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LESSON PLANS WINTER TERM 2023 (1st half) Lesson 2 - Working drawings.

In this lesson I'll be asking my students to work in ways they've possibly never worked before. I want a real spirit of experimentation from each of them. As with last week's lesson, they'll be making intricate and complex line drawings of their chosen landscape - but they'll be putting lines into the drawing only to rub them out later. This will be a drawing using pencil, watercolour and colour pencil and precedes a more finished piece from this drawing.

Above is a collection of drawings by an artist called Wilhelmina Barnes Graham. She made beautiful abstract landscape drawings and paintings which, although abstract, retained their sense of depth and distance.

Winter Term 1st half 2023 – lesson 2: Landscape: mixed media drawing, first complicating and then simplifying your landscape subject. This will have the feel of being very experimental. Resign yourself to the experiment!

· Choose your landscape and make a drawing of it entirely in line. Translate every part of it into line. At this stage you don’t need to think about tone or texture.

· Look for shapes to outline. Look also for the elements that help you understand the distance portrayed in your landscape image. These can be structures that describe perspective (the lines of a track or path or clouds which are smaller and closer together the nearer they get to the horizon etc.).

· Find every excuse to use line from the prompts you receive from your landscape image.

· Your drawing is a mass of lines describing your landscape – now you can make choices! Choose some shapes to amalgamate into a ‘greater’ shape by rubbing out some of your drawing – choose lines to rub out and in doing so create ‘greater’ shapes.

· Think about the shapes which best describe the scale and size of the foreground in relation to the background. Are your background shapes smaller? More condensed?

· Look for the in-between shapes. On the flat surface they mean as much as the shapes of things themselves. The in-between shape is a manifestation of the relationship between two or more elements of your image. It binds elements together.

· Using watercolour, fill some of your shapes with colour. Use colour pencils to fill more shapes and perhaps work over the watercolour with the colour pencils.

· This becomes your working drawing from which a new landscape painting will flow – in oils, acrylics, pastels, gouache, in the medium of your choice (see below).

Next lesson: Bring today’s working drawing. Choose a medium to work with that you can impose light on dark (it could include watercolour as long as you have white gouache or acrylic to add to it). I have class acrylics if anyone feels like trying them – you can paint them directly onto cartridge paper or bring a board primed with white emulsion or acrylic.


About this site...
I am an art teacher living and working in Dorset.  I have taught for the Adult Education Service and the University of Bath, plus some supply teaching in my local schools but now I run all my classes and courses privately. This site is intended as an addition to my teaching, primarily for any student who in the week misses a class and wants to catch up.
The lessons are also available for any one anywhere who would like some ideas on what to teach, what to learn or is just interested in seeing what we do.
I'm afraid I won't be able to answer emails asking for comments on anyone's work (other than for currently enrolled students).
I teach three weekly art classes in halls in and around Blandford in Dorset and every six weeks or so I run a Sunday workshop in a village hall on the outskirts of Blandford. I also run a vibrant five-day summer school.. Other than that I spend every available moment in my studio or drawing and painting elsewhere.
I studied for four years at The Slade School of Fine Art where I was awarded The Slade Prize on graduation. I went on to travel and study further finally doing a P.G.C.E at Exeter University with Ted Wragg as my mentor. It was a wonderful year of education which set me in good stead for my years of teaching since then.



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