken while in progress. In general it is strongly recommended that you photograph the work in progress and periodically make some inexpensive prints at home to work on in order to consider all potential directions to develop the work. Overall experiment and investigate various options thoroughly with the studies and the large work.

Steps of Process to Consider for Developing Drawing(s):
Avoid having every formal and conceptual component of your drawing pre-planned or “figured out” before you begin. This will eventually suffocate any desire to work, because it is almost impossible to pre-plan every step in the process and get positive results.

If you are stuck with no ideas it is best to immediately start drawing with vague ideas and some random organic and geometric shapes such as in some of the examples posted below.

Prepare yourself mentally for a process of: risk, unexpected direction, layering, reworking, researching, making small preliminary works, applying criticism, generally experimenting with conviction in your drawing, and you will have a very successful work or series of works.

Optional Readings (Assistance in developing assignment):
Also there is the option to consider excerpts from Search for the Real a small book by Hans Hofmann, or excepts from survey books such as Art Speak by Robert Atkins (small book), The Visual Arts: a history by Hugh Honour and John Fleming, 7th edition p 844, and essays: Modernist Painting by Clement Greenberg. Considering the Hofmann, Atkins, Honour/Fleming and Greenberg's readings may assist you when developing ideas in your drawing.

For a broader view outside the modernist drawing assignment objectives other texts such as Art of the Postmodern Era, by Irving Sandler, Contemporary Art: Art since 1970 by Brandon Taylor, Five Faces of Modernity by Matei Calinescu and essay: Action Painting: Crisis and Distortion by Harold Rosenberg. These other texts offer debates, alternatives and opposition to Greenberg’s ideas regarding Modernism.

The examples presented here for the Modernist assignment are meant as a guide. Not all examples below meet all of the objectives for the assignment but instead offer a range of partial ideas that can be cohesively comprehended, synthesized and applied to the specific requirements of the modernist assignment in a unique and innovative manner. 

For additional student examples of a similar assignment from my painting courses please view the following link:

an excellent study that is 18 x 24 inches (studies for this assignment may be smaller and hopefully a little less floral with less spiral shapes)

an excellent study that is 18 x 24 inches (studies for this assignment may be smaller and hopefully a little less floral with less spiral shapes)

54 x 36 inches

56 x 36 inches

60 x 36 inches

36 x 60 inches

Advanced Painting 4 x 4 feet mixed media and paint on collaged paper Spring 2005

Advanced Painting 4 x 4 feet mixed media and paint on collaged paper Spring 2005

Advanced Painting 4 x 4 feet mixed media and paint on collaged paper Spring 2005

Advanced Drawing 1 Winter 2004

Stage 1 Advanced Drawing 1 Spring 2002

Stage 2 Advanced Drawing 1 Spring 2002

Stage 3 Advanced Drawing 1 Spring 2002

Stage 4 Advanced Drawing 1 Spring 2002

Stage 5 Advanced Drawing 1 Spring 2002

Stage 6 Advanced Drawing 1 Spring 2002

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Assignment 3: 21 Items/Elements - Exterior Assignment from Imagination

This assignment is about doing a drawing involving a landscape that includes a narrative or metaphorical narrative depicting the list of elements (listed below) from your imagination. The drawing can be as realistic or surreal as people wish provided the work presents a narrative with layered thematic content that is unique. Consider details, specific characteristics and contexts for each item/element to make your narrative unique. This assignment is about being given specific parameters and demonstrating the ability to be innovative and unique within those specific parameters.

The examples below do not address all the objectives of the assignment but are very good examples to consider. As in all assignments the goal is to have an original, unique and ambitious work when completing the objectives of the assignment.

Out of the list below you are required to depict the following 21 elements into you work:

1) House with one window that allows the viewer to see inside the house.

2) Cityscape or mountain range on the horizon in the background to suggest deep space in the picture.

3) Sculpture

4) Person riding their bike, skateboard, or rollerblading

5) Road

6) Fence

7) Shed or outhouse with entrance open allowing the viewer to see inside

8) Two people inside or outside who own/rent the house (these two people are in addition to the person riding their bike, skateboard or rollerblading)

9) Car

10) Boat, kayak or canoe

11) Flowers

12) 6 birds

13) Performance artist (historical or created)

14) Clothes line with clothes that signify the couple that are living in the house.

