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Category Archives: Class Notes

Xerox Lithography on Clay:


The manga/anime version of Adam.

The class started with a lecture/demo from Laura. She always has very interesting and unconventional tricks up her sleeve.

Laura is showing us how to create an additional texture to complement drawing with a white school glue.

What kind of marks you make on paper to create your reality is the most important thing in drawing. The more you have in your vocabulary, the more eloquent you are…

Different background treatments, cutting through paper, using glue as texture -- you name it, she showed it!

The main idea of this particular class was to practice different gestural styles of drawing an object. So, we all had a little cheat-sheet passed around before we started to do our “serious” exercises.

This is our cheat-sheet with the variety of mark-making we were exploring in class.

The objective was to draw a part of a still life keeping in mind composition, value, proportions and all other rules of successful picture-making and using a variety of mark-making from the “cheat-sheet.”

still life

These are the choices our still life had to offer as seen from a bird eye view (or 6 feet standing on a chair).

Before we proceeded, we all got an inspirational art-waving from Laura who was trying to inspire and warm us up for an upcoming creative burst.

flying laura

This is what I saw from my view-point:

I was frantically searching for a few items of still life that would excite me to put them down on paper, hence the fuzziness.

When I finally found my items I did a couple of preliminary gestural sketches in opposite styles:

Very loose charcoal rendition based on outlining and then filling in values.

Using nothing but a thin line as means of drawing really makes you pay attention to relationships between the objects rather than values that each has.

For our final in-class drawing, we were suppose to use either graffiti or tribal art style of execution or at least incorporate elements pertaining to those sub-culture genres. I picked my victim (or object of my affection) from the still life:

I really liked this guy. Besides, he had many intricate elements making up his body that landed themselves to be depicted on paper in graffiti style.

I noticed how this assignment completely threw me out of my comfort zone. I am so used to drawing/doodling without paying any attention to the elements or style that make up the drawing that i found myself drawing more slowly and cautiously, contemplating before almost every mark made. Unfortunately I got so into it that i forgot to take a picture of my own drawing at the end. However, here are few from my classmates:

These links are your textbook.  They cover technical principles of drawing like linear perspective, value, composition.

Art Studio Chalkboard

Figure Drawing Lab

Elements of Perspective



Instructor: Laura C. Hewitt
Teaching Assistant:  Adam Ottavi Schiesl
Class Blog:

This course will explore the principles and techniques of pictorial composition. A  variety of drawing media and papers will be introduced.   Students will gain a working knowledge of creative interpretation of subjects with emphasis on contemporary processes, subculture genres and internet presentation.

Grading System
Research Projects/Blog Contribution                         15%
Out of class drawings and projects                             30%
Class drawings and projects                                         40%
Participation, includes classroom clean up             15%

Research Projects/Blogs
Research Projects are due on Thursdays.  For each research project, one image, two website addresses and 10 descriptive words are to be neatly presented on  8 1/2 x 11″ paper.  Each student is also required to contribute one photodocumetary entry on the class blog at Blog entry dates will be assigned individually and are to be coordinated with Adam. Note: Finals will be graded by presentation of 2 actuals and 6 images of classwork that you load to your own blog.  See Finals at the end of this syllabus.

Critiques and Due Dates
Attendance of critiques, getting work complete by due dates and cleaning up the classroom before leaving is mandatory.  Students missing class, critiques, due dates or leaving without cleaning up will be withdrawn from the course with minimal notice.  Due dates are in Class Schedule below, posted on the blog and announced during class sessions.

Drawings/Blog Completed Outside of Class
UAF requires 2.5 hours minimum beyond class time each week for studio art courses.  These hours will be fulfilled by the Research Projects, individual blogs for finals and Out of Class drawings assigned in the Class Schedule.  Out of Class work is due at the next scheduled critique.  They are to be on good paper, black/white/gray until midterm; color until Final Projects.

Newsprint pad 18 x 24
Drawing Paper.  Strathmore or better. 18 x 24 min
Cold press watercolor paper or printmaking paper that will hold up to wet media 18 x 24 min. for drawings, 8 1/2 x 11 min     for Xerox Lithography project
Masking tape or clips
String with weight
BWG:  black, white and gray, media of choice with the exception of graphite.  There must be a gray:  gray     marker, gray pastel, gray ink wash, &c.
Color:  media of choice, including something wet: color pencils, pastel, aquarelle pencils, watercolor, &c.


Week 1: Introduction to Course/Gestural
Out of Class:  Gestural + Tribal/Graffiti
Class Blog:  Tues Piatanova, Thurs Anderson

Week 2:  Proportion/Line
Research: Punk Genres:   70s, Steam, Diesel, Cyber
Out of Class: Punk Genre + Proportion/Line
Class Blog:  Tues Janneck, Thurs Henderson

Week 3: Value
Research:  Geek, Science, SciFi, Biomech and the Post Apocalyptic
Out of Class: Value + Geek Genre

Week 4: Linear Perspective
Research:  Cartoon/Comics
Out of Class:  Linear Perspective + Cartoon/Comics

Week 5:  Mixed Media Drawing
Research: Goth, Glam, Noir
Tues: Critique
Thurs: Preliminary sketches/start paper treatments
Out of Class: continue work on MMD
Due Tues, 23 Feb:  first 4 OOCs due for critique

Week 6:  Mixed Media Drawing cont’d
Research: Kitsch
Tues: continue paper treatments/start on final drawing
Thurs: final drawing
Out of Class:  continue MMD

Spring Break

Week 7: Midterm Critiques
Due Tues: Final Project Proposals
Due Thurs:  All OOCs due for Midterm Critique, 18 March

Week 8: Introduction to Color
Research: Genre of choice that is not on syllabus.
Out of Class:  Genre of choice in color using color paper treatment.

Week 9: Figurative
Research: Anime or Fantasy
Tues:  preliminary sketches
Thursday:  preliminary sketches, start paper treatments
Out of Class:  Life size self portrait as Anime or Fantasy.  Color, using color paper treatment.

Week 10: Figurative
Research: Fantasy or Anime
Tues:  paper treatments, start on final drawing
Thurs: work on final drawing
Out of Class:  continue work on life size self portrait as Anime or Fantasy.  Color, using color paper treatment.

Week 11:  Xerox Lithography
Research:  Sex, Death or Otherwise Leaving Your Personal Comfort Zone
Due Tues, 13 April:  Critique of OOCs since midterm
Thurs:  introduction to xerox lithography
Out of Class:  Xerox lithography project incorporating Sex, Death or Otherwise Leaving Your Comfort Zone.

Week 12:  Xerox Lithography
Class and Out of Class: continue work on xerox lithography project incorporating Sex, Death or Otherwise Leaving Your Personal Comfort Zone

Week 13: Final Projects
Subculture Genre and Media of Choice/finals blog

Week 14:  Final Projects
Subculture Genre and Media of Choice/finals blog
Due Thurs, 6 May:  Your blog address.  Images of 6 works from this class must be posted on a blog that has been set up by you and accessible by me.  Class review of Final Projects.

13 May:  Finals.  Individual meeting times will be assigned.  At that time, 2 actuals are due, your choice of any work.

Thanks to working with Adam on this syllabus, I have discovered that Googling, Yahooing and Wiking the Research Topics yields dreary and vapid results.  I am listing starting point links here:

Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia






Haute Macabre:  It Wasn’t Just a Phase