Friday, September 17, 2010


Back in the classroom at Maine College of Art, the senior illustration majors are drawing up a storm. Each was given a blank sketchbook at the end of last year, and asked to fill it during the summer. My first project this semester was for them to find some seed in there, and create a new piece. Illustrations are usually done via a series of sketchy steps. I wanted to see where we'd begin.

Joe likes to create characters and imaginary places. He chose a purple guy named "Mikey" from his sketchbook.


He decided to make it 3D, and photograph it.


Joe's got a great tactile sense to his work, something always is oozing or bubbling. Here's another page from his sketchbook, dripping with color.


Lori had a fun watercolor piece in her sketchbook, that pairs well with this boat.

Lori has a whimsical style, and is hungry for children's book work. She chose this sketch to work with.

She really fleshed it out for the final project, adding more detail and attitude.

Thomas is into legends, folklore, and heroic struggles. He's the only one who included the classic studies of heads, noses, hands, and feet in his sketchbook.  These are obligatory exercises in first year foundation drawing, but should be done more often, at all levels.

He chose an epic encounter for his project. He began with this:

He's exploring new digital skills, so went perhaps a bit too far on the final, but learned a few things in the process.

We went to see a show of drawing at the UNE Art Gallery. There was a great range of approaches, and students found something to like, some things not to like, a new interest in a particular artist, and a chance to see how artists present their work.

Yesterday we drew at Portland Stage, during a rehearsal of The 39 Steps. That was a challenge, so much action, so little time to capture it. More on that in another post!

Meanwhile, my students get under my skin, inspire me, and keep me coming back to the classroom.

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