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Category Archives: Garage School

Observational Drawing Using Graphite: First Session

The first assignment is to sharpen a Dixon Ticonderoga pencil in the electric pencil sharpener, then clean it off with a tissue. A demonstration of sharpening the pencil with a knife, and fine honing it with an emory board – or in our case a pedicure implement – showed two ways to prepare the graphite pencil for sketching. Then off to the drawing table for the first drawing. We learn by doing and everyone was eager to start learning!

Then we strengthened our lines and practiced making marks. After a rigorous orientation we had a break for blueberry scones and iced tea, then outside to the garden for a drawing session.

Following our models of the prolific Bloomsbury Group we will have ample subject matter in the garden and studio for our drawings.

 The first week’s homework is six analog drawings from a list of positive emotions, playing with the twelve Derwent pencils.

An old bicycle is a willing but difficult subject.





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Coming in July: Observational Drawing

On July 9th we will begin an eight week foundational drawing class. Foundations! How many ways can you sharpen a pencil? And why does it matter? And how many kinds of pencils are there? Which ones do what? And why is the medium called graphite? The answer, like ‘Who is buried in Grant’s Tomb?, is because most pencils we call lead pencils are made of graphite. But not all. Stay tuned.

If you aren’t taking the class with me (and it is filled) you can follow along on this weekly Blog. For the first class you will need:

A set of 12 Derwent Graphic Drawing Pencils (6B to 4H)

One Canson 11 X 17 inch XL Bristol Pad (Green cover, 96 lb, 25 Sheets)

One small 15 sheet Bristol pad 9″ X 12″

A Canson XL 9″ X 12″ BLUE sketch pad 98 LB, 60 Sheets.

The above supplies are not optional and will allow for the greatest success.

These materials are being held at Art Supplies Wholesale in North Beverly for my students.

You will also need:

a kneaded rubber eraser,

a white plastic eraser,

a Drawing Board to accommodate an 11″ X 17″ piece of paper, and

a Geometry set (a ruler, a protractor, and two triangles) also available from Art Supplies Wholesale if you don’t already have them.


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Irish Landscape

For this exercise we chose large abstract shapes from the photo taken in Killarney, Ireland and translated them with colored construction paper.

View of the lake in Killarney

View of the lake in Killarney

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