Category Archives: Art 1

Art 1 – Wolf Kahn Landscapes – Due 5/21


Wolf Kahn, Receding Towpath II, 1986

Read the article and watch the two videos within the site linked below. Note especially, in the second video, the path of Wolf Kahn’s career and his comments about painting.

Wolf Kahn studio visit

In your sketchbook comments, include the following:

1. What do you find as the most interesting art historical fact in the interviews?

2. What insights about drawing/painting your own landscapes do you gain from listening to, looking at, and reading about Kahn’s personal history and his paintings?

Look at Kahn’s 22 pastel landscapes, found under “Artworks”: Wolf Kahn – Paintings and Pastels

For your sketchbook drawing, do a 30-minute hand-drawn landscape (or series of landscapes), observed from real life, inspired by Kahn’s work. Try to convey the facts, essence, and spirit of the place that you find outdoors. You might consider working from Kirby’s rooftop deck. Color is optional.

If time allows, this sketch can be the plan for a second soft pastel landscape completed in class.  (You may want a back-up photo for when you draw, although most of your pastel painting will come from the preparatory drawing.)



Art 1 – Brushwork and Painting Trees – due 5/7










Watch the following video and observe techniques in brushwork, variation in tone, and opposition of large strokes with detail strokes. We will practice these in class using ink and brush.

Spend 30 minutes (outside of class) drawing a variety of trees from real life observation, not photos.  It need not be a composition or scene.  These are studies of the structure of trees. You may use ink and brush, watercolor, pen, and/or pencil. Try different styles and techniques. You may need to use several pages for your sketches.

Here are some helpful tips for drawing and painting trees:  Rendering Trees


Art 1 – Underwater Environmental Artist – due 4/30


Jason deCaires Taylor. Vicissitudes. 2009  Cancun, Mexico

Go to the following website: JasondeCairesTaylor

Navigate through the website and look thoroughly at the home page, gallery, film, bio, and environment pages.

NOTES: For your sketchbook notes, reflect upon:

  1. What you find most interesting about Taylor’s work.
  2. Thoughts or ideas it inspires for your painting.
  3. Any questions that you would ask if you met him.

SKETCH: Our next painting theme centers on appreciation of the ocean and sea life. For your full 60 minutes of sketchbook work, draw a variety of ideas relating to Taylor’s work, thumbnails to plan the composition of your painting, and some imagery from the following:

Consider entering the Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Contest with a submission of your visual art, poetry, prose, or film. This year’s theme is “Our Oceans in a Changing Climate.” Contest entries due June 18, 2018.

Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Contest

Art 1 – Working in Series – due 4/16


Look at the evolution of Mondrian’s work and how his approach changes over a period of time.  What do you think was important to him as an artist?  Why didn’t he keep painting trees in the same way?

Mondrian’s Evolution of Abstract Painting

Sketchbook Notes: Look at the three links below and read both articles fully. Explain what a “series” is and discuss three points about the advantages and purpose of working in a series.

Advantages to working in a series

Jane Davies ideas about art series

Hyun Mi Yoo Good Luck series

Sketchbook Drawing: Spend 30+ minutes creating a drawing based on one of your previous sketches from this year. Make significant changes in this drawing to reveal more of your personal interests as a young artist.

Or, do two or more new drawings that demonstrate an evolution of your artistic ideas (either in a major way, as in Mondrian’s work, or in a less drastic way, as in Jane Davies’ 4 x 4″ art series).

Art 1 – Still Life Painting – Due 3/26


Read the description of Frida Kahlo’s painting and note the composition, color system, and symbolism:

Kahlo’s Still Life: Pitahayas

Watch the following conversation with artist Angus Wilson about still life painting:

For your sketchbook notes, comment on the following:

1.  Two points about still life painting that you find of interest.

2.  Two techniques from Wilson’s work that you will try in your still life painting.

The next studio painting will be based on your realism drawing from the fall semester. You will use a viewfinder to crop elements to create a new composition. You may choose to incorporate images of fruit that you sketched this past week.

For sketchbook, spend 30 minutes drawing from still life objects that you select and set up at home.

Split Complement Color Schemes

Examples of split complement color systems for this painting project.

Art 1 – Surreal Perspective – due 3/12



Flying Houses by Laurent Chehere

With your next creative sketchbook drawing in mind (to create your own surreal, dreamlike world through perspective) look at the 4 following links. In your sketchbook notes, comment on what image interests you at each link. Make some observations about the technical aspects of making a surreal scene and the emotional effect. (Note, the modern architecture at the last site is not surreal but some of the buildings are so unusual, they inspire the imagination. Comment on the technical feats and the resultant emotional effect.)

Flying Houses by Laurent Chehere

Surreal Architecture

Victor Enrich architectural images

Modern Architecture

In your sketchbook drawing, show a building exterior in perspective with surrealist components to create an emotional, imaginative, or fantastical effect.

Some standards for a surrealist effect: change of scale, context, altering of physical characteristics.

Finish your drawing with full shading in black and white and some color, for expressive effect. Your work should reflect at least one full hour of drawing time. You will be given some lead time for this drawing in class.

For your interest, here’s a link to Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory” and the Surrealist movement:


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


The Formal Elements: Art Elements (left) and Design Principles (right)


As you watch this sequence (from Disney’s acclaimed 1940 film “Fantasia”), observe the formal elements used 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.

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 the following questions in your notes. What kinds of colors are used? Do you recognize any color systems like analogous 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: Look at the non-objective “chance” images that you cut out for homework last week. Choose two that are visually interesting to you. Consider the significance of balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, rhythm, and unity in making your choices. Then spend at least 40 minutes drawing and shading these two chance compositions in your sketchbook.