Self-Portraits and Charcoal: New Projects in the Drawing and Painting Studio

There is a lot happening in the drawing and painting studio this term! Using new materials and techniques, the Drawing 1A and Painting 1A students are getting inspired and creating amazing work.

Presently, the Drawing 1A artists are working with all types of charcoal – including vine charcoal, compressed charcoal, charcoal pencil and conte – to generate “reduction” drawings. After laying down a velvety black layer of charcoal, students work with different types of erasers to “pull out” their drawings. Once they have established a strong foundation for the drawing using the eraser, they go back in and add the different charcoal materials. For their current project, students are creating drawings of themselves, drawing inspiration from artists such as Jim Dine, Alice Neel, James Drake, and Vija Celmins.

Students are also hard at work in the Painting 1A class. Currently, the artists are working with monochromatic palettes. Each artist has generated a color scheme of tints and shades and are now embarking on large self-portraits. The process of creating an image of one’s self can be intimidating, so students are working slowly, mapping out areas of washy colors and thinking about the transitions of light to dark. Students are looking at artists such as Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Lucian Freud to get ideas.

Look for these works of art installed around the school soon!

Ascha Drake, Arts faculty

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