Friday, January 29, 2010

David Manis...Lines

I found this picture on the Moma site.

Its called Fracture, state 19 and its by Steve DiBenedetto.

This piece caught my eye because of the way the lines are. The lines form shapes and at my first glance it looked like a house of cards. Then as I looked a little more at the piece, it reminded me of the Eiffel Tower. Some of the lines are countours while some others seem to be implied. There is very little hatching in this picture. Most of the lines are diagnoal, others are horizontal and vertical.

Revised Description of Assignment Due Tuesday

Here is an updated description of the Line assignment due Tuesday:

Assignment 2: Line
The object of this assignment is to explore the vast possibilities of line quality in 25 quick studies. Pick five to ten different drawing materials that are unexpected -- examples include lipstick, mud, dryer lint, pine needles (stuck to the paper, obviously), coffee, tin foil, that gross gunk lining the tub, etc. Using one material, create five distinct lines, each around ten inches long. Each line should be different than the ones before. Repeat this process for each material. At the completion of this assignment, you will have 25 lines, each 10 inches long, drawn with 5-10 different materials. These lines should be completed on one (or two, depending on the size of your lines) 16” x 24” pieces of paper, in sequence.

*Consider the possibilities of a line; how can you alter the mood of a line by changing its thickness, continuity, flow, and material?

*If you're stuck thinking of new lines that you could draw with your material, think of ways to alter the material (ex, if you're using pine needles, what would happen if you crushed them into a paste and mixed them into paint? or if you're working with sticks, what if you sewed the sticks to the paper, or burned them and drew with the resulting charred bits?)

Key Concepts: Expressive quality of line through organic vs. geometric, line thickness
Artists to Consider: Anne Wilson, Sol LeWitt, Susan Sensemann, Dan Flavin, Judith Brotman, Vincent Van Gogh

Artist of the Week Suggestions

Hello All,
Thanks for a great class today!

There seemed to be a lot of questions about where to find artwork whose primary subject is line.
I've compiled a list of ideas below to help you on your search. Remember, you need to post at least one image, well cited, along with a paragraph outlining both your reaction to the piece and a brief formal analysis. You should then check back to the cite regularly and comment at least three times on other student's images. Contact me with any questions. Good luck!

List of possible sources:
-go to the library or any bookstore and look up general art history survey books; flip through the images and see if anything jumps out at you
-visit a gallery in town
-visit the Met or MOMA, if you're in the city
-visit the Dorsky Museum on campus
-use any of the artists listed in the power point presentation I gave this morning
-use an artist listed in the syllabus (even artists listed under different assignments not having to do with line may have work relating to line)
-visit the websites of major museums and scour their databases. You could try the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Louvre, the Whitney, the Boston Museum of Fine Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, and hundreds of other museums around the country
-if you find an artist you like, check to see if they have a website, many contemporary artists have galleries online showcasing their work (for example-- you may see on a gallery or museum's website that they're hosting a certain artist's retrospective, but they have no images. in that case, do some digging and try to find the artist elsewhere)
-try ArtStor, an online database of artwork at, accessible through any SUNY connected computer. You'll be asked to create a username and password, then you'll be able to search their image database that is art-only

When you're writing a short formal analysis of your image, consider the qualities of line we talked about in class. Are the lines in your image:

What is the emotive quality of the lines? How is this affected by the material used to create them (ie. charcoal, ink, graphite, etc).

What is the line weight and does it vary? How does this imply emotion or affect an illusion of space?

Are the lines geometric or organic? Are they stable and balanced or erratic and energetic? Are they diagonal, horizontal, or vertical, and what does this say about their expressive quality?

