Monthly Archives: February 2015

Art 1 – Formal Elements and Non-Objective Designs – Due 3/5


Elements and Principles of Art


As you watch this short film, observe the use of the formal elements to create non-objective designs.  Notice the choice of shapes in relation to the music as well as the movement and rhythm created by repetition and gradation (in terms of both color and shape).  Think about space and form, emphasis and contrast, balance and unity.

In your sketchbook notes, comment on the areas in the film that you find most pleasing/interesting. Do your best to analyze why you find certain aspects to be visually interesting and how the formal elements and principles are “working.” Answer some of these questions in one page: what kinds of colors are used? do you recognize any color systems like analagous or complementary? how is movement created? how is balance achieved (is it symmetrical or asymmetrical)? where do you see examples of emphasis or contrast?  Consider any other questions you feel are significant.

Sketchbook homework: Spend an hour working on many designs that you can use for your one shape and two shape non-objective paintings in class.

Art 1 – “Color in Advertising” – due 2/26


Look at the following links:

Read pages 172-187 in Color by Dr. Betty Edwards (a hard copy of the book is in room 216):

Watch these advertising videos and read Edwards’ writings on color symbolism. On one page of your sketchbook, comment on what you consider to be effective color strategies used by advertisers. In your experience are there any ads that you can recall as having an effect on you because of the color? Also, do you find that you agree with Edwards’ discussion of color meanings? Specifically, how are your tastes and responses different?

In your sketchbook, do a one-hour color pencil drawing (or watercolor) inspired by the imagery in one of the videos above.

Photo 1 – Ansel Adams and Imogene Cunningham – 2/19


In your journal, write a response to each of the links below.


2. Ansel Adams on visualization

3. Read up until the View Camera section, then the rest if you wish: Ansel Adams close-ups

4. You may want to view this and make careful notes at home since it is packed with photographic information, insights, and advice.

5. Read from the link below – Introduction to the Zone System through to Simplified Zone System. We will review it in class for greater clarity.

Ansel Adams zone system simplification

6. Note the historical context and aesthetic basics of Pictorialism.


7. Note Cunningham’s, historic context, character, and the transformation of her style.

Imogene Cunningham Breaking Gender Barriers

8. Imogene Cunningham images


Here is an additional excellent, longer, and optional film on Ansel Adams if you are interested:


Here is a relevant article on getting the skin tones right – the zone system is not mentioned but

the concepts are especially pertinent here.

Art 1 – Color and Music – Due Feb. 19


This program (written by Ali Nikrang for Mozarteum Kultur GmbH) visualizes a piano performance in realtime using the “Color theory” by Scriabin.
You can see here a few examples. (In this case the program uses a standard midi-file and an ePiano to play it.)

Notes and Colors:
C :  Red
C# D Flat : Violet
D :  Yellow
D# E Flat :  Steel colors with metal shine
E : Whitish-blue
F : Red, dark F# G Flat : Blue, bright
G :  Orange-pink
G# A Flat : Purplish-violet
A :  Green
A# B Flat : Steel colors with metal shine
B : Similar to E

1. In your sketchbook notes, comment first on the computer program above that correlates notes to colors and Scriabin’s piano piece.  Then, in the link below, consider whether or not you have any synesthetic tendencies. Give some examples of correlations, try the test with your friends, and draw some conclusions.


Vassily Kandinsky Composition VII 1913

2. In your sketchbook, draw one hour to music and note on the side or back of page the type and musicians you were listening to while drawing.

Art 2 – Self-portraits 2/9


In your sketchbook, make brief notes on the following 2 sites:

proportions of a head

These are 3 approaches to portraiture, in class, we will try another.

3 ways to draw a conventional face

Look at the following explanation of comparative sighting, from only 20sec -1:30:

Note in your sketchbook, ideas about how to draw a nose.

Look at the video and notice how a drawing is a series of adjustments.





Art 4 – Portraits – 2/9


In your sketchbook, make notes and observations about the following article and exploration of portraiture:

Observational portrait – sight size method

Look at the hyper realist portraits by Kehinde Wiley:  world-us-canada-19454025

In your sketchbook comments, consider:

Why does Wiley re-contextualize the people in his portraits? How and why does Wiley incorporate art history into his art?

Explain the difference between a portrait that just captures a person’s likeness and one which makes a point about class, ethnicity, contemporary culture, or social interaction (like Wiley’s).

Now listen to the following podcast of  Don Bachardy with accompanying the article.  Then, below it, take a virtual tour of his work.

Don Bachardy portraits of LA artists

In your sketchbook, note what type of portraits you prefer, between Wiley and Bachardy,  painting and drawing?

Are there any other artists that might influence you in making your portrait or a background that you might add?

Art 1 – Chagall, Music, and Love – due Thurs. Feb. 12


Next week in class, you will begin a Chagall-inspired color pencil/chalk pastel piece to submit for display at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. The Santa Cruz Symphony will be performing a family concert, “Peter and the Wolf” on Sunday, March 1.

Read the article and view the gallery:

Read the excerpt and listen to the 2-minute audio:

Study the painting “I and the Village” (1911). In your page of notes, specifically describe how Chagall arranged line, color, and space to evoke a lyrical, dream-like scene. What artistic devices (composition, perspective, juxtaposition) do you observe in Chagall’s many works that demonstrate poetic imagination?

In preparation for the next studio project, spend 1 hour developing a series of sketchbook drawings inspired by Chagall’s imagery. Your sketches should feature characters, musical instruments, and settings from the story “Peter and the Wolf.”