Photographing & Drawing

Photographing & Drawing Question One

Sketchbook, graphite 18”x24” drawing paper

Project

ADD TO your Drawing composition for a complex still life with a dynamic composition using 4-5 items.

Photographing & Drawing Guidelines

  • Set up a still life of five or six objects of varying sizes, shapes, and textural and pattern complexity. Use all of the skills you have sharpened during the semester to develop your image.
  • In planning your still life, objects must be chosen not just for their interest, but also for shape, value, and texture. The objects must be arranged so they complement one another: dark against light, smooth forms next to ones with varied or complex surfaces. The element of drapery must also be included.
  • Place some objects in the foreground, some in the middle ground, and some in the background. Using your knowledge of atmospheric perspective as a guide, overlap the shapes to create varied intervals and interesting negative spaces.
  • Looking through your viewfinder, try different arrangements before picking the final version. Try out little drawings in your sketchbook to help you decide on the best composition.
  • Remember, lighting enhances your composition. Experiment with your light source before beginning to draw to find just the right arrangement. Light from a window may be fine for a while, but this source of light will move over time. The most effective general lighting comes from above, slightly in front, and to the side of the arrangement. Make sure your lighting helps describe the three-dimensional quality of your objects.
  • Are there objects of varying size and character? Are both regular and irregular shapes or objects represented in your composition? Harmony is important for your final arrangement of objects, but some variety can make your drawing interesting to look at. The way you make marks can determine the type of texture. Using a pencil, practice in your sketchbook make a variety of marks creating the illusion of different textures.
  • It is not necessary to laboriously draw every detail of a surface to disclose its identity to the viewer. A few indications of textures with intelligent editing may be sufficient. For example, you do not have to draw every cable stitch to characterize a cable-knit sweater. In fact, it is often better to suggest a textural pattern over a part of a surface and allow the viewer’s imagination to carry it across the whole form. The drawing can be very detailed where the fabric is illuminated by the light source and a line can be used to suggest only the broader details if the fabric turns into the shadow.
  • Finally, you may want to make the still life more personal. Consider the meaning of the objects so they tell a story about you—an “un-self portrait,” if you will. A self -portrait is a picture a person draws of his or her own face but an un-self portrait can be a drawing that contains objects that tell a story about you.
  • The objects can be things you like, or they can depict things you like to do. If you like to read, play a sport, go shopping, garden, bake, fish, or dance, what objects might you decide to include in your still life to make it meaningful to you?
  • Whatever objects you include in your still life, remember that accurate drawing technique is fundamental

Photographing & Drawing Question 2

Photographing & Drawing Instructions:

  1. Write about one of the photographers from the list below.
  2. Do not copy and paste from Wikipedia (I will be able to tell.)
  3. First search for information from the UMUC library. (Typing in the name of the photographer in quotations in the main search bar will yield results.)
  4. Next search online, for information from credible sources. (This means Museum’s writing about the photographers, the New York Times arts section, ArtNet, etc.)
  5. You must include at least one source consulted from the UMUC Library and consult at least 4 different sources.
  6. When you list your sources at the end of your paper, please clearly label which source(s) were retrieved from the UMUC library.
  7. Provide a direct web link to your sources where possible.
  8. List your sources at the end of the paper and whenever you use a quote within the paper follow the APA citation style.
  9. More help can be found in the “writing resources” section.
  10. Make sure to proof-read your paper for spelling and grammar errors before submission.

William Eggleston

Diane Arbus

Robert Frank

Cindy Sherman

Duane Michaels

Rineke Dijkstra

Wolfgang Tillmans

Gordon Parks

Nikki S. Lee

Andreas Gursky

Write about your chosen artist answering each of the following bullet-points. Write at least one paragraph for each bullet point. You should copy and paste the bullet points below into a word document and answer them in complete sentence, paragraph form. Please include photographs to accompany your paper and links to the sources you consulted for the paper.

  • Artist’s biographical information and background: date and place of birth, family background, where he/she grew up, what schools he/she attended, what he/she studied, etc.
  • First exhibitions and accomplishments as an artist: How did he/she come to be well-known?
  • Inspirations and influences: What influenced the artist? This is where you can provide historical context for the artist’s work.
  • Examples of work: Most artists have made a large variety of work. Choose 3 of your favorite photographs and tell us why you like them in your own words. Explain what series this photograph is part of if it is part of a larger series of work. Copy and paste the photographs you have chosen and include them with the write-up. (Please list the artist, title, and date of the pieces that you include.)
  • (ie: Cindy Sherman is best known for her series “Untitled Film Stills” in which she dresses up restages fictitious scenes from films.)
  • Working style of the artist: Where did the artist go to make these images? (Do they travel? Set up photos in the studio? Take self portraits?) What kind of equipment does he/she use? (A simple camera, flashes?)
  • (ie: William Eggleston is known for photographing the Mississippi Delta region, where he is from. He prefers to walk and roam the streets, looking for ordinary everyday objects and subjects. Very rarely does he stage a photograph.)
  • Overarching concept and style of the artist’s work: Tell use more about the themes in the artist’s work. What is he/she known for? What is he/she trying to express or comment upon in the work? Look at reviews of the artist’s work or a review of an exhibition he has been in. Please find reviews from reputable sources (the New York Times, the Washington Post, FindArticles, etc.).
  • (ie: Robert Frank is best known for his series, “The Americans” in which he criss-crossed the United States between 1955 and 1956 trying to capture the true essence of those times, in society, politics, and culture. He is trying to show the human condition and what it meant and looked like to exist during that time in the mid 50s.)
  • What is the artist doing now: exhibitions, artwork, lectures, grants, etc. If the photographer is no longer alive, what was a recent exhibition of their work and what did it show?
  • (Ie: Diane Arbus is no longer alive, however her work continues to be shown throughout the world, a recent solo exhibition of her work was shown at FOAM, in Amsterdam and featured a retrospective of her black and white portraits of people on the fringes of society.)
  • To conclude: Find an interesting anecdote, fun story or quote about the artist to share and include it as the final bullet point.

