Category Archives: Art 2

Art 2 – Colored Pencil – Vanitas – due 11/20


1. From the following two links, read about the history and ideas of still life and vanitas.

Take notes on the characteristics of each period. Also write down the things you find most interesting about still life and vanitas.

overview of still life

Vanitas Still Life Painting

2. Watch the following two videos, and take notes on the three most important ideas that will help you in developing your colored pencil technique.

prismacolor tips

colored pencil – tutorial – 3 techniques

3. Look at all of the colored pencil works at this page, linked below, and on the website of Jo Bradney.  Read her explanation below the works as well.

Note work you especially like and think about the reasons why.

colored pencil Vanitas

Jo Bradney colored pencil still life

4. In class, you will choose three objects to draw in great detail with colored pencil, rendering the form and color as fully as possible.  Select your objects and a composition to express an idea.  In this post, you have seen historic and contemporary works as models for the ways in which still life can express ideas. Be inventive and intentional in your choice of objects and the manner of presentation.  Do not choose random objects and project insincere “narratives” onto them. Comment and share some of the ideas you have right now. Bring in all materials for our next class.


Art 2 – Science Illustration – Birds – Due 11/3


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

OPEN STUDIOS – Art 1,2,3, AP, Photo classes, and Ceramics – Oct. 7-8, Oct. 14-15, Oct. 21-22 – Due by Mon. Oct. 23


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. (AP, Photo, and Ceramics students must attend at least 3 that are specific and relevant to their current work.)

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 the studio; if you don’t see it, ask about their technique).

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, Sept 30-Oct. 22 attend the Preview Show at the Santa Cruz Art League at 526 Broadway ( or attend the R. Blitzer Gallery Preview Show 2801 Mission from Oct 6-22 ( Make sure you check the hours before you go.  For the credit, 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 must have independent notes.  You may become interested in visiting 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 your visits each Monday over the next few weeks, or on the final Monday (October 23rd). Plan it out.

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

Art 2 – Scratchboard – Flowers, Drawing the Light – 10/16


In your sketchbook, take notes and sketch ideas on all of the following.

View the Russ McMullins scratchboard tutorial:


and the video tutorial by Matt Fussell:

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 ideas (in books and online) about the symbolism of flowers and the particular meaning you want to signify by the flower 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 for this scratchboard drawing, and for your Creative Extension?

UC Santa Cruz Arboretum

Art 2 – Artful Branches and Cross-Contour – due 9/27


1. Look at the student studies of branches using cross-contours. Read the section on cross-contour in the Student Art Guide.

2. Look at the Almond Branches by van Gogh and read the commentary about the context and the composition. Take notes on the major points.

3. Notice the method of this artist working on a reproduction of van Gogh’s Almond Branches.

4. Read the biography of  and comments on Patricia Tobacco Forrester. Take notes on the major points.


5. Look at all the images and compositions by Forrester at this site. Consider how she uses positive and negative space in the compositions.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

6. Consider the visual and emotional effect of the branches by van Gogh and Forrester in terms of both their symbolic significance and the visual effect.  Which image is most impressive to you and why? How does this contribute to your understanding of, and sensitivity to, the form of the branches? Write down your responses.

Art 2 – Pattern, Decoration, and Contour – Robert Kushner – due 9/13


1. In your sketchbook, take notes on the artist and his art:

Pattern and Decoration

Robert Kushner at D.C. Moore Gallery

2. Take notes on the paragraph right above Kushner’s “Night Garden” 2000, explaining why some critics rejected the Pattern & Decoration movement:

Art and Perception – Pattern and Decoration

3. Take notes on interesting aspects from this account, starting with “The Beginnings with Goldin” until “Meanwhile Back in New York” (p. 13-16):

Pattern and Decoration: An Ideal Vision in American Art 1975-1985, by Amy Swarz

4. For this project (Unit 2 and Creative Extension), continue researching and sketching themes of interest in your sketchbook, focusing on Pattern & Decoration and Kushner’s work.

Art 2 – Mondrian’s Chrysanthemum – 8/16


Look at this link for an introduction to Mondrian’s Chrysanthemum and some of his artistic influences:

Search with the following words for some more insights into his Chrysanthemum drawings:

(mondrian master drawings smith college museum of art)

Choose Google Book and enter page 237 and read both indented quotes, especially the last (on page 236), from Mondrian about his intentions, followed by another image of a Chrysanthemum.

Here is a link for the video summary of his life, art, and some more art historical information:

In your sketchbook, note what is interesting about this artist, his artistic development, the Chrysanthemum drawings, and his use of media and line to create form and space. Next, in your sketchbook, copy a portion of one of his Chrysanthemum drawings.