Category Archives: Salinas Community School

Draw to Learn: Salinas Sketchers Get Busy Learning the Basics

Improvement comes from building a foundation of strong, basic drawing skills. Students at Salinas Community school got busy at improving their drawing skills quickly. Scroll down to see everyone’s drawings. Click on images to enlarge for details.



More advanced students learned about drawing 3D form, realistic contour edges, and tonal values as they drew from real life objects. Above left are Gerardo’s pencil study sketches and finished charcoal drawing of a shell. To the left are Cindy’s study and final charcoal drawing of a pumpkin.


Students also learned about positive and negative space, contours, and 3D form as they drew an egret. Above left are Gerardo’s pencil study and large-format charcoal drawing. To the right are Jesus’ studies and final charcoal drawing.


Learning to measure simple shapes of a dragonfly, then finishing with accurate, realistic contour edges is an important lesson in basic skills. Students also learn to draw the dragonfly on large-format paper while maintaining accurate proportions. Drawings shown clockwise, starting upper left, are by Angel, Gerardo, Ricky A., and Elijah.


All students, in the first day of class, learn how to grip the pencil and do basic warm up exercises with curved and angled lines.

And now… amazing drawings by the Salinas Community Sketchers…











Ricky I.




Vanessa C.








Ricky A.
















Vanessa S.
















Ricky I.














Salinas Comm. School: Exploring Prismacolor Pencils, Positive/Negative Space, Charcoal, and Realism

The Salinas Sketchers moved forward with leaps and bounds in drawing with charcoal and Prismacolor pencils! Students learned to use smaller study sketches to find accurate proportions and positive/negative space before finishing their large-format charcoal drawings. Everyone also explored blending primary colors while using Prismacolor pencils. Shown above is a detail from David’s color rendition of an apple.


Evelyn: Great studies of the egret and color blends on the apples!!


Desiree: Wonderful drawings! Fantastic job of keeping accurate proportions of the aloe plant in your large scale charcoal drawing.


David: Really like how you adapted your drawing style to the color blending assignment! Great eye for proportions.


Dominico: Remarkable set of sketches, man! Nice job of taking your egret study to larger paper in charcoal.


H: From Van Gogh to blending colors on the apple, you’re dedication to exploring techniques is really showing in your work!


Dangelo: These are drawings are stellar, Dangelo!! You’ve worked hard on learning about tonal values and it shows in the aloe plant and robot sketch.


Marcos: Great start in studying 3D form! Hope you can join us for more sketches from real life.


Arturo: I know you had to transfer to another class, but you made fantastic progress, as shown in this set of drawings. Great use of tonal values in the aloe plant drawing!


Gina: Nice studies of positive and negative space!! :-)


Ricky: Your work has progressed wonderfully! Clean line work and application of lighter and darker gray tones. Hope you can finish the Humvee sometime.


Marcelo: Way cool use of red, yellow, and blue to create the apple! And your large-format charcoal skull is one of the best pieces I’ve seen you do. Keep it going, Marcelo!


Norman: Cool to have you join us! Really nice group of drawings! Excellent color blending and charcoal tonal values.



Salinas Comm. School: Weeks 7-10: Form, Contours, Tonal Value, Positive/Negative Space, Perspective

Originally posted 1/11: The Salinas Sketchers learned to create study sketches showing the roundness and contours of pumpkins, squash, shells and other objects, as they concentrated on drawing accurate proportions. Everyone explored using large format paper and charcoal and studied texture, light, and shadows.

Above left is Christian’s study sketch of a pumpkin, and above right is his large charcoal drawing.

Upper left is Desiree’s sketch of a shell. Upper right is H’s large-format charcoal drawing of a shell, and lower left is his conte crayon drawing of a lantern. Lower right is Ignacio’s contour sketch of a pumpkin.

Above left is Ricky’s contour study of an aloe plant. Above left is H.’s finished aloe drawing showing gray tonal values of lighter and darker green.

Above left and right shows Deontay’s contour edge study and his final drawing of an egret while learning about positive and negative space.

Above left is Ignacio’s study of a rocking chair while drawing the negative space around the chair. Above right is Christian’s sketch of the proportions of a dragonfly.

Shown above is Ignacio’s study of a sketch by the artist Vincent Van Gogh.

Click ‘Read more’ below to view everyone’s drawings and Rob’s comments…


Your line work shows increased confidence in showing contour edges and textures, especially the shell and corn. Keep practicing drawing basic lines and shapes for things; then finishing with darker contour lines.


Your work has shown a BIG improvement during the past weeks. The contours and textures of the shell look very realistic. The form and tones of the lion and aloe plant are very well drawn. I know drawing the buildings in perspective was a challenge but you pulled of a nice sketch! :-)



Your progress has been steady in your sketching skills and eye for accurate proportions. REALLY like the studies of the pumpkins and the tonal values of the aloe plant. And you pulled together a tight perspective drawing, too.


You’ve developed an artistic style of drawing with bold, confident lines. I really like how you loosened up your line work in the positive/negative egret drawing to show contours and textures, and the study sketches of the  pumpkins. Nice details on the antique iron. And very clean perspective drawings.


