Category Archives: Art 1

Art 1 – Flow Phenomena – due 1/16


Watch the following video and allow your sense of wonder some time to explore the various phenomena.

During the winter break, start to notice flow phenomena in your everyday world.  In your sketchbook notes, list 5 examples of flow phenomena that capture your attention (they may not be as dramatic as those pictured). They can include all physical phenomena that demonstrate “flow.” Comment on one example and why you found it to be engaging on a visual and/or scientific level.

In your sketchbook, do a 30 minute drawing that is inspired by the patterns in the video or one of your observations. Try to make a balanced, abstract composition and use color and shading. It may be smaller is size, depending on detail and media.


Art 1 – Chuck Close’s Portraits – due 12/4


For this week’s homework sketch time, spend 45 minutes completing the tonal value studies of the eye and mouth that we will start in class.

For your sketchbook notes, respond to the following:

In his career as a painter of colossal portraits, Chuck Close (American, b. 1940) has used the grid method as a formal structure in his work. In his early years as a photorealist, Close hid the grid with paint. In his later work, the grid becomes an essential part of his paintings.

1. Consider the significance of Close’s grid technique in both his photorealist and new style of painting. What is your response to both stylistic approaches?

2. In Close’s more recent work, describe how the viewer’s attention can shift from surface pattern to the overall image.

Additional information:

Art 1 – Google Arts & Culture – due 11/6


Diego Rivera  The Alarm Clock, 1914

Go to the following website:

Google Art Project

Choose any featured art collection, artists, or museum to visit.

Take your time and look at many artworks, as if you are actually touring the sites in person.

For your SKETCHBOOK NOTES, comment on any 3 different works in the entire collection that make an impression on you. Explain why each made an impact: consider both the visual aspects and the ideas or meaning communicated by the art. Optional: include a simple thumbnail sketch of each of the 3 works that you select.

To complement our in-class studio work, do a search for “STILL LIFE.” For your ONE-HOUR SKETCHBOOK DRAWING, create an image in response to still life found on Google Arts & Culture. Choose any style that appeals to you. (To get you started, here are some artists who approach still life in vastly different, interesting ways: Rachel Ruysch, Paul Cezanne, Juan Gris, Diego Rivera, and Hyun Mi Yoo.)

Art 1 – Morandi – due 10/31


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 Morandi’s works:

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

For your sketchbook work, spend 45 minutes drawing various objects from home using full tonal shading and (almost) no contours.  Work from a light gestural structural sketch and then add continuous tone.

For your own interest, you may want to watch the timelapse still life drawings below.


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

Watch this drawing take shape from analytic phase to shading of values:

How to Draw Still Life


Art 1 – Ellsworth Kelly – due 10/2


Look at the following article and site on Ellsworth Kelly, and the interview with him in the video.

In your page of SKETCHBOOK NOTES:
1. Comment on at least one piece of advice from Kelly that’s useful for you as an artist.

2. Comment on how Kelly’s seemingly simple works actually reflect his sensitivity to form, and how they are connected to emotion or expression.

For your sketchbook DRAWING HOMEWORK, do an hour of simplified contour drawings or watercolors of various individual objects (as we did in class with plants).  You may use a few pages for this, or work in smaller frames on the page (so you can think about composition as Kelly does).

Art 1 – Mark Tobey and Calligraphic Linework – due 9/26



In the video, observe the modernist paintings of Mark Tobey (1890-1976). Look at the quality and character of Tobey’s calligraphy-style linework. Notice how he arranges the lines for spatial and emotional effect.

In the link below, study the four Tobey paintings. Read the “Biography” and “Philosophy of Art” sections on Tobey.
After completing the above, respond in your sketchbook:
Tobey said, “On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds.”
1. Was Tobey simply copying textures of pavement and tree bark in his paintings or was he doing something else? Describe.
2. What are some of the symbolic possibilities of Tobey’s calligraphic white line patterns?
In lieu of your weekly sketchbook drawing, spend at least one hour working on unfinished sketchbook work and drawing projects. Check PowerSchool for your assignments with no grade points yet entered.
For your interest:

Art 1 – Saul Steinberg – due 9/18


In addition to the stop action video shown in class, here is another video about Saul Steinberg.  If you need more time reading the text, just pause and restart.

Look at the following website from the Saul Steinberg Foundation.  Pay special attention to the Overview and Selected Exhibitions. Notice how his works shift from 2D to 3D and how he uses his imagination to enliven everyday reality.

Saul Steinberg Foundation

WEEKLY SKETCHBOOK NOTES – On one page of your sketchbook, respond to the following with notes (and optional illustrative sketches):

1. What is the most interesting aspect of Steinberg’s life, in your opinion? How do you think this aspect contributed to the development of his work?

2. Does his work remind you of any other artists you have seen? Describe.

3. What is your favorite drawing by him and why do you like it?

WEEKLY SKETCHBOOK DRAWING – For your sketchbook homework, draw a Steinberg-influenced view of part of a room in your house, including people represented by different types of linework. Use pencil or fine point pen. Color is optional. Spend at least 45 minutes on this drawing.

Saul Steinberg, Untitled, 1962-64. Ink, pencil, and watercolor on paper.