Thursday, March 18, 2010

Geometric Solids in Art Class

My American Beech stamp

I was taking an art class. I have simply horrible art skills. I wanted to improve them to the point that I could create my own nature sketch book. Nature sketch books are a centuries old tradition for women. Beatrix Potter kept nature sketchbooks and was extremely talented. Another artist, Mary, has a nature sketchbook. Mary's sketchbook was the inspiration for me to take this art class. When you look at her sketches (by clicking the link or her image on the left) you will see why I want to learn how to draw and paint. Summer is coming. My goal was to learn enough about drawing to begin my sketchbook this year.

My American Beech (above) is pretty good. But I messed up the caption of Fagus grandifolia. I couldn't fix it without making a mess. And I also cheated. I used carbon paper with an image I printed from the Internet. Am I ashamed? Not! My philosophy: with art, for me, anything goes.

My gray scale

So then the art teacher, in preparation for drawing lessons, had us make our own gray scale. I loved this project because it is just like the color scales on computers. I know computers. I did rather well. I just wish the art teacher had made her little boxes properly. It looks messy.

Geometric Still Life
Geometric solids: a right circular cylinder, a right circular cone and a rectangular prism

My favorite work was this still life of geometric solids. With practice I could be excellent with it. Of course, as a mathematics teacher I have drawn geometric solids for years and years and have even instructed children on how to draw them. So what did I do next? I quit art class. The next assignment was to draw these and paint them on canvas with primary colors and blending the colors with white and black for shading. I became overwhelmed and quit. If I were my own student, I would praise, encourage and counsel myself to let this new skill evolve and give myself instruction on relaxation. The art teacher is probably younger than my own daughters, so she didn't counsel me. I wish she had.
diigo it


  1. I am completely hopeless at drawing, so I admire your work. I never got the hang of it at all.

  2. If you look at something and pretend to be tracing it, maybe you could draw it. It's okay to "cheat" a little when you're learning and many great artists used tracing techniques and projection.

    Try this if you have a slide projector--and slides, of course--project them on the paper and trace them that way.

    Try taping the paper to the window and "tracing" what you see outside.

    Lie on your belly by a plant and concentrate really hard on the shapes. Don't look at the scene as a whole, just the shapes and reproduce them on the paper.

    Did you see that I dedicated today's post to you on DD (now called Mary's DPB)--before I knew you were linking one to me?

    (I actually scheduled them several days in advance becasue I knew I was going to be busy).

  3. by the way, if you make your own "carbon paper" with the side of a pencil, when you get more proficient, it will make a nicer lien.


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