Monday, May 4, 2009

Drawing with Charcoal: Workshop #1

Today was my first Drawing With Charcoal workshop at Riley Park Community Centre. It was a really fun class. The participants self-identified themselves as not being able to draw, and wanting to learn some techniques. By the end of the class, they felt relaxed and that they learned something valuable. I had a great time! The focus was experimentation, and exploring tonal values.

We started the class with some experimentation with the medium - charcoal twigs versus compressed charcoal. We also played around with blender sticks, and my favourite tool for charcoal - the kneadable eraser, which allows you to form your eraser into whatever shape you want it to, and then erase or add light/remove shadow in even the littlest nooks and crannies. To me the blender and eraser are invaluable tools, and equally as much media themselves used in conjuntion with charcoal. Its as much about manipulating what's already on the page with these tools, moving it around, discovering new tonal values, and so on, as it is adding actual charcoal medium to the page.

In terms of what the students drew, they traced out some geometric shapes, and turned the 2D to 3D shapes on paper with shading and light values alone (ie., a flat circle becomes a sphere with shading). We then moved onto drawing 2 side-by-side 3D boxes. With shading and light values alone again would show one box being open and hollow, and the other being closed off and solid. This was a very valuable exercise that they enjoyed doing.

We ended the lesson with a shift in focus - from using shading and tonal values to show depth, shape, and and almost scientific or mathematical reality, to being about something without rules, more room for the mind to wander -- something more abstract in nature. It was an exercise to provide food for thought, and something to work at between now and next week's session. I'm excited to see what comes out of next week.


In June, I will be teaching a 2-session workshop on Drawing With Ink at Riley Park Community Centre. This is one of my favourite media, so I hope you as a reader of my blog will consider signing up as it will be a lot of fun! My classes are really designed for all levels and no experience is necessary. You will be challenged, but only in amounts that will benefit you and only according to your individual artistic level of comfort :-)

To register, click here and use the activity search tool


Monday Night Art Series

16+ years

Anyone can draw! This workshop series will guide you through the basics of drawing and practice techniques while working on drawing projects that are both unique and attractive. Workshops explore techniques with pencil, ink, and charcoal. No experience in drawing necessary.

Drawing with Pencil

M 7:15 PM-9:00 PM Apr 06 & Apr 20 $50.00/2 sessions

Drawing with Charcoal

M 7:15 PM-9:00 PM May 04 & May 11 $50.00/2 sessions

Drawing with Ink

M 7:15 PM-9:00 PM Jun 01 & Jun 15 $50.00/2 sessions

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