Category Archives: Highlands School

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Highlands School: Form, Positive and Negative Space, Charcoal, Prismacolor Pencils

Highlands Sketchers are always exploring new drawing materials and techniques. Above is Kayla’s large-format charcoal study of the proportions and form of a skull. Below are pics of students drawing from observation and imagination as they experiment with graphite, Prismacolor pencils, and charcoal. Highlands teacher, Hilda, pulled together a superb 3-tone sketch of the plaster-cast hand and sphere. Kayla shifted gears from drawing big with charcoal to doing character sketches from our ever-popular Nicktoons book.

We’ve also had an excellent sketch session as students continued learning about positive and negative space while drawing a large-format egret in charcoal, shown below. The Highlands ‘Abstricken’ crew (Nick, Zach, and Koa) continued with their mission in creating a collection of abstract compositions. And Hilda forged ahead with yet another charcoal object drawing; this time our friendly skull named Bob.

Nick:

 

Matt:

 

Sammie:

 

Shaylah:

 

Koa:

 

Tyler:

 

Dave:

 

Chase:

 

Amber:

 

Zach:

 

Sara:

 

Kayla:

 

Angel:

 

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Highlands School: Weeks 7-10: Form, Contours, Tonal Values, Positive/Negative Space, Perspective… and beyond!

Originally posted 1/11: Whole lot of creative energy flowing from the Highland School art room lately! We worked on study sketches showing the roundness and contours of veggies and various objects, while aiming for accurate proportions. And we got into using large format paper and charcoal while studying texture, light, and shadows. Students are also working on their own projects, such as Matt (shown above), inking the final touches on his custom skate deck.

Contour drawings of pumpkins by Kayla (upper left), Shaylah (upper right), Koa (lower left), and Emily (lower right)

Students also used positive/negative space along with lighter and darker tonal values to draw an aloe plant. Upper left is Mark’s study sketch; upper right is Sara’s study; lower left is Joe’s tonal drawing; and lower right is Emily’s final sketch.

Above left is Gabriella’s study of the texture of corn and a pumpkin. Above right is Sage’s 2-point perspective drawing of buildings.

Koa

The contour drawing of the pumpkin was a big step for you in drawing from real life. Great job on the curved contours and REALLY cool how you did a version in your abstract style, too. Your observational drawing is improving with each sketch you make.

Angel

Drawing the pumpkin from observation was a challenge for you, but you pulled together a few awesome studies that show the pumpkin’s curved contours. I know you made a lot of sketches to get to these three. Keep practicing making lots of study sketches, and drawing things that you’re looking at will get easier.


Matt

Your confidence in looking at things and sketching them quickly has been improving over the months. These sketches show your own bold artistic style–a great foundation upon which to build your future in design/illustration. :-)

Gabriella

I’m seeing so much creative potential flowing out onto the paper with these sketches. Your observational skills have improved dramatically during the past weeks. You’re beginning to focus your energy on creating artistic compositions–keep it going! Cool large-format charcoal fish. :-)

Kayla

Amazing progress, Kayla!! Really, REALLY nice contour study sketches. You nailed down accurate proportions and realistic edges of the pumpkins. Your confidence in your line work is beginning to show your artistic style. I think your real inner artist is about to bust out in your artwork! Awesome texture study of the shell and large-scale charcoal drawings of the iron.

Sara

Wonderful start on the contour tonal drawing of the aloe plant. Maybe you can finish it sometime. :-)

Shaylah

Just so cool to see you sit down at the table and draw. You’ve put together a great routine of measuring proportions, finding the edges of things, then sketching contour lines to finish. The pumpkins and shell show your confidence. And your work from your imagination balances out your skills nicely–you’re one of the original SLV Sketchers!

Sage

I can see, both in your drawings and working with you, that you definitely have lots of powerful creative energy waiting to be unleashed. This set of drawing show your focus on learning new skills. REALLY like your contour study of the pumpkin and the large-scale charcoal drawing–cool shading. You’ve got to keep drawing your creativity out onto the paper. Also, NICE 2-point perspective drawings!

 

Zach

Of course, the Zach-style interpretation of a pumpkin. Coolness!

Tory

Hey man, where have you been lately? We’ve got to get you back into the drawing Zone. You really do have a unique art style that we can develop during the weeks ahead. Nice start on the aloe plant.

Mark

You like to sketch fast. As you’ve been doing a lot of quick studies over the weeks, you’re developing an accurate way of recording information about things, like the pumpkin. Let’s keep working on developing this quick-sketch technique. And the large-format charcoal fish… is… WONDERFUL, man! You really worked the charcoal around on the paper to create really cool tones and textures. And your line work came to life!