Hope this helps! Have fun! I'll keep an eye on the blog and post comments as you add content.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Artist of the Week #1 : Line

Your first artist of the week should relate to line. Below is a picture of one of Sol LeWitt's wall drawings. This one can be seen at Dia:Beacon, a modernist art museum in Beacon, NY. The piece is titled, "Drawing #273: Lines to points on a grid," 1975. I found it at

Class Schedule

Spring 2010 Class Schedule: 15 Weeks

Week 1 : Day 1 -Introduction to course, review syllabus
1/26/2010 -Class introduction, short discussion of “what is art?”

Week 1 : Day 2 -Presentation on line: show examples
1/29/2010 -Demonstration of stippling, hatching, cross hatching
-In class assignment: create 6 distinct shades of gray, once using pencil and once with pen
-Go over Line Assignment (due next class)

Week 2 : Day 1 -Assignment #2 Due (line): share with class
2/2/2010 -Introduction to Project #1
-Presentation on texture: show examples

Week 2 : Day 2 - Assignment #3 due
2/5/2010 -Work on Project #1 in class

Week 3 : Day 1 -Artist Response
2/9/2010 -Work on Project #1 in class

Week 3 : Day 2 -Work on Project #1 in class

Week 4 : Day 1 -Project #1 due : Critique

Week 4 : Day 2 -Demonstration of two and three point perspective
2/19/2010 -Begin in class still life
-Introduction to Assignment #4
-Examples of closed composition vs. open composition

Week 5 : Day 1 -Artist Response
2/23/2010 -Demonstration of shading
-Continue work on in class still life

Week 5 : Day 2 -Continue work on in class still life
2/26/2010 -Demonstration of subtractive drawing

Week 6 : Day 1 -Assignment #4 due
3/2/2010 -Artist Response
-Introduce Project #2
-Presentation on Self-Portraits

Week 6 : Day 2 *I will be out of town this day
3/5/2010 -Work on Project #2 in class

Week 7 : Day 1 -Work on Project #2 in class

Week 7 : Day 2 -Work on Project #2 in class

Week 8 : Day 1 -Demonstration of accordion books
3/16/2010 -Work on ideas for turning project #2 drawings into an accordion book in class

Week 8 : Day 2 -Presentation on color theory
3/19/2010 -In class assignment: hue, saturation, brightness

Week 9 : Day 1 -Project #2: Critique
3/23/2010 -Introduce Assignment #5

Week 9 : Day 2 -Artist Response
3/26/2010 -Individual Mid-term Critique
-In class assignment: Color weight

Week 10 : Day 1 -Artist Response
3/29/2010 -In class assignment: TBA

Week 10 : Day 2 -Assignment #5 Due
4/2/2010 -Introduce Assignment #6
- Presentation on 3D sketching of objects (Marcel Wanders)

Week 11 : Day 1 -Artist Response
4/6/2010 -Work on Assignment #6

Week 11 : Day 2 -Assignment #6 due
4/9/2010 -Introduction to Project #3
-In class assignment: working with trash

Week 12 : Day 1 -Artist Response
4/13/2010 -Review sketches for project #3
-Presentation on site-specific work in the natural environment and the use of found objects in art

Week 12 : Day 2 -Review as a class final ideas for project #3
4/16/2010 -Students should refine their ideas for further discussion

Week 13 : Day 1 -Artist Response
4/20/2010 -Work on Project #3, demonstrations as needed

Week 13 : Day 2 -Work on Project #3, demonstrations as needed

Week 14 : Day 1 -Artist Response
4/27/2010 -Work on Project #3, demonstrations as needed

Week 14 : Day 2 -Work on Project #3, demonstrations as needed

Week 15 : Day 1 -Artist Response
5/4/2010 -Work on Project #3, demonstrations as needed

Week 15 : Day 2 - Project #3 due : FINAL CRITIQUE!


