Category Archives: SI Studio Groups

Comparing Apples to Dolphin Skulls: Day in the Still Life of Drawing Lab Students


Variety is the spice of still life drawing. Whether drawing apples, oranges, or skulls, students in the Scribbles Institute Drawing Lab were very engaged this winter. Our in-depth sessions allowed students time to study composition, form, and techniques from a wide variety of objects. The apple shown above is by Jennifer, one of our Level 3 Drawing Lab participants. Using only primary colors (red, yellow, blue) she layered and blended Prismacolor pencils to achieve vibrant colors.

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Above left, Jennifer uses graphite to study the form and textures of a dolphin skull. To the right, she uses Prismacolor pencils to draw an apple.

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Still life composition is an important aspect of our studio sessions. Above left, Tuesday blends tonal values with vine charcoal. To the right, Cheryl, one of our youth sketchers, learns about contours and form while drawing squash and a shell.

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We enjoy mixing up our still life compositions with a variety of objects in the studio. Richard, Judith, and Karla enjoy the challenges of drawing a ukelele, flowers, and a classical arrangement of a plaster bust with vase.

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In the photo, above left, Anna goes for capturing a likeness of the white mug (always more challenging than it looks) and ripped cardboard. To the right, Gina locks in on an accurate take of a more traditional still life composition.

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During our ‘Bring Your Own Object’ sessions students bring all sorts of interesting things to draw such as Kermit the Frog and perfume bottles, shown above.

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Whether our students are drawing in charcoal or on an iPad, they learn solid strategies for depicting accurate realism as well as spontaneous abstract expressions of real life objects. And when it comes to enjoying time during our lively Drawing Lab sessions, life is anything but still for participants. Want to join us? Click here

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SI Youth Sketchers Build Character

After spending time building observational drawing skills in previous sessions, everyone was up for a fun summer session of character design sketching. While working from their sketchbooks and online references, the SI studio crew went right to work–if one can call it work. Afterall, drawing characters from their imagination is what these kids love to do. Rena (above photo) busts out a sketch of a very famous, villainous comic character. Below are highlights from the classes.

Megan explored a variety of techniques and studies, including using the light table (shown above), to bring a character that she designed to life.

Rena continued to refine her unique drawing style as she went big with her character studies.

Helen, shown above, learns to use tracing paper and layout paper to make progressive studies of her character.

The above drawings show Helen’s stages of sketching an antique iron (top) from observation. Starting with a rough pencil sketch she refined the line work with a tracing paper overlay before finishing with a ink line illustration of the iron on a layout paper overlay. Also shown are the stages of refinement of her character while using overlay sketches.

Our summer character design session was a very high-energy exchange of ideas and good creative times!

Helen and her mom brought in a totally fantastic dragon puppet that she made. Our multi-talented sketchers are always creating cool stuff!

Our youngest student, Gio, brought in a box of dragons that his parents scored at a garage sale. So we threw down an impromptu dragon drawing session for our last class of the summer, shown in the above pics.

Youth sketcher portrait: Come on, you can hold that serious game face for 5 seconds… don’t think so!

More highlight photos:

Want to join the SI Youth Sketchers? Info

Adult SI Students Wrap Up a Summer of Spectacular Drawing

Moving into the Fall drawing season, we have a growing number of amazing adult students joining our Expression Session evenings. Many fun summer nights produced many solid Level 1 beginning studies as well as spectacular finished drawings. Take a scroll through the highlights shown below. (Click on images for larger details.)

Tuesday and Anna, the mother and daughter featured in the photo shown above, just completed our Level 1 observational lessons with remarkable results. The charcoal drawing, above left, is Tuesday’s observational work from a plaster cast eye. The hand and sphere graphite study, above right, shows Anna’s efforts in learning to block in shapes before finishing with contour lines. The proportions in both drawings are very well drawn. More of their studies are shown below in the student galleries.

Session Highlights: As Anna and Tuesday work in the background, Orsoyla, above left, experiences a big creative breakthrough while doing an energetic, abstract charcoal and pastel composition. Richard, above right, relaxes with a gratifying smile after an intense session of blocking in the shapes of a skull. We put on lots of Afro-Cuban jazz for his sessions.

Pamela, above left, studies the strategy of blocking in basic shapes of the plaster hand and sphere. Gina, above right, cranks out yet another intense charcoal study–this time she sets her sights on a bust of the Statue of David.

Above left, Hanna sketches the contours and form of a squash while Sandy starts her Level 1 lesson on measuring proportions. Above right is  Hanna’s well-drawn charcoal block-in of the hand and sphere.

Above left are Amber’s contour studies of the squash and to the right, Jerilyn looks for an accurate dominant angle of the shell.

Studio full, refreshments poured, music turned up, everyone settled into their own drawings for the evening–it doesn’t get any better than this.

Adult Expression Session Student Galleries (Sorry, I didn’t get pics of everyone’s drawings before they were taken home.):

Jerilyn    Sandy

Linda    Amber

Orsoyla     Gina

Hanna    Pamela




Want to join our adult Expression Sessions? More info

Continuing Workshops: Draw With Your Kids and Sketchbook Basics

We wrapped up our summer program with two fun workshops that we’ll continue this Fall. Our Draw With Your Kids workshop took parents and their children through basic lessons on drawing from observation and imagination. In the above photo, parents and kids are shown creating abstract drawings. Our Sketchbook Basics workshop for adults was a success and will also be on the Fall 2012 schedule. Scroll down for highlights of both workshops.

Draw With Your Kids Workshop started with instruction on how to grip the pencil, sketching with lines and shapes, and measuring proportions.

We then moved to abstract drawing as we depicted human traits and emotions by using lines, shapes, patterns, and color. We also had fun drawing with lines and shapes using a wooden dowel extension.

After lunch, we stepped it up a bit and got into drawing the form of a bird by looking for positive and negative space. Then students spent time putting everything they learned into various drawings of their choice.

Simply a wonderful day of drawing with all participants. Looking forward to the next Draw With Your Kids workshop!


Sketchbooking Basics

We had a couple of Sketchbook Basics workshops this summer and are excited to continue with more sketchbooking this Fall. The 4-hour workshop starts in the studio with an intro to basic sketching techniques and strategies; then we move outside to concentrate on sketching from life as we learn about composition, perspective, and tonal values.

Sketchbooking article: Time for Playing With Your Pencil and Letting Your Eye Fall in Love Read Rob’s Blog

For more info on upcoming workshops please contact us.