Week 3: Sketchbook


Most my artwork of the last 10 years falls into this genre so it was no problem coming up with an idea for a class sample drawing.  I was looking forward to doing this assignment, completely prepared.   At the very last minute, I mean the nanosecond before putting pastel to paper, I changed my mind, inspired by the paper size.  I love drawing on Sennelier pastel card but the largest available size is 19 x 26″.   I felt restricted by the small paper.  It reminded me of the laptop I inherited which is a standard sized laptop but feels like being in a doll house compared to my big screen, wireless mansion of a desktop.   Furthermore the laptop was already loaded with MS Vista: windows popping open, scroll bars, some sort of MS designers gone mad translucency thing that has to be seen to be believed, I mean, totally anathema to anyone who knows how to micromanage their computer experience.  Ubuntu, BSD, Perl anyone?

Since 2001 I have grown ficus retusa bonsai over circuit boards, real plants grown over real pieces of circuit board, and made the ceramic containers for them.  Right before I started the drawing, I attempted to email an image of my bonsai using the laptop.  Who knows what happened.  The image broke into multiple windows on the laptop screen, probably nervous pastel coated fingers on that itty bitty fingerpad and the whole mess looked like….well, a potential drawing.  With the thought that it would be easier to create a program for sending images than using someone else’s idea of an image sending program, I added a bit of my own Perl code, a program that admittedly I never got to work correctly, digitally speaking, but has its uses as a decorative element.  The best laid plans and all that.

Week 3: Research Project: Geek, Biomech and the PostApocalyptic


Websites: http://www.hrgiger.com/

Descriptive Words Biomech: surrealist, hyper representational, machine + human, machine + animal,  dark, noir, pessimistic, technophobic, humans manipulated by tech, cyborg

Descriptive Words Geek: computer, tech, gadgets, repurposed, upcycled, human + tech, robots, tech as something controllable and fun, manipulated by humans

Week 2: Proportion/Line Punk Genre Out of Class Drawing, Part 2


A wonderful thing about posting class samples on a blog is that as long as I take images throughout the process, I can ruin the actual but still have a sample posted.    This allowed me to push the drawing really far, take some creative risks.  To complete my Punk Genre drawing, I added the 70s punk slogan “No Future” in wet charcoal, furthering the concept initiated by the wrist watch parts though personally I’m a bit uncomfortable with text in drawings.   Then I shot the drawing a couple times with a 20g shotgun when it was damp so paper would be punctured rather than shredded.   I glued drawing onto heavy black paper for structural reasons.  This flattened the texture created by shot somewhat but emphasized the punctures and stabilized the paper.    Detail:

Categories : Drawings

Week 2: Proportion/Line Punk Genre Out of Class Drawing, Part 1


Final drawing meeting requirements for Week 2 Out of Class Drawing:  Proportional Line with characteristics of Punk Genre(s).


Time: 1 to 2 hours a day for 4 or 5 days.  Something like that.  Paper: Rives BFK  34 x 26″  Media: black and white ink; black, gray and white pastel.

Admittedly a bit of overkill for a line drawing.  Still, it is a build up of lines.  Detail:



Actuals: Watch parts and a piece of broken glass.   I found the broken glass in a dumpster.   I had made the watch parts I had available into earrings prior to this project so ended up having to draw from the earrings:


Process: Loaded Rotring  fountain pen with ink + water for gray ink:


Worked on inking in  proportional line drawing of watch parts in gray then spraying with water for runs and splatters.  Admittedly, at this point, I was doing very unpunk things like swiping up runs with a kleenex when they threatened to mess up really good parts of the drawing.


Inked in watch parts with black ink and used spray bottle to splatter gray ink over paper stencils resembling broken glass.


Finished with black, gray and white pastels.  Used wet brush on pastels to define glass.

Categories : Drawings

Week 2 – Sketchbook


Two sketchbook drawings for the Week 2 assignment exploring Punk Genres.  I was intrigued by the juxtaposition of the anti-aesthetics of 70s punks to the romantic aesthetics of  Steampunk culture.   This assignment was entirely inspired by a conversation I had with my Intermediate Drawing Class, or rather, it was me talking and they were politely listening as I went on and on about how edgy and grimy we, that is, the 70s punks were (I was there), as opposed to the aesthetically driven 00s punk genres.  At some point I realized I had entirely lost my audience.  When I asked if anyone knew what I was talking about, 2 students did that flat handed side to side airplane-coming-in-during-a rough-landing motion which could mean absolutely anything or absolutely nothing.   And so, this assignment for the Advanced Drawing Class.