Syllabus : Introduction to Drawing and Design

Spring 2010
Instructor: Celine Browning
Phone: (917) 325-9802
Office hours TBA -- can be arranged by contacting me via e-mail or cell phone

Workbook Requirements

As Richard Sennett said in his recent book, The Craftsman, “making is thinking”. In this vein, consider of your workbook a visual documentation of your thought process. These documentations will form the backbone of all works created in this class. The visual explorations that take place in your workbook will inform the designs for your larger pieces. Be bold; don’t restrict yourself to the confines of pencil and paper. You may use anything in your sketchbook, from lipstick to mud. In addition to drawing, you may cut, glue, paint, rip, scorch, compress.

Your progress will be checked in class and turned in after each project. In addition to general explorations, your sketchbook should contain research for each assignment, as well as detailed drawings and descriptions of your design ideas.

Course Requirements:

· On time with tools out, ready to work at the start of class
· Attendance is mandatory- unexcused absence will affect your final grade
· Completion of all projects and assignments by their due date
· Full participation in all class discussions, presentations and critiques
· At least three hours of work outside of class is required each week
· Workbook progress shown throughout the semester

Tardiness and Absence:

Demonstrations and presentations are an important part of this class, and you must be in class to absorb the information given you. Similarly, you must be on time as all demos will take place at the start of class. There are no unexcused absences in this class. Should missing a class be necessary, students are required to present documentation accounting for their absence.

Three late arrivals will be counted as one absence. More than two absences will result in the loss of one letter grade for each additional absence. Six absences will result in a failing grade.

Each project must be turned in the day that it is due; late projects will receive a 10% grade deduction for each class period they are late (ie, project due on Monday, turned in the following Monday will receive a 20% deduction from the final project grade).

Studio Conduct:

All communal equipment is purchased with student funds. With this in mind, please be respectful and careful not to harm any of the community property. We must maintain a clean and well organized work space in order to work successfully side by side. Please return all tools you use to their proper space in the studio and ensure that you clean all the surfaces you use immediately after you are done with the space.


Formal evaluation of your progress will be given in one on one sessions during midterm week. You will also receive evaluation during group critiques. Ass iterated in the course objectives, progress, rather than skill, is the basic unit of measurement for this class. You will not be graded based on the skills you bring to the class, but rather on how well you synthesize and incorporate the information given you into your artistic endeavors. You will be given weekly assignments in your workbook to help kindle your ideas and help you become more comfortable expressing your ideas visually.

· Assignments are collectively worth 40% of your grade (Each is worth 6.6%)
· Projects are collectively worth 40% of your grade (Each is worth 13.3%)
· Your Workbook is worth 10% of your grade
· Attendance and participation are worth 10% of your grade

Each project and assignment will be graded based on the following rubric:

50% Creative design
30% Craftsmanship
20% Effort / Attitude

Required Materials:

· Drawing pencils – 2H, HB, 2B, 4B
· Compressed charcoal (not twig) medium and soft
· Bottle of India Ink
· Various paint brushes (at least one large)
· Pen handle and steel nibs, wide medium and fine
· Exacto knife and box of blades
· 4 large bulldog clamps
· Scissors *
· Cutting mat (self-healing preferred)
· 18” steel ruler with cork back
· Drawing Board (at least 24” x 36”)
· Tape – blue masking *
· Artists’ tape *
· Kneaded eraser and white eraser
· Sketchbook (8.5 x 11) used for this class only
· Newsprint pad, 18” x 24”, 100 sheets *
· Drawing pad, 18” x 24”, smooth white *
· Pad of tracing paper or vellum *
· Pair of flat nosed pliers
· Two spools of 18ga copper wire
· Portfolio, 23” by 31”
· Tackle box for supplies

Most materials may be found in either the Bookstore or in Manny’s Art Supply Store on Main St. Copper and pliers may be found at any hardware store.

I understand that supplies can get quite expensive, and I don’t want this class to be prohibitively expensive for anyone. There are several materials on this list that you may buy with other students and share, but many of the materials are imperative for success in this class. I have put an asterix next to all materials that you may buy with other students and share. If you have trouble affording any materials for this class, please let me know as soon as possible and I will help you find alternative ways to procure the materials.