Daisy, Daisy…..

wpid-20170117_121503.jpgwpid-20170117_123603.jpgWe didn’t just draw daisies today, we drew specific daisies. We really worked hard on observation and representing specific flowers with all of their oddities and imperfections. We also got to dissect some of those pesky foreshortened petal views that are so difficult to deal with. Great exercise that will benefit you in your future flower drawings.






wpid-20170103_123713.jpgWhat could be better than always having something to draw at the end of your arm? When you’re at a loss, draw yourself. You’ll learn so much trying to draw the forms of the face. I think the brain is more devious when drawing ourselves than at any other artistic endeavor. If we ever had to battle drawing what we think we see, this is definitely the worst. But, if we are really focused and observant, we can overpower that know-it-all brain and produce great drawings! Everyone worked very hard today and did a great job.

Ho Ho Woof



We got into the Christmas spirit today with some Santa Puppy drawing fun.  Everyone chose a different dog, and we worked hard on value and proportion. There was a lot of discussion about measuring, comparing values, and line use. Ok, there was also a lot of awwwwing and oooohing over the cute puppies. It’s always fun to draw adorable!




eVALUEating Eggs


Today was an exercise in patience, observation, focus, the art of listening, and value. Everyone did a fantastic job of dealing with a deceptively simple subject, but Diana gets the gold star for all of the above. She lacks confidence in her artistic abilities (don’t we all?), which is usually a hindrance, but today served her well. In her trepidation, she listened to what I had to say about value and building tone slowly and she paid  extremely close attention to her work. I watched her really looking at the photo and truly trying to understand and do well. It was wonderful. And in the end she was rewarded for her work with a beautiful, subtle, fantastically shaded and valued drawing. I am well impressed. She’s definitely becoming a great artist.

Abundant Art


It was a fitting time for a cornucopia drawing, no? Mary had mentioned the desire to draw pumpkins or something, so I found this great image of a cornucopia filled with pumpkins and a metric tonne of other stuff. Careful what you wish for, right? It was an overwhelming image, but a great lesson on perseverance. Just work and before you know it, you’ll be done. Mary and Jim both cruised through this drawing once they set their minds to it. And they turned out really nicely! Jim looks less than enthused here, but I know for a fact that this drawing wound up framed. A little time and a little perspective and you start to see your work more objectively! Very well done.




Scottish bulls, to be precise. So, they’re very cute, but what did we learn? We spoke a lot about value value value, about the background defining the foreground, and about how much hair is enough hair to make a bull look hairy. Welcome to our newest student Jeanette, and welcome back to Betty!

B/W Bodie

wpid-20161011_123612.jpgRemember Back Alley Bodie? Well, this is the church at the end of the street. I think. It is a building from Bodie, CA. I have some very skilled draftspersons in my class. Look at the amazing job they did with this one! We did a little exercise as they were finishing this drawing. I asked them to do the same drawing with their non-dominant hand. It was so much fun to watch. Mary and Jim both giggled out loud. It was lovely. I’m glad they enjoyed the struggle and the awkwardness of using their other hands. As for the lesson involved, it shows what can happen with line when we don’t exert ultimate control on the pencil. Some lovely marks were created with that challenge. Hopefully everyone can keep a bit of that looseness when the switch back to their dominant hand. Line quality is a lovely thing!

Flowers Simplified

I absolutely forgot to take a photo of our drawings today. But, I wanted to document a topic of conversation from today’s class. We spoke at length about simplifying flowers into groups of petals and the shapes they make. Rather than drawing every single petal, draw the shapes that like-valued petals make and then fine tune after. This was my quick sunflower sketch example of that concept. This applies just as much to painting! wpid-2016-06-11-22.14.55.png.png




Marbles, Shoes, Pears, and Sunflowers, oh My!


Lots of great work today. Mary had fun with the marble image, Betty tackled the leather shoes, Lori got introduced to my favorite fruit, and Brenda finally finished her sunflower painting. I’m SO proud of her. It was a great lesson in perseverance and a glimpse at the struggle that most paintings go through. This painting taught her how to dance. Great day of drawings and painting (even though I know Brenda only comes on Tuesdays for the tacos). We even found a great frame for the sunflowers! Lori and Mary should look for frames for theirs. Very nice. Can’t wait to see how Betty finishes hers.