Joe

Tight line work is your style. And this tonal sketch of the aloe plant is a great example of clean contour line work and accurate proportions. Hope to see you more in class so you can develop some of your own projects.

Emily

And then… there’s Emily. Your drawing skills and imagination never cease to amaze. Always nice to see you sketch with such ease and pleasure. Whether it’s a doodle or a complex composition, it’s fun to see what you’ll come up with next. Draw on!

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Highlands School: Weeks 3-6: Contours, Form, Positive/Negative Space, Proportion, and Getting Abstract

Originally posted 11/10:

Using artwork by artists such as Kandinsky and Mondrian we worked with lines, shapes and patterns to create abstract drawings. Scroll down to view everyone’s drawings.

Abstract compositions (shown clockwise, starting upper left) by Kayla, Zach, Tyler

Students also began drawing realistic form and contour edges. Kayla’s dragonfly (upper left) shows how she started with guidelines for accurate proportions of the wings and body. Sage’s dragonfly (upper right) shows how she added contour lines for the edges of the wings and body.

Sara’s wolf (upper left) shows how she began with basic shapes of the wolf’s body. Joe’s drawing shows natural looking contour edges of the wolf’s fur and muscles.

Dave’s study sketch of the egret (upper left) shows how he used guidelines as he drew the negative space around the bird’s head, neck, and body. His final drawing (upper right) shows lighter and darker tones for details.

Emily laid down bold designs, colors, and tones to try new directions with lines and shapes. View her new drawings in eXpReSsiOn sEsSiOn: Click here

The past couple of weeks Angel has been really focused in his work and made big breakthroughs with his drawing of the tiger (shown above). Accurate proportions, controlled line work, and shading make for a powerful composition.

Tory

You put together your skills and expressive line work for a set of balanced imaginative compositions! You’re so ready for the next stage of drawing: realism

Zach

Your work is moving in a solid direction for a series of abstract compositions. Keep building on this direction. Possibly try a series that adds figures to the intricate, controlled chaos. :-)

Koa

Intensely, wonderfully abstract line work! Would like to see you develop more abstract compositions, perhaps a series of drawings. Great effort in sketching the negative space around the egret–big step toward drawing realistically! The lighter and darker tones are a nice touch.

Nick

These are really tight compositions! Looks like you’ve gained a lot more control of your line work over the months. :-) Create more!

Gia

Your lines and shapes keep showing more and more confidence in your skills. Let’s keep working on sketching light guidelines before finishing with darker outlines. Powerful abstract composition. Keep it going!

Tyler

Really like how you used freer, more expressive lines and shapes in your abstract work. Excellent work in drawing accurate proportions of the dragonfly. Maybe you can build out a series of drawings of cars and trucks.

Gabriella

The egret was a major step for you in drawing realistically! It shows a great balance with your abstract compositions. Keep building your observational skills along with drawing from your imagination–your inner artist is starting to show in your work.

Joe

Nice drawing! Don’t forget to view your drawing in eXpReSsiOn sEsSiOn: Click here Maybe you can create a series of drawings based on your Native American roots.

Dave

BIG-time improvements in your sketching skills, Dave! Really like how you kept sketching until you found the shapes of the negative space around the egret’s body. The lighter and darker tones add a lot of interest to your composition. Erasing out the highlights on the egret’s neck is a nice touch.

Sara

You’ve got an natural artistic balance between drawing from observation and from your imagination. Overall, the proportions of the dragonfly and wolf are very well drawn. And your abstract sketches show lots of potential for further development into full-on, intricate compositions.

Angel

These drawings show that you’re ready for the next level of drawing: realism. Great how you did study sketches to find accurate shapes of the negative space around the egret’s body. Keep it going, man!

Mark

These two compositions show tremendous potential in developing your observational drawing skills (the accurate sketch of the dragonfly) and drawing from your imagination (the abstract drawing). With focused effort, your work could see dramatic growth. Check out your drawings in eXpReSsiOn sEsSiOn: Click here

Kayla

Drawing realistic contour edges was a challenge for you, but you pulled together accurate sketches of the egret and dragonfly. Both drawings show your eye for accurate proportions and attention to details. Your abstract compositions show your confidence in cutting loose with original artistic ideas!

Sage

The proportions of the dragonfly’s wings and body are very accurately drawn. Nice job of using thinner, lighter lines to show the transparent wings. Nice abstract composition, too! There is a true artist lurking somewhere in your brain. With some focused effort you’ll bring it out onto paper. Be sure to check eXpReSsiOn sEsSiOn to view your drawings: Click here

Nathan

You’re making steady progress in drawing with lines and shapes. I know drawing a realistic egret was a challenge for you. But each time you made a new sketch, the contour edges of its body became more accurate. We’ll keep working on building confident line work.

