Jade has been working on this intricate design, below, since last year. She took a break from classes and upon her recent return, completed this piece. From a flip flop, Jade had to create an abstracted design that involved movement, repetition, overlapping, and rhythm. For the color, Jade learned about the basics of the color wheel and their relationships. She selected a triad (three colors equidistant on the wheel) of blue-green, red-violet, and yellow-orange, mixing tints, tones, and shades to complete the piece.
Flip Flop Design, Gouache & Mat Acrylic on Illustration Board, 15" x 15", Jade Kellenberger, Age 14
The next four pieces all feature TraillWorks' ever popular "Harry" the duck. This is typically the first assignment I do with new students. "Harry" is an over-sized rubber duck, from which I teach observation and drawing skills based on some of the techniques in "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards and from one of my former teachers, artist, Nancy Bossert. Once the students draw Harry, they then invent a creative background, environment or design in which to place him. My only rule is that it cannot be a pond. The media for this lesson has varied, but in this case the students used Prismacolor Markers and soft pastels on Arches paper. What is fascinating in the four images below is how different each student's vision of Harry was!
Harry the Duck, Marker and Pastel on Arches, 30" x 20", Phillip Nezamis, Age 11
Harry the Duck, Marker and Pastel on Arches, 20" x 15", Andrei Burul
Harry the Duck, Marker and Pastel on Arches, 20" x 15", Pheobe Nezamis, Age 14
Harry the Duck, Marker and Pastel on Arches, 15" x 20", June Nezamis, Adult
Larson deWaal, one of my younger students, just finished this piece inspired by some of Eric Carle's techniques. The famous children's book illustrator, is known for his textured collage creatures, such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Larson first chose an animal and then created numerous color sheets of textured papers using black Sharpie and oil pastel. Then he came up with a composition, in this case a monkey in the trees eating bananas, after which he cut out various select shapes and colors, glued them onto the board. Finally he chose to deviate from an entire collage picture and finish the piece with a variety of black Sharpie textures.
On the Wild Side, 15" x 20", Oil Pastel, Collage, Marker on Strathmore Illustration, Larson de Waal
Last, but not the least, Ariana Shah, one of my talented adult students just completed her first composed drawing. Ariana, a teacher at Hackettstown High School, has little formal artistic training, but a passionate desire to learn to sketch. She's an avid traveler and likes to journal through sketches in a sketchbook. Ariana selected my can of colored pencils as her first subject matter; not a simple still life. Through about sixteen hours of composing, drawing and finally shading she is a much more accomplished renderer. She worked so hard and moved beyond many moments of self-doubt to accomplish this excellent drawing.
Colored Pencils, Graphite on Arches, 12" x 12", Ariana Shah, Adult
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