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Art Course

This is a rough outline for an art course that will appear on Let's Learn Together sometime in the future.


Personal Intention
[Emphasize the importance of having a motivation that is stronger than any discouragement that might arise.]

• Materials for drawing

• Holding a pencil without "death grip" (i.e.: "no pinch, no curl" = relaxed grasp, stack fingers)
Types of grips, points of articulation, range of motion
• Angle of instrument affects width of line

Slant of drawing surface parallel to face to minimize distortion
Avoiding oil spots, smears, etc.

Part 1: Lines, Curves, Shapes & Proportion

• Setting down the start and end points of a line
• Drawing a straight line by pushing [Note the hinge-like action of elbow; emphasize the necessity of a protective sheet if you drag your hand for stability.]
• Dividing a line in half by estimation [Note how you keep the end points in mind with your peripheral vision.]

• Drawing true parallels by continuously following a previous line [Keep the space between them equal by looking ahead; emphasize this practice of always keeping where you are going visble, even if you have to rotate the page! Don't let your hand hide anything.]
• Comparing the length of two parallel lines [Emphasize how we continuously keep aware of how things line up.]

• Drawing perpendicular lines and right angles
• Drawing acute and obtuse angles by referencing a right angle

• Drawing a square with a right angle and true parallels
• Finding the center of a square with diagonals
• Dividing a square into four smaller squares with center and estimation of midpoints of sides
• Duplicating a square into a rectangle with center and midpoint of side [Emphasize extending of the sides and the creation of a 2:1 ratio.]
• Drawing a rectangle by estimation
• Scaling a square up and down in size with a diagonal
• Making a grid with the star cut diagram ("Brunes Star")

• Drawing a curve by pulling [Note the difference between pushing straight lines. Keep hand in center of arc and use natural curvature of wrist.]
• Making a 3-point arc with perpendicular lines
• Multi-point curves
• Mirroring curves across a line
• Making a circle from a divided square
• Making an ellipse from a divided rectangle
• Making an egg from two circles
• Making circles, ellipses, and eggs by estimation [Note the differences between them all. Point out the familiar ellipse mistakes: "football" and "hotdog" shapes.]

• Estimating angles and ellipse degrees with a divided square
• Spider web exercise (lines radiating from a point, concentric circles)

• Copying shapes with guidelines
• Scaling shapes with guidelines

Part 2: Form & Perspective

Basic ideas of Perspective (overlap, dimunution, convergence, foreshortening, atmospheric perspective) and how they relate to vision

• Making a plane in 1-point
• Orientation of planes relative to crosshair made by HL and SP
• Dividing up a plane in perspective with diagonal lines

• Multiplying a plane in perspective with the midpoint of an edge
• Mirroring a plane in perspetive with the midpoint of an edge
• Multiplying a plane in perspective with a DVP

• Dividing up a plane with a checkerboard
• Dividing up a plane with a measuring line and a SVP

• Transfering lengths along non-converging axes

• Circles in perspective as ellipses [Point out how the center moves.]
• Degrees of ellipses relative to the crosshair made by HL and SP
• Divisions of a circle in perspective
• Mirroing curves in perspective

• Making a plane in 2-point
• Tilted planes with a Vanishing Trace
• Rotating planes with ellipses

• Cubes in 1-point
• Cubes in 2-point [Emphasize how a cube in 2-point is a cube in 1-point that is rotated.]
• Cubes in 3-point [Emphasize how a cube in 3-point is simply an extreme upward or downward view of a cube in 2-point; that extra point is either a "zenith" or a "nadir".]

• "Drawing Through" / "Wireframing"

• Dividing a cube with three planes
• Spheres bounded by cubes with three planes
• Longitude and latitude lines on a sphere with divisons of a circle

• Multiplying cubes into rectangular prisms
• Spheroids bounded by rectangular prisms

• Cylinders bounded by rectangular prisms
• Helices out of cylinders (divisions of a circle + transfering lengths)
• Foreshortening cylinders with different degree ellipses

• Cones & Square Pyramids with a plane
• Rings with a plane

• "A Set of Blocks" (The Primitive Forms)

Special Sub-Section #1: Learning From Photos & Observation

How to do sighting
• Simplified In 2-D Through Envelope [Start with most general shape and then move to more specific outline.]

• Find HL and VPs
• Simplified In 3-D Through Bounding Box [Look for tops/bottoms of surfaces.]
• Contact With Ground Plane = Area, X-Y-Z Dividing Planes [The first keeps things from overlapping improperly, and the second gives proper mirroring and a scaffolding upon which to build.]

• "Playing With Blocks" In Perspective Grid Scenes, Extruding

• Cross Contours Over Surface Of Primitive Forms
• Cutting, Rounding

Drawing from imagination as "sculpting"

Part 3: Light & Shadow

Line Types
• Value Scale and Pencil Grades
• Gradient Shading (by changing pressure)
• Gradient Shading (by adding layers)
Shading Exercises
• Spotting the direction of a Light Source, Types of Light and Shadow

• Forms with Hard Edges and Soft Edges
• Relative Value (Addison Checker Illusion) and Local Value

Special Sub-Section #2: Learning From Photos & Observation

• Make Monochrome, Find Light Source Direction, Tones From Blur
• Light on Primitive Forms, Reducing To Simplified Forms (e.g.: planes of the head) to find Gradients
• Facial feature comparison

Part 4: Color

• Distinguishing Hues, The Color Wheel, Warm and Cool Colors
• Basic Color Mixing (Primary and Secondary Colors In Pigments and Light)
• "Tint" (= Hue + White), "Tone" (= Hue + Gray), "Shade" (= Hue + Black)
• Basic Color Harmony (Monochromatic, Analogous, Complementary/Split Complementary, Triadic, Tetradic)
• "Temperature" of Lights and Shadows

Special Sub-Section #3: Learning From Photos & Observation

• Finding A Palette

Part 5: Bringing It All Together

• Tell a story [Write a little summary of what it is you want to convey in the drawing. It doesn't necessarily have to be a scene if you are doing something symbolic or "abstract", but even in these situations, it is helpful to have an idea of the feeling that you want to convey.]

• Composition [Emphasize how it includes pretty much everything that we've learned, setting up Perspective, placing the Light Source, deciding on a Color Palette, etc.]

Using references to refine details

Part 6: Summary Checklists & References

Approaches To Drawing & Aspects of Art Knowledge
Types of Drawing & Their Purpose
Art As Logic & Direction Drawing
Constructive Drawing Fundamentals
Visual Checks (Version 1)
Visual Checks (Version 2)
Figures From Imagination & Life
General Artistic Anatomy Observations
General Drapery Observations