Jay

The past couple of weeks have shown a more focused effort in building your drawing skills. Your series of egret drawings shows more control of your line work and more accuracy in sketching realistic contour edges.

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Highlands School: Weeks 1 & 2: Lines, Shapes, Patterns, Proportions

Originally posted 10/10: So nice to be back with the SLV crew! And wonderful to see new faces, too! Everyone jumped in and started learning about measuring accurate proportions (sizes of shapes compared to other shapes). We also learned about holding the pencil on its side and using the whole arm while drawing. Warm-ups by Josh (upper left) and Tyler (upper right).

As they looked at reference lesson pictures, students got into drawing with lines and shapes and learning about proportions. Ricky’s sketch of the toucan (above, left) shows his accurate eye for proportions. Sage’s crab (upper left) and Tory’s toucan (upper right) are great examples of drawing accurate proportions.


Students also learned the importance of sketching light guidelines and drawing on top of mistakes. Joe’s sketch of the tiger (upper left) shows how he sketched guidelines before finishing with darker outlines. Mark’s puffer fish shows his changes to the shape of its body while drawing over his mistakes.

We started pushing to the next level of observational drawing: showing depth and 3D form.  Kayla overlapped the front legs of the frog to show depth in her drawing, and Sara’s jaguar shows the form of the jaguar.

Check out Sara’s (upper left) and Emily’s (upper right) and other students’ drawings in eXpReSsiOn sEsSiOn.

Click ‘Read more’ below to view everyone’s sketches and reference pictures…

Joe
Overall, this set of drawings shows very accurate proportions (sizes of shapes compared to other shapes) and confident line work. Keep it going! Check out Getting into the Zone.

 

 


Kayla

With each new drawing your proportions became more accurate and you gained more control of your line work, especially in your jaguar and lizard drawings. Keep practicing sketching light guidelines for the shapes of things before finishing with darker outlines. Check out Getting into the Zone.

Tory

I know that holding the pencil on its side was a challenge but you got control of your line work to pull together a set of excellent drawings. Check out Getting into the Zone.

Sage

Excellent drawings, Sage! You nailed down accurate proportions (sizes of shapes compared to other shapes) and did a wonderful job of adding patterns to the jaguar and lizard. The lighter and darker tones are a nice touch. Check out Getting into the Zone.

 

 

Tyler

You’ve got an eye for accurate proportions, man! It really shows in the tiger and jaguar drawings. Keep practicing loosening up your line work with freer, bigger pencil strokes; keep the guidelines light, before finishing with darker outlines. Check out Getting into the Zone.

 

Mark

Great start in drawing with lines and shapes! Your proportions (sizes of shapes compared to other shapes) got more accurate as the lessons got more challenging, especially the sketch that forms the jaguar. Check out Getting into the Zone.

Sara

Your eye for accurate proportions (sizes of shapes compared to other shapes) improved with each new sketch, especially the jaguar! Keep practicing sketching light guidelines for the shapes of things before finishing with darker outlines. Check out Getting into the Zone.

 

Nathan

Great set of sketches! As you gained control of holding your pencil on its side, your line work improved dramatically. The proportions (sizes of shapes compared to other shapes) of the toucan and lizard are very well drawn. Check out Getting into the Zone.

Gabriella

Excellent start in drawing with lines and shapes, Gabriella! Each new sketch shows more confidence in your line work and an improved eye for proportion (sizes of shapes compared to other shapes). The lighter and darker tones on the toucan are a nice touch. :-) Keep practicing sketching light guidelines for the shapes of things; then finish with darker outlines. Check out Getting into the Zone.

Gia

Holding the pencil on its side was a challenge for you. But as you got the hang of it, your proportions (sizes of shapes compared to other shapes) improved steadily–especially the toucan! Excellent how you drew BIG on the paper! Keep working on sketching light guidelines for the basic shapes; then finishing with darker outlines. Check out Getting into the Zone.

Josh

Your pencil line work shows more and more confidence with each new sketch! Great job of overlapping the frog’s legs to show depth in your drawing. Keep practicing sketching light guidelines for the shapes of things before adding darker outlines. Check out Getting into the Zone.

Jay

Great start in drawing with lines and shapes, Jay! Really like how you sketched guidelines for the shapes of the crab; then drew darker outlines to finish. Keep practicing holding the pencil on its side and using bigger, freer line work. Nice proportions (sizes of shapes compared to other shapes) on the frog and toucan. Check out Getting into the Zone.