OPEN

The More You Stare, the More You See

The Anatomy drawing class for third through eighth graders, held on Tuesdays at Hazel Parker Community Center, studied the process of eighteenth century landscape painting without the use of the camera. Each week students selected various objects from nature to incorporate into a scene that they envisioned to paint. Students learned to employ different media that are commonly used for collecting data for final paintings. The first week we used graphite, charcoal, and white conté; the second week we used pen and ink material; the third we used watercolor; and the fourth week we used acrylics to create a finished painting.

The second week, the weather was at its best so the students and I were outside at Hazel Park. We worked on developing our ability to focus more closely on the details of objects in nature. As part of our study, we chose various trees to observe and determined the angle of direction for each one. Next we determined what side the shadows were located on the trunks of the trees and how many highlights we saw. The drawings below are some of the results from our enjoyable nature study.

My experience as an artist, and for all artists, is to build observation skills. The more that I have practiced viewing objects, people, and environments from life, the better I can read and see detail which then translates into seeing color. During our anatomy lessons, I showed students how to break down what they see in into basic shapes, and how defining those shapes leads to viewing details. This process helps students gain confidence to put what they see on paper, but they have to get past the obvious. As aspiring artists, we all can see, but we have to look more closely to make our works come to life and create the believable.

Charles Williams, teaching artist and guest blogger

Related Content

Summer Art *Camp* for Adults

“I can’t draw a straight line!” or “I can’t draw a stick figure!” These are two comments I hear often. I usually respond with “That’s great! …because you don’t need…

READ MORE

Our Classrooms are Officially Open for Business

The summer of 2009, I began directing our summer camp program. The Gibbes school building, which is now Husk Restaurant, was for sale. However, that did not mean we shouldn’t…

READ MORE

Pluck and Grow—Sonya Clark’s interactive hair installation

This past Wednesday afternoon, the Gibbes Museum of Art celebrated its first opening of evening hours with the lecture and workshop of visiting artist, Sonya Clark. Now open until 8…

READ MORE

The Gibbes Museum of Art Reopens after Two-Year, $13.5 Million Renovation

The Gibbes Museum of Art Reopens after Two-Year, $13.5 Million Renovation Charleston’s premier art museum connects the South’s artistic past to a vibrant art scene CHARLESTON, S.C., May 28, 2016…

READ MORE