Tips From “Real Life” Drawing Students
Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, Pittsburgh, PA, is a magnet for some of the most prominent contemporary artists in the world, including Jad Abumrad, Doug Aitken, Kyle McDonald, Joan Jonas, Nathalie Djurberg, Sun-Ju Yoo, Art Spiegelman, Mark Bradford, Zanele Muholi, Sharon Lockhart, Casey Sherman, and Chris Ofili. The vast talent of these individual artists was a great pull to secure this location on this campus.
Although many of the art classes and workshops at PAD are open to students of all art fields, it should be noted that students that take these classes understand the conceptual boundaries of visual art and have a definite appreciation of how the visual effects in this field contribute to society. Many of these students have been able to find strong job prospects in the current art world as a result of those courses.
Studying with pattern recognition practices is very advantageous, as each member of an “Oscars Craft” team has been trained to work and apply these skills to the work of their peers.
Studying process, technique, and structure with a process addition
The process component of film is very well known in this field, yet artists who actually make films often use animations, computerized manipulations, or other tools to enhance the material. The creativity of an artist is usually limited by the tools that are actually available to them, as visual artists often have limitations of time and space in which to craft their work.
For example, Mark Bradford and Justin Lee are two artists who have used Photoshop as a tool to augment their photographs with 3D elements, while Sharon Lockhart uses Photoshop with Premiere Elements to create animated visual images. All of these methods are crucial to using a computer, but it is also important to understand that each piece has a separate base material and to create layers of various materials onto this base material. When you move through the visual elements, items like watercolor, oil paint, screen printing, and the many other expressive techniques are usually included.
Facilitating projects with collaborative and insightful puzzles
Creative improvisation is a part of the vast world of drawing and painting, but many of these artists and students are taught the fundamentals of piecing, deformation, and perspective in the classroom. The students that participate in this collaborative work place very little care for individual expression, but they utilize collaborative techniques in both creating and organizing such work.
For example, working together to completely remove an image from Photoshop creates a result in which the entire object is removed from the viewer’s view. Various individuals may then add layers of different material over the original image, until a complete finished product is created.
As someone who comes from a historical impressionist background, this kind of working method may elicit a “wow” moment for me. The process is not as direct as that of Picasso or Michelangelo, but it is a method I can relate to easily and see firsthand how these artists worked.
Practicing with mathematical tools for a creative approach
When I worked on a project with an animation machine, I needed to perform calculations in order to animate the scene that we had created. A portion of the final output is based on the calculation of the number of frames that take place in that scene, and I had to calculate these figures in an independent manner.
Without the right tools, I would have struggled with the intricacies of the animation process, which I know is an art in itself. Since working with programs such as Programmable Insights (RIC), I have experienced how much more interesting it is to learn about the mathematics behind the visual arts. It would be very valuable to discover how other artists approach the mathematical aspects of this process, and it would help individuals develop their personal interests in this area.
Using a metaphor to explain the three elements that compose drawing
One of the key problems for students trying to break into drawing is that they may not know how to understand the needs or guidelines of the work. Lectures such as this one would have helped me immensely. Learning the importance of shape and figure is clearly a key element to working in art. When working on an illustration, it is imperative to know how to develop character, movement, and the flow of the sketch in order to find the right images.
This is a natural conclusion of creating an illustration. We want to create images that tell a story, and we want to communicate what we want people to see and understand. Bringing these three elements together in the right order makes all the difference.
Project skills help reduce mistakes
As you begin your career in the art world, it is crucial to develop skills such as preparation, criticism, and organization. We are so used to struggling with these topics in education. Academics know how to teach these concepts, but it is crucial that people