Categories : Drawings

Week 2: Research Project: Punk Genres: 70s, Steam, Cyber, Diesel



Websites: http://98bowery.com/punkyears/index.php


Descriptive Words 70s Punk: deliberate violation, monochrome, embraced what was considered ugly, anti-art, anti-aesthetic, disturb, disrupt, acidic, sarcastic, nihilistic, “no future”

Descriptive Words 00s Steampunk: fantasy, romance, neoVictorian, nostalgic, aesthetics, fashion, watch parts, more watch parts, then some more watch parts to the point where many Steampunk oriented sites open with the words, “Steampunk is not just about watch parts…”

Categories : Drawings
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Week 1: Gestural Tribal/Graffiti Out of Class Drawing


Final drawing meeting requirements for Week 1 Out of Class Drawing:  Gestural with characteristics of  Tribal and/or Graffiti

Gestural Tribal/Graffiti

Time: 4.5 hours  Actuals: sprocket, piston, gears, butterfly wings  Paper: Canson Edition Light Gray 22 x 30  Media: black and white ink, gray felt tip marker, black, gray and white pastel  Process: Squeezed sponge loaded with ink+water onto paper for splatter effect.   Brush and ink wash to find center, define general shape.  Traced sprocket and gears with gray felt tip marker.  Gestural marking with black, gray and white pastels.  Used wet brush on pastels to refine gestural marks.




Categories : Drawings

Week 1: Sketchbook


I don’t require a sketchbook in my drawing classes though I highly recommend students have one.  Personally my sketchbooks are like an additional appendage: an extra arm, leg or bit of brain.   I am including an image from my sketchbook working notes for the Week 1 Out of Class drawing assignment Gestural Tribal/Graffiti.

Sketchbook Week 1

I’ve glued actual butterfly wings to a pen and inkwash drawing.  The sketch has incorporated elements of the Tribal genre as well as my personal icons:  machine parts and butterflies.






Categories : Drawings

Week 1: Research Project: Tribal/Graffiti


Research Projects are designed to introduce students to an assigned subculture genre.  They are due every Thursday and consist of 1 image, 2 websites and 10 descriptive words characterizing the genre.  They are to be presented on 8 1/2 x 11″ paper to share with other students, either posted in the classroom for the class session or displayed in one of the art department hall cases.  This is my Research Project for Week 1:  Tribal/Graffiti:

Rich of "Reducer"

Rich of "Reducer". Photo copyright James Drury; from The Art of the Tattoo by Henry Ferguson and Lynn Proctor.

Websites: Art Crimes: The Writing on the Wall and Tribal Tattoos at Tattoojoy

Descriptive Words: symmetrical, stylized, monochrome, graphic design, bold, solid, black, arabesque, repetitive, negative space

I chose this particular image as it resembled a butterfly made from sprockets and gears, imagery that is part of my personal iconography already.  As the syllabus is highly experimental, I played it safe on the first few assignments, preferring to work with subjects I know well and love drawing.




Categories : Drawings

The Syllabus Preview


Instructor: Laura C. Hewitt
Teaching Assistant:  Adam Ottavi Schiesl
Class Blog:  http://hewittadvanceddrawingclass.wordpress.com/

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 http://hewittadvanceddrawingclass.wordpress.com/. 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.  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
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, acrylic, &c.

Week 1: Introduction to Course/Gestural
Out of Class:  Gestural + Tribal/Graffiti

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

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

Week 4: Linear Perspective
Research:  Humor/Comics
Out of Class:  Linear Perspective + Humor/Comics
Due Thursday:  first 3 OOCs due for critique

Week 5:  Mixed Media Drawing
Research: Goth, Glam, Noir
Tues: Preliminary Sketches
Thurs: Work on preliminary sketches/start paper treatments
Out of Class: continue work on MMD

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
Tues: Final Project Proposals
Thurs:  All OOCs due for Midterm Critique

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:  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:  your blog address

Finals:  Individual meeting times will be assigned.  At that time, 2 actuals are due, your choice from any class work.  Images of 6 other works from this class must be posted on a blog that has been set up by you and accessible by me.

Categories : Drawings