Are You Chicken?

“Yes,” answered the rooster, a stoic creature of few words, precariously balanced on the studio pedestal. But Thursday’s Drawing Lab students had a different answer.

“No way, we are not chicken to draw!” was fearlessly expressed through students’ drawings of the form, contour edges, and textures of our feathery friend. Check out the video…

I enjoy setting up the rooster challenge for unsuspecting students. It is amusing to see their curious, somewhat hesitant expressions as they sit face to face with the rooster. But hesitation quickly turns to concentration as students begin their initial measurements.

Adult student, Rachel, brought the papier-mache rooster to life with superb contour and gesture lines that suggest realistic character and movement.

We started last week’s session with short poses. After each timed pose, the rooster made a quarter turn—he is very well trained. Students did four zoom-in views of different areas of its body.

The rooster sketching crew, clockwise from lower left: Scout, Rachel, Laurel, Zak, and Amma
Rachel’s awesome charcoal take during the evening’s long pose. In the background is Amma at work.

We finished the evening with a long pose. As students studied details and practiced techniques, they realized that when it comes to improving their skills, it pays to wake up with the roosters.

Above left is Amma’s richly layered capture of the rooster’s long pose; to the right is her cool little zoom-in study.
Deep in the rooster drawing zone, these sketchers are definitely not chicken.
Scout’s beautifully detailed study of subtle, feathered textures.

And it was fun to draw other things too…

Wednesday evening’s drawing table, clockwise, starting lower left: Morgan studied blocking; Michelle studied the contours and tonal values of an aloe; Nikhil flew through drawing a dragonfly and egret while learning about contours and negative space; Faith continued with her exquisite figure studies; Tina polished up her charcoal studies of a squash

This Week’s Student Gallery…

Morgan’s amazingly accurate block and sketch study.
Nikhil’s beautifully detailed drawing of a dragonfly’s form and contour edges.
Lori took her private session outdoors in preparation for an upcoming road trip.
Lori’s study of line emphasis, texture, and composition.

Feature Image at Top of Page: Laurel puts the finishing touches on her impressive impression of the rooster.



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Rob Court

Founder and drawing coach at the Scribbles Institute, Rob helps adults and kids learn basic drawing skills for work, school, and enjoyment. He is the author of a number of how-to-draw books.