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Tag Archives: drawing

Tiffany Stappler:

Elbot Carman:

Adam Ottavi Schiesl:

Gail Priday:

Eric Henderson

Eric Prowker

Jessica Pena:

Jessica Zaydak:

Amanda Cobb:

Alfred Mendoza:


Colleen Morey:

Lora Janneck:

Carolene Coon:

Kelly McCarthy:

Erin Anderson:


Just as I decided that paper was not too bad, Laura rocked my world by introducing the xerox lithography process on fresh, wet, greenware. Eric Henderson, Erin Anderson and I were salivating as Laura was showing us the techniques during class. It is very similar to the xerox lithography that you would use in printmaking.

To begin, you need gum Arabic, black iron oxide/black mason stain, linseed oil, cotton balls, a printmaking brayed and some paper towels. Have some black and white xerox. Avoid greys in your images. Mix up some gum Arabic and water, till it gets soupy. You need to create your own ink, so mix up some stain of your choice and linseed oil, till it gets mucky.

Prepare your xerox by dousing it in gum Arabic. This chemical repels the stain/linseed oil when soaked in the xerox paper. Ink up the plate enough where you can see the ink is on the black and is repelled from the white of your image. If needed, as some additional gum Arabic to ensure that the white areas are safe and clean. Erin is quite malicious when it comes to inking up clean lines.

When printing on clay. you need to make sure that the clay surface is free from texture and grog. You also want the clay to be soft and wet. Too dry, and the ink does not stick to the surface of the clay. Too wet, and the clay sticks to the plate. Either way, it can turn into a sticky situation.

This is where the magic happens. I know, you are on the edge of your swivel chair wanting to know what comes next. And honestly, you have to wait for the plate to dry up. If the xerox goes on too wet, it transfers it’s moisture to the clay body and then we run into problem. When all the gum Arabic beads dry up, pick up the plate and press it onto the clay. You can either use your hand, spoon, or rubber rib to press the inked image on your clay piece. Last step is peeling away the plate to reveal the inked clay. If things went seriously wrong somewhere down the line, you can simply rib the stain off the clay and start over.

I think this is a great process that Eric, Erin, and I have all gravitated towards. I find it interesting how different the three of us and Laura print on our pieces.

We finished critique tonight with Gail, Kelly, Elbot and Jessica Pena.  All four students had excellent life-sized self portraits and sub-genre of choice drawings.  It’s really a treat to see each student’s unique take on these assignments.  I would like to give specific attention to Gail’s fabulous genre of choice – breast feeding – AND her resulting genre of choice drawing.  The color work, perspective, concept, and execution are exquisite.

Gail's sub genre of choice drawing

Laura also gave the class a demonstration on Xerox lithography, a process she employs often in her ceramic work.  Xerox lithography, or the Xerox transfer process, involves using gum arabic, water, and lithography ink to transfer a Xeroxed image onto cold-pressed watercolor paper. The process uses a traditional print-making press and brayers. It took most students a few tries before successfully transferring his/her images. Stark b/w Xerox images work best (as in high contrast and few mid-tones). Text and black/white designs transfer quite well also.  Some students achieved excellent results!  Check out next week’s blog for more info, or click here for the Print & Clay website and instructions.

On Tuesday night we had a critique of our two assigned color drawings:  a ‘sub-genre of choice’ drawing and a life-sized self-portrait made with anime and/or fantasy in mind.

I had a hard time with both assignments for a couple of reasons.  First, I am not overly proficient with color pastels or color media in general.  To solve this problem, and upon the advice of Laura, I spent half a months rent on super deluxe pastels (Diane Townsend and UNISON) as well as nice watercolors and multiple sheets of expensive and WONDERFUL pastel card.  It’s amazing just how big of a difference quality products make when dealing with color – and specifically color pastel.   I still remember trying to blend oil pastels into cheap paper just a few years ago. What a pain.  And what a waste.  If you’re out there reading, PLEASE do yourself a favor and splurge on superior color pastels. They are handmade and will enable you to fully appreciate COLOR among many other things.

