Art 2 – Science Illustration – Birds – Due Thurs. Nov. 3


1. Take notes when you watch the following video and think carefully about what James Prosek says about seeing nature:

Note also what Jane Kim says about her art, painting birds:

2. Read about the exhibition “Maria Sibylla Merian and Daughters: Women of Art and Science.” Watch the slideshow and read or listen to all of the commentary for each and take notes.

Maria Sibylla Merian and Daughters: Women in Art and Science

3. Watch the following two technical videos:


4. And last but not least, here is a site with beautiful drawings from the Farallon Islands by a professional illustrator, Sophie Webb. Maybe you know some of her books!

Sophie Webb

Art 1 – Morandi – Due Fri. Oct. 28


1. Listen to former Met curator, Thomas Hoving, introduce the Morandi show:

2. Read the review in the NY Times which gives background about the artist, his context, and ideas about the significance of his work.


3. Watch the video of a collection of his works:

4. Now, in your sketchbook comments, explain which things you think were most important in making Morandi the artist that he was (biography, history, work habits, beliefs) and which things are most important to you as an artist making your own still life.

In your sketchbook, spend an hour drawing objects from home using full tonal shading and (almost) no contours.  Work from a light gestural structural skeleton and then add continuous tone.

For your own interest, you may want to watch the time lapse still life drawings below:

Watch this drawing take shape from analytic phase to the final blending.

Here is a quick description of analyzing form and looking for formal elements in a still life composition:

Art 4 – Anthropomorphic Animals in Art History – 10/19



Anthropomorphic animals in art history

Choose three that are interesting to you from the search site above and sketch it and write bullets points about the signification and style.


Divide the essay below into 3 parts and share the major points of your portion.


Look at the following two sites and make notes about the ways in which this practice can convey ideas about culture and humanistic themes.

19th-Century Anthropomorphic Animals from the NYPL Archives

19th-Century French Caricatures Reinvented in a Game About Bird Lawyers

Art 3 – Wildlife Illustration – 10/19


Read about the importance of predators and take notes on the various eco chains mentioned:

Predators in crisis

Make notes on the interconnectedness of nature in the Yellowstone ecosystem:

Look at the following website and be sure to look at: Gallery Artists, On the Easel (Work in Progress), and Blog: Art Stories (Niki Firmin, in particular, and the stages of her painting “Raising a Little Dust”) Pay careful attention to the importance of composition as well as detail.

Look at the website  of Alison Nicholls and her stylized artwork. Then go to her blog and read the article about the success of conservation linked to

For inspiration, here is a breathtaking video on whales and a link to Andrea Rich, a local, nationally known, wildlife artist.

Make notes about wildlife conservation issues important to you and  do some research,  gather some images, draw some thumbnail composition ideas, in preparation for your small painting.

An important article and Ted talk to add to our discussion:







OPEN STUDIOS – Art 1 – Oct. 1-2, Oct. 8-9, Oct. 15-16 – Due by Mon. Oct. 17


Over the next 3 weekends, Santa Cruz County artists will open their studios to visitors to show their art and art making processes.

Attend a total of 3 artist studios. For each visit, write down the artist’s name, take notes, and be ready to share in class:

1.  your impressions of each studio and artwork. Include a small drawing of something that interests you in the studio (the art, materials, work space, etc.).

2. the artist’s techniques and processes (this information is posted in their studio, if you don’t see it, ask about their technique).  AND,

3. the inspiration for your own art work (either by a desire to emulate the artist or for a manner to differentiate your work from the artist).

For extra credit, attend the Preview Show at the Santa Cruz Art League at 526 Broadway ( Share the artist and title for what you would award as the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in the whole show and explain why.

Students may attend the studios together but they should have independent notes.  You also may be inspired to visit particular artists by hearing others’ comments.

Do all three on one weekend or one each weekend, but don’t leave until the last day! You can share each Monday or by the final Monday. Plan it out.

There are Guide Booklets in art rooms 216 and 222 with maps if you want to plan your weekend trips.  South County is the first weekend,  North County the second, and some artists are open for the third All County weekend.


Art 2 – Scratchboard – Flowers, drawing the light – 10/20


Take notes in your sketchbook on all of the following.

View the Russ McMullins scratchboard tutorial.


and the video tutorial by Lars Erik Robinson

scratchboard demo

View the compositions and techniques in the link below:

scratchboard flowers

Read about the ideas regarding each of these flower paintings.  Look at the comments, the symbolism, and the composition in each:

10 flower paintings to know

At home, research online ideas about the symbolism of flowers and the particular meaning you want to signify by the flowers you choose. You may bring in a real flower to work from, a photo you have taken of a flower, or use a photo from the internet of a flower, as long as you combine it with foliage from another photo and change the composition.

You will be using cross contours as you scratch away the light. Note the method of looking at light rather than dark as you draw.  How is it different from the way you usually see and usually draw?  What will your aesthetic goals be with this scratchboard drawing, and your Creative Extension?

UC Santa Cruz Arboretum