Your drawings have improved rapidly, Christian! The looser, more expressive lines of your study sketches and the large-format charcoal drawing of the pumpkins show a new direction for you pursue in your drawing. The sketch of the dragonfly shows your eye for accurate proportions is improving in a big way, too. Keep it going!


The fish drawing shows your control of thick and thin lines as well as seeing accurate proportions. The contour edges of the egret are very well drawn.


Excellent work in using positive and negative space to draw the form of the egret! The lighter and darker tones of the bird’s body show your improved confidence in controlling your pencil.


Your ability to look at things and draw there proportions accurately has improved steadily during the past several weeks, as shown in your pumpkin studies and the egret. Great job in drawing the buildings in 2-point perspective!


These study sketches of the pumpkin, shell, and antique iron are a big step for you in drawing from observation, Ignacio! The curved contours look very realistic. Cool sketch of the Vincent Van Gogh landscape drawing. Keep it going, man!



Wow! your line work and eye for accurate proportions are progressing wonderfully! Excellent use of light and dark tones to show values of green of the aloe plant. Hope to see you explore more large-scale charcoal drawings.


Excellent start in drawing with lines and shapes. The proportions (sizes of shapes compared to other shapes) are very well drawn.

Salinas Comm. School: Weeks 2-6: Form, Contours, Positive/Negative Space, and Getting Abstract

Originally posted 10/10:

Weeks 2-6: Form, Contours, Positive/Negative Space

The Salinas Sketchers are making BIG-time progress! Everyone stepped up to the challenges drawing realistically as we continued with measuring accurate proportions. We also explored using positive and negative space to find contour edges of form as shown in H.’s egret (large image, top) shows confident contour lines, shading, and highlights. Ricky’s dragon fly (upper right) shows accurate proportions (sizes of shapes compared to other shapes) and realistic contour edges.

Shown above are excellent examples of measuring proportions while looking at reference pictures. Marcelo’s jaguar (upper left) and Bernabe’s jaguar show 3D form of the big cat and patterns for its fur and tail.

Dangelo began to explore our upcoming abstract drawing lesson. Shown below are Salinas Community School’s abstract drawings.

The dinosaur called Elasmosaurus (upper left) was drawn by Jesus while using one of my how-to-draw books.You can find his drawing in eXpReSsiOn sEsSiOn along with Ignacio’s robot (upper left): Click here


I know the drawing the dragonfly was a challenge. But you got your skills together for an excellent sketch! You’ve progressed a lot as you get more into drawing realistically. Keep it going!


Huge step into realism, man! Your sketches of the egret and dragonfly show confident line work and control of your drawing materials. Draw on!


Huge progress in drawing with lines and shapes! Great sketch of the face. Your confidence is growing with each new sketch.


EXCELLENT sketches of the egret! Each study sketch shows more accuracy in drawing positive and negative shapes for the contour edges of its body. The dragonfly is very accurately drawn. Great step into drawing realistically!



Way cool drawing of the jaguar, Burnabe! Wonderful how you did study sketches to find accurate proportions (sizes of shapes compared to other shapes). Keep practicing sketching the shapes of things before adding darker outlines.


Simply stellar drawings, Jesus! Keep it going! View more of your drawings in eXpReSsiOn sEsSiOn: Click here


Great studies of the face sketched by Leonardo da Vinci and the photo of a skull! View more of your drawings in eXpReSsiOn sEsSiOn: Click here

Salinas Comm. School: Weeks 5 & 6: Getting Abstract

The Salinas Sketchers used lines, shapes and patterns to create amazing abstract drawings. Welcome to new sketchers Gina and Desiree! Scroll down to view everyone’s drawings.


After studying artwork by artists such as Kandinsky and Mondrian, students drew their own abstract compositions. Shown clockwise, starting upper left, are drawings by Deontay, Marcelo, H., and Ricky

Gina’s frog (upper left) and Desiree’s toucan (upper left) show how they got right to work in drawing with lines and shapes while looking for accurate proportions.

Click ‘Read more’ below to view everyone’s drawings…


Excellent use of repetition of lines and shapes to create balance and rhythm in your abstract composition! Fantastic work in drawing the tiger on large paper while keeping accurate proportions.


Stellar series of abstract compositions!!! Great use of lines, shapes, tones, and positive/negative space.


Wonderful start in drawing with lines and shapes! Overall the proportions (sizes of shapes compared to other shapes) are very well drawn. Lots of control in your line work, too.


You got into the zone and put together a well-balanced abstract composition! Really like how you repeated lines and shapes.


Going abstract is a very productive challenge for you. Nice drawing! Repetition of lines gives your composition rhythm and movement.


Nice to be drawing with you again! Nice job of drawing accurate proportions (sizes of shapes compared to other shapes), especially on your toucan sketch. :-)


These abstract composition work REALLY well, Marcelo! The arrangement of lines and shapes makes the pictures balanced and very interesting to look at. I like how you did one composition that is more complex and contrasted it with a simpler one.


Glad to have you drawing with us again! Your focused effort produced a brilliant abstract composition. Great use of contrasting tones and colors.