Another problem I had while working on these two color assignments was, if you can believe it, indecisiveness in choosing a ‘sub genre of choice.’  I switched my subgenre from METAL to ELIZABETHAN to PORTRAITURE all in the course of a week and a half. Sheesh. What was my problem?  I am usually the most decisive person in the room. Well, when Laura’s not around…

So I was all over the place (in my head).  And then I received some disappointing personal news.  At that point I was not only unsure of my sub-genre of choice but I was also angry, sad, and completely blind-sided by the news.  What’s a guy to do?   Refusing creative block, I returned to my roots and worked on two simple portraits of my muse Andrew.  The first drawing came out well but then I ruined it by spraying bleach on the surface (to provide some kind of paper treatment).  I had no choice but to start over…

The second time around, I used as much pastel as I could.  It felt excessive, rich, luscious, and totally artful.  I rubbed each beautiful, rich stroke vigorously with my fingers and palms. The pastel card just lapped it up.  It was simple and yet thrilling.   I kept color theory in mind while dealing with actual color versus the pastel I was laying down.   Red then green, yellow then violet, blue then orange.

The second portrait of Andrew incorporated Elizabethan and Portraiture as my sub-genres of choice.  I turned Andrew from a prince with an exaggerated ruff, into a Greek god, and finally into a rather genderless jester all on one piece of borrowed pastel card (thanks to Jess Pena). Although each drawing below is finished, I consider them exercises in color and tenacity rather than artworks. Either way, I worked through my creative lapse and personal problems and am satisfied with the results.

Still angry and upset, I tackled my life sized self-portrait as fantasy with the same gusto.  This time however, I used a piece of peach colored pastel card to create the face and ruff and then used various other materials and media to create the figure on the nearly 4×6 foot sheet of watercolor paper. Additionally, I placed images around and on the figure to help emphasize the fantasy aspects:  being a king/queen, being pregnant, being pissed off, being caught in a self-induced nightmare, holding the hand of a mysterious character off the page (and yet engaging with only the viewer).   I had a lot of fun with this.  Laura and I talked a bit about art as therapy.   Although I seldom consider my work to be cathartic, I admit that creating a big self portrait during a period of turmoil was incredibly and ironically relevant.


Jessica Pena - Biomech


Jessica Pena - Cartoon


Lora Janneck - Noir


Kelly McCarthy - Goth/Kitsch


Eric Prowker - Goth/Kitsch


Adam Schiesl - Goth/Noir


Gail Priday - Goth/Kitsch


Erin Anderson - Goth


Heidi Morel - Noir


Eric Henderson


Carolene Coon - Goth


Eric Henderson - Cartoon


Jessica Zaydak - Steampunk


Jessica Zaydak - Biomech


Jessica Zaydak - Goth


Tiffany Stappler - Goth


Amanda Cobb - Goth/Noir


Elbot Carman - Goth


Colleen Morey - Goth/Kitsch


Carolene Coon - Biomech


Class of Spring 2010

Carolene Coon - Cartoon/Comics

Elbot Carman - Tribal/Graffiti

Eric Henderson - Steampunk

Jessica Zaydak - Tribal/Graffiti

Jessica Pena - Biomech

Kelly McCarthy - Cyberpunk

Alfred Mendoza - Tribal/Graffiti

Amanda Cobb - Tribal/Graffiti

Colleen Morey - Cartoon/Comic

Eric Prowker - Steampunk

Erin Anderson - Cartoon/Comic

Gail Priday - Tribal/Graffiti

Heidi Morel - Biomech

Tatiana Piatanova - Biomech

Tiffany Stapler - Geek

Adam Schiesl - Cartoon/Comic

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:

Every Thursday: Research Projects

23 February: First 4 OOCs due for class critique.

16 March: Final Project Proposals

18 March: All OOCs due for Midterm Critique.

13 April: Color and Life Size Self Portrait due for class critique.

6 May: Blog address due; final images uploaded.

12 and 13 May: Final critique at individual meeting time.  Two actuals are due, your choice.