Saturday, April 16, 2022

What Goes Around, Comes Around


Earlier this week I took advantage of the nice weather to re-spray paint a set of plastic bottles, probably used for the last value drawing exercise done in my college teaching career.  By the end of the day, I moved the box I used as my spray booth to the shed, and let them dry there, as well as release all their fumes.  A few days ago I moved that whole box to the back of my car, taking advantage of another nice day.  The reason I did these was because my prepared list of assignments for the JSAC drawing class called for value drawing with charcoal this weekend, and I had nothing else I could use.  Gathered everything else I needed, and moved them to the car yesterday during another dry and sunny moment.  So naturally we did charcoal value drawing today.  I had told them all last week, so they knew what to expect and to bring the materials.  Forgot to tell them to wear dark colors, but I did.

Someone was there earlier than me to use the building, so I didn't have to unlock the gate or turn off the alarm.  I did have to get the key to unlock my classroom, but it was in my Studio, exactly where Nichole had said it would be, so I just took the envelope upstairs with me.  Back on the first floor, I opened the envelope and found a very brightly colored key.  Unusual, but it worked, so I'm not complaining.  I had plenty of time, so I put away a few tables, set the room up the way I wanted, set up my still life of white painted bottles and a white towel, a direct light source (a clamp light with a fresh bulb), and was ready. 

I had three students show up, but that is what I expected, as I knew one was going to be away or otherwise occupied for the holiday.  We did two drawing today, first a reductive drawing where I had them create a field of medium dark gray, then erase the light shapes out, drawing with the kneaded eraser.  They had never heard of such a thing, but found the process very intriguing.  (I expected this, as over the years I had a lot of college students do this and they enjoyed it as well, some even choosing to do it for their final drawing where they had a choice of materials and styles to work in)  Did that for an hour, Then moved things around (and taking away one milk jug and replacing it with a painted funnel) and had them do a more traditional charcoal drawing, using black charcoal and white paper, and eraser for fixing, not drawing.  I pointed out that in some ways, this was a bit like the negative space exercises we did last week- the chair and the bottles.  The above photo (college students) isn't exactly what they saw, but it's pretty close so you get the idea. 

I gave them sheets of blank paper to protect their blank pad pages from charcoal, but advised them to spray with fixative or at least hairspray as soon as they can.  A few are planning to work on their charcoal drawings a little more first, and I said they would be just as workable until sprayed, which is true.  I cleaned the tables of charcoal dust and turned off the lights before I locked the door. Let the office know I was leaving, and took off.

One thing the students remarked on was that these classes at the JSAC are so much cheaper than what other places charge.  I don't know about that, but if they want to pay more money, I'd be ok with that, since it means more money for me.  They also expressed some interest in taking more drawing with me, or learning woodcut (having seen my work in the hallway), but that is also out of my control.  I told them to talk to Nichole about that.


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