15) Garbage can and recycling container

16) Grass

17) River or stream

18) Tree

19) Bill board

20) Lawn furniture

21) Tunnel entrance in the landscape that connects to road

Check course syllabus for due date of this assignment.

21 Items project – comments to consider as the work is developed and completed
Many of these ideas below were discussed in class for this project (and for other assignments). 
The information below will also will be used to evaluate the assignment. 
Consider the information below as a guide when developing and finishing the assignment.

1    1)    Be specific as possible about those chosen items (the subject matter) in terms of detail that you feel is important or should be emphasized.  The work does not have to be drawn realistically but the drawing is required to convey ideas and or narratives about specific subject matter.

2   2)    Try to depict items in a way which are unusual or in a way that you have not seen before.

3   3)    Some items should be very large in size – begin to play around with scale and space within the work and some items will be smaller.

4  4)    Have some of the items overlap and interact formally (visually) and also consider how the items overlap and interact as part of the narrative.

5 5)   Using colour which includes pure colour and mixing of colour along with some potential tinting of colour. Keep the mixture and use of black with colour to a minimum.

6 6)    Consider where will there be subject matter which is low in colour contrast and where will there be some examples of subject matter which is higher in colour contrast. (this strategic use in the progressions of colour contrast could also have effect in terms of which part of the narrative is emphasized and how the progression of space is emphasized)

7 7)    Consider different types of art materials and the variety of characteristics these materials offer. Potential characters to utilize with art materials include:
-       - Opaqueness and transparency of art materials when applied
-       - Thick applications of materials (multiple layers of materials)
-       - Rough textured applications of materials
-       - Smooth application of art materials
-       - Sometimes the art materials will be used with intentional precision and control
-       - Sometimes the materials will be used with convincing intentions of expression and intuition (rough or messy with convincing intentions)
      -Use materials that will occasionally allow you to cover, edit and or revise areas in the work

Monday, April 3, 2017

Drawing Assignment 4: Time-Based Drawing (Drawing Studio 2 Assignment)

Assignment Description: Traditional drawing materials in relation to time based mediums such as sound, video, animation, book works, and or performance. As in previous assignments in the course the Time Based Drawing Assignment should present a hybrid of drawing materials and/or process with thematic layers conveyed in a unique and innovative manner. As usual aesthetic (formal visual languages) should be synthesized with thematic layers (conceptual content) Overall work should move toward thematic performance or process and or time based work with traditional drawing materials. 

Purpose: The goal of the assignment is to have students combine traditional materials with more contemporary art methods. Material options to select from could include traditional materials such as drawing materials (graphite, conte, and/or oil pastel), paint, various 2-dimensional surfaces (board, and/or paper) in combination with video cameras (cameras could include cellphones or tablets) and/or projections, printed matter, objects (found or crafted), and installation. Students potentially work as live performer with text, images, and/or audio with traditional drawing materials.

Potential Subject Matter and Themes:
1)     Dynamics of the gaze, including power relations within the process of interpreting subject matter. Students will be asked to attempt to subvert these dynamics in a process and/or performance work. Students will be encouraged to explore themes of personal identities and/or rituals in the context of blurred or multimedia disciplines with traditional drawing material(s).

2)     Open-ended themes include potential non-linear narratives, metaphors on time, aging, transition, loss, political struggle, and/or cycles.

3)     There could also be the theme relating to the problem of drawing materiality in the digital era.

4)     Strive to have materials and/or processes that convey fictional or real themes, metaphors, and/or narratives. The body is to be understood as a site of political or social critique. As part of the thematic layers, integration of a cultural critique into the prosthesis could be also be an option in relation to traditional drawing material(s).

5)     Themes not included on list is permitted provided a brief description (1 -2 sentences) is presented to instructor and approved by instructor

Some Examples of Time-Based Drawing (many more are possible - see what you can research!)