Photographing & Drawing Question 3/ Pro-MT- Drawing

(A)

Draw a still life of at least five, but no more than seven, objects arranged in a composition applying all that you have learned thus far.

Photographing & Drawing Guidelines

  • Objects should be more interesting than the boxes from the first assignment but not so complex that you are unable to draw them.
  • When arranging your still life consider the relationships of the shapes of the individual objects and also the overall shape (silhouette) of the still life as a whole.
  • Using the viewfinder, you should record several possible compositions as thumbnails onto the page(s) of your sketchbook. Expand two or three of these thumbnails (the best designs) into larger rough sketches. From these roughs, the best should be picked and used as a design basis for the final drawing
  • Start the final image drawing the negative spaces. Pay close attention to the exact shape and size of these negative spaces, measuring the relative distance of their parts and of each space to the others in the composition.
  • After you have drawn the negative spaces finish drawing the rest of the parts of the elements of the still life. Continue to pay close attention to the relationship (size and distance) of each part of the drawing.
  • Use your viewfinder to frame the composition
  • Sighting to correctly establish the angles of the planes
  • Use measuring to correctly proportion each shape
  • Check the accuracy of your drawn ellipses
  • Final drawing on 18”x24” drawing paper

B

Contour, Cross-contour & Blind Contour

Photographing & Drawing Materials

Sketchbook, graphite, 18”x24” newsprint and 18”x24” drawing paper (for final drawing)

Photographing & Drawing Project

Draw a still life composition consisting of several objects with volume (shoes) using contour and cross-contour lines.

Guidelines

  • Gather three or more household objects that possess volume. Some examples are: tennis shoes, stuffed animals, a purse. Avoid plane-based objects like strappy sandals or flip-flops.
  • Arrange the objects in an interesting composition
  • Focus solely on line. Do not shade or add value to any part of the drawing.
  • Begin in your sketchbook. Draw several contour drawings of one shoe. Remember to find and draw the visual edges only. These include the edges of folds, but only where the material is in front of something else. Also, going back to your first assignment, consider how line weight and shape can suggest depth and movement.
    • Do a second set of two or three drawings in your sketchbook using cross contour. Remember that cross contour lines move over the form. When you are drawing these lines, consider that your eye and pencil are running along the surface of your shoe. Unlike contours, which only describe the edges of an object, cross contour describes the surface shape.
    • For the final drawing, using the viewfinder and the final still life for this project (see Summary), find a composition you think works and draw it using a mix of contour and cross contours on drawing paper 18″ x 24″ with graphite pencil #4 or #6.
      • Try this in charcoal on newsprint first

C

Perspective

Materials

Sketchbook, graphite, 18”x24” newsprint and 18”x24” drawing paper

Photographing & Drawing Project

Draw a still life composition consisting of 4-5 different shapes of objects using 1pt or 2pt perspective with elements that advance and recede in space.

Guidelines

  • Following the principles and ideas covered in the conference discussion and your readings, arrange a new still life. Make sure the arrangement shows spatial depth and that some of the elements are oriented to move back in space (away from you). Include a number of cylindrical shapes (cans, bottles – avoid clear glass) as well as square shapes (books or boxes).
  • Include perspective guidelines situated to vanishing points in order to gain accurate perspective.
  • Using the viewfinder and your sketchbook, create several thumbnail drawings to develop a visually interesting and well-designed image. As with the earlier projects, expand two or three of your thumbnails into larger rough sketches, then use the best of these in your final piece. Use your skills in drawing positive and negative shapes to confirm the perspective in your design. Use your skills with contour and cross contour to give solidity and volume to the forms of the various elements.
  • Focus only on line. Do not “shade” or add value to any part of the drawing.
  • There is no need to include the words on labels (avoid distractions).
  • Final drawing is 18”x24” on drawing paper

D

Light and Shade

Materials

Sketchbook, graphite, 18”x24”newsprint

Project

Set up a still life of at least 3-5 objects with a lamp or other small light source you can aim and control. Set the lamp so that the light is aimed at the still life, creating dramatic chiaroscuro. Move the elements around, taking time to view each setup through your viewfinder, sketching thumbnails of the compositions that work. As usual, develop your thumbnails up to a few roughs, and then to one final piece.

In the final piece, begin by blocking in the shadow areas of your composition. Remember to measure the shadows in terms of shape and size relative to each other and to the unshadowed areas. From there, develop your piece further, working in the darkest parts of the shadows, the edges where the shadows fade into light, and the reflected light areas of the shadows. Also remember to consider how an area in deep shadow can define an edