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Please don’t be late for class!
If you are it’s mostly your loss!

Class 01: Tool use & Dynamic Sketching

We’ll look at the course as a whole, what we’re going to be covering, talk about getting our hands ready to draw, tools, basic drawing exercises to use to both warm up and hone your fine motor controls. And introduce the class to full gesture movement studies and how we’ll be using dynamic moving subjects to challenge our observational and spontaneous drawing skills.

Assignments: Draw a new sketch every day and fill a half page or more with basic drawing exercises. Use the study regime I outlined here. First week typically I start you with pattern and line control for fine motor exercises, and gesture drawing with dynamic subjects [moving] to break out of habits of hesitation, and learning to get comfortable with moving your hand at speed and starting to work on controlling it doing that more accurately. 

Class 02: Body Eyes and Mind

At the start the instructor will introduce sumi brushes and brush pens. Then the class will have 1hr instruction in Tai Chi by an teacher from the The MontrĂ©al Tai Chi Club. It’s a simple beginners introduction to this ancient graceful martial art. There is no expectation that anyone master the art in this class or later. After a short break, and then be treated to demonstration by the Instructor and we’ll do live fast studies of them for another hour. This session will focus on fast gesture drawing.

Assignment: Second wave of sketchbook practice, expanding on your pattern work, observational drawing too. Building on the point of the class, i’ll ask you to focus on some dynamic models doing things you are familiar with or able to do as well. The idea being to try to ‘feel’ the movement to understand it kinesthetically. This helps find the main and secondary lines of action and force in the gesture.

Class 03: Dynamic Compostion 

Part of what makes are feel dynamic is how it’s composed. We’ll have an intro to some key aspects and tools of compostion and analyzing it. Then the class will use virtual plein air to explor framing for observational art, measuring and dead reckoning for drawing at any scale.

Assignment: Begin the Long series study: there will be a few subjects selected for the class to use for the next three week, or you can select one  of your own but only if you do the work! Also explor more Plein Air drawing. Virtual or IRL! Go out and sketch spaces in your environment, streets, park, homes. Employ a loose gestural freehand sketching technique in blue or red, before doing a tighters figurative pass if you want to clean up your drawings.

Class 04: Bending the picture plane.

Applying things we talked about in the previous class to the idea of both liner and curvilinear perspective and how to fudge it all in a loose gestural stage. We’ll look at the value of linear perspective but also how it falls short and why I’m an advocate of freehanding most of my perspective.

Assignment:  Find a place in Montreal with interesting structural feelings, and take the wide angle view from street view, and make it an interesting organic curvilinear view. 

Class 05: First Live Dynamic Gesture Session.

We’ll look as a group at some of your first Long Study Series subject selections. Then we’ll have our second live dynamic model, usually a martial artist! It’ll mostly be very fast paced quick gesture work again, 0:10 second to 1.30 minute studies! Focusing on how to exploit drapery as a target for gestural mark making that helps describe the figure.

Assignment: .

Class 06: Dance School.

Most of the class will be a drawing session with classical dancers performing at regular speed so you just have to keep up! When we can this will be a field trip to a Ballet School, but that’s a seasonal thing, summers we have models in class. I’ll be highlighting the rhythms of the long muscles of the legs back stomach glutes and arms for targets of your gestural mark making with lots of strong relationships that help describe the human figure.  If in class we’ll also look at sumi style brush pens as an interesting tool generally and its ability to render a fluid line. 

Assignment: Check up on Long Series. Also Sketch urban spaces and experiment with distortion and perspective. Continue to tackle some novel moving subjects in your sketchbook studies, from either video or the real world.

Class 07: Drawing Combat!

This class we’ll have in theatrical combat specialists, who will perform while we draw them! Starting with short 3 to 10 min studies, students will be encouraged to explore and experiment with alternate mediums and extended durations as the class proceeds. How to capture a quick gesture of two figures at the same time if they are interacting, and building up and developing more layered and nuanced studies with figurative elements.

Assignment: Do some simple line gesture studies of combat photos posted on the class site from past sessions. Attempt to express the Forces you see in the combat poses, with line quality and gesture. Also do some light and shadow studies incorporating your wet media wash tools or some other means of adding shade/tone.

Class 08: Review and workshop

After warming up, the class will share any work they’ve done and questions raised by their Long Series Studies. We’ll have follow up notes for the studies students should explore for the remainder of the course and beyond.

We’ll explore how I use gesture and structure and many of the other techniques we’ve looked at to do speed portraits, and then the class will draw a portrait in 30 min or less. Last we’ll return to Plein Air again, we’ll look at some different sketching techniques, how to use post and rail, freehand perspective, and compostion notes from Class 3 and Class 4, in service of Plein Air sketching via tools like Google Street View.

Assignment: Draw who you know: do a portrait study, of yourself or family.  Do 5 iterations.  

Class 09: 2nd Dance School Pt2.

We’ll have modern dancers in class to draw, or go on a field trip to a contemporary dance studio of some kind. It’s another full immersion into the experience of drawing subjects we don’t control. Applying attentive observations and your fastest gesture skills to capture.

Assignment: Take some of your quick study drawings from our dance school field trips, and compose it into a more fanciful sketch composition of a ‘dance’ scene, location dancers and all.

Class 10: Drawing the band!

For our final class we’ll have a live band in class performing while we draw them for two hours!

There will be some Instruction emphasizing making a connection to sound as a source of rhythm in our line, and a finding ways to symbolically represent it on the page. And how to use the opportunity to observe the effect of rhythm in your art.

I fully encourage students to make this a new practice. Go to your favorite low key acoustic music events, and sketch them! Look for performers in the street, plays, anywhere, and try to capture some sense of their energy as a subject. It’s a fun challenge in general and a great way to make a night out also an interesting drawing experience.

Assignment: Keep drawing! Keep seeking out new things, push yourself to improve!

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