For ten weeks over the course of the summer, I had the pleasure of teaching a private art student. He is a teenager planning to apply to art schools and wanted to work on some foundational drawing skills.
The syllabus I developed was a slightly watered down version of the assignments I completed during my freshman Drawing I class in college. We covered so many areas, all with a strong emphasis on building observational drawing skills. All drawings were completed in charcoal on 18 x 24 sketch paper.
In addition to finished products (for his portfolio) we worked on some drawing exercises to help him loosen up a little (ink renderings with twigs using his non-dominant hand), and some that were just about seeing (drawing through objects to understand their forms). Here are some of his completed drawings. Can you guess what we focused on in these assignments?
On the last week we had a brief review of all the work he had created. We pointed on strong and weak areas, things that had noticeably improved, and we talked about how he was now seeing things a little differently. He was picking up on subtle compositional elements and nuances of light... how exciting! This is the last of his drawings. It was not completed during the time we had on the last week because he discovered a better viewpoint and started over half way through, but I think it shows a keen eye for composition and placement. It also incorporates most of the things we worked with over the ten weeks (form, ellipsis, perspective, drapery, composition, value (there was a strong light source that would have given some wonderful gradations and shadows), and texture (the candlesticks were very textured).