Heather Hansen

Rebecca Horn
Pencil Mask

Willian Kentridge
Book Work

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Assignment 5: Final Assignment (Drawing Studio 2 Assignment)

As mentioned in class Assignment 5 can be an extension of ideas for assignment 4 (time-based drawing) or a completely different project that connects traditional drawing materials with contemporary ideas. 
As indicated on UM Learn in the course syllabus, assignment 5 will involve the following ideas:
"Assignment 5 from Course Syllabus:
Thematic Content, Contemporary Ideas and Drawing: 
This assignment will offer choices that require the student to address a culmination of ideas disseminated from this course.
Objectives of Assignment:
The following project requires synthesizing formal and conceptual thematic content in relation to contemporary art [and drawing]. The research and the final outcome of the project should demonstrate a curiosity and an awareness of contemporary ideas. [check the optional reading list such as the Vitamin D book in the syllabus and links from assignment 4 to assist you further in your research]
Ultimately these contemporary ideas should be crafted technically and conceptually into a work of innovative contemporary art."

Contemporary ideas can include some of the optional themes presented in assignment 4, but could include other ideas as well. Majority of the work presented in previous assignment’s  group discussions were different examples of drawing connecting to contemporary ideas and contemporary drawing processes. 

Generally speaking contemporary ideas should have layers of meaning and the work should have an overall synthesis of formal and conceptual (thematic) ideas.

Students should periodically consult instructor throughout the process of the project to ensure that enough work is done and objectives of final project are addressed. As well there should be an in class dialogue with class peers regarding work. (As usual positive in class participation is expected).

Potential Options for Assignment 5:

The following assignments are suggestions (options) meant to serve as a guide. This list is not inclusive. You may wish to work on one assignment or combine ideas of various assignments. See options/assignments1-6 listed below.

1) Make a drawing on something 3Dimensional. Work may also include the use of non-traditional surface(s)/materials for applying drawing mediums onto. For example: metal, wood, fabric, resin, glass, and collaged newspapers and surfaces that are not oblong in shape. Or mixing paint and material together such as wax, silicon, plaster, or powders (Remember to think of art materials and health hazard issues with some materials)

Work can also include the interaction of the original colour of a selected material with other coloured surface(s)/materials or the occasional coloured object may be placed on a coloured surface. 20% of time should be spent on 3D component and 80% should be spent on the execution of the drawing. It is suggested that this option be chosen only if the person has aptitude and tools for making 3D work.

2) Develop collage in a drawing and/ or use of text or create a new type of bookwork as long as an innovative language of drawing is demonstrated. Consider book to be innovative with visual metaphorical layers of meaning.

3) Drawing in relation to a technology of choice: film, video, digital imaging (computers), cyber space, sound, photography, photocopying, printmaking, and/or a drawing project that addresses issues concerning media and culture. 

4) Drawing that is process based, or time based, or performance based.

5) You may have part of your drawing allude to a cultural critique addressing an issue or a combination of issues such as: economic class, power, gender, sexuality, environment or race. 

6) Open Project (Expand definition of Drawing in relation to Experimental and Innovative Contemporary Art Practices)

Overall this assignment should have traditional drawing materials and or processes (dry drawing materials such as pastels, conte, vine charcoal, etc) in some way.  However wet mediums such as water colour and other materials (including non-traditional drawing materials) may be used in conjunction with traditional drawing materials. As always if clarification is required as to what materials can be used for assignment contact instructor.

As in previous course assignments prepare yourself with a large variety of potential images and materials to work from, and mentally prepare yourself for risk taking, reworking, re-editing, researching, applying criticism and generally experimenting with conviction, and also have materials available for any small preliminary works and you will have a very successful work or series. Allow substantial time for "risk taking, reworking, re-editing, researching, applying criticism and generally experimenting with conviction".

Student examples of assignments presented below are suggestions meant to serve as a guide. These examples below are not inclusive (the assignment outcome can be very different from the examples below).  When considering option 1-6 (listed above) you may wish to work on one assignment or combine ideas of various assignments. Student examples of some final projects from previous first year drawing courses :

Varnish on Burned Wood
April 2009

Mixed Media
April 2009