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As many of you can see, I've been a pretty terrible blogger lately! What can I say...Life.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day One of Art Week: Drawing

For my first two years of college I was focused on getting an art degree. I have always enjoyed art, especially drawing with a simple pencil, and after high school I was certain that I wanted to pursue it as a career. However, a fine art degree, although it is a fun degree to work on, isn’t exactly practical. That is, unless you are what some people like to call “Financially Independent.” So, I switched to a graphic design degree. I was very happy with it for a while, until hours upon hours of trying to get a computer to do what I could do with my hand in seconds began to wear heavily on me. Eventually, I knew it was time to make a change. That’s when I switched to an English degree and I am very happy about that change.

Nevertheless, I still love art and I practice it whenever I can. So, I’m going to share a few pieces with you guys.

I’ve decided that all this week will be “Art Week” and each day I will pick a different method/medium and show you different pieces of my art that fall within that area.

Today’s method is Drawing!

All three of these drawings I did in my Drawing I and II classes. The subjects are boring, but the drawings turned out a lot better than I expected. (Sorry for the bad photography. The lighting in my rooms sucks.)

This is a form of subtractive art. I started by rubbing grated graphite all over the background. This is used as the medium tones in the drawing. Then, to get lighter tones, you erase or subtract the medium from the background, and to get darker tones, you add medium over the top. Everything is done in pencil/graphite. The focus of this piece was glare and reflective surfaces.

This is just a normal pencil drawing. I didn't start with a background, just plain white paper. The focus of this piece was matte surfaces and shadows. About five different lights were pointed at this still life in order to create all the criss-crossed and layered shadows. This is also one of the best pieces I drew in those classes.

This drawing was done using Conte crayon. It's a chalky-waxy kind of pencil that requires an aggressive hand, but allows you a limitless amount of control. I started with a grey sheet of paper and then added to it with black and white Conte crayon. The focus of this piece was metallic surfaces, hence all the tin and aluminum objects.


  1. Those are really nice. I've taken some art classes, myself, but my level is well below yours.

  2. Thank you. What art classes did you take?

  3. I didn't take any at CMU, but I took an independent drawing course at Columbus State University, a general art class in high school, and an art appreciation course at my community college. I also have sketchbooks from those classes in places outside of my possession at the moment.

  4. Totally awesome work! I tend to love the simple textures and contrast of black and white art as much as the full color pieces. With pencils and charcoals and such you get such a clean result there's nothing to distract you from the vision of the artist or the subject matter.

    Of course I love it all, but these are fantastic, you've got a great eye and a TON of talent!

  5. Matt...That's cool. I never took drawing classes at CMU either. Just graphic design classes.

    djpr...Thanks. I certainly love it all as well, but simple black and white pencil drawings are my favorite.

  6. I believe I left my artistry back in Alabama or I'd show them off.

  7. These are very good. And yes, the subjects, in a sense, are very boring.

    I stopped taking art classes as soon as I realized there was more to "art" than trying to achieve technical perfection on a piece of paper/canvas and failing abysmally, but I still miss the zen nature of showing up, setting up, and clearing your mind of everything else, getting your hands and face all smudgy and covered in paint, charcoal, or graphite.

    I like the way you captured the imperfections in the subjects, like the edge of the bricks, and the dings and bends in the steel. You have a great eye for gradual shading, and they are surprisingly detailed. The bottom one, for some reason, especially reminds me of Norman Rockwell's work. Seemingly cavalier in the overall composition, but deeply careful to capture the nuances of surfaces and lighting, even the character of the objects. Good work especially with the white Conte crayon! It seems to me that if they were assembled, they might make a very personable Tin Man, with whom I might soon start up an agreeable acquaintance. :-)

  8. That's what I really love about art. It's more like meditation now than something to stress over. It clears my head without me even realizing it.

    Thank you for the compliments. I love detail! I thnk it is the strange and the imperfections that make something so interesting rather than the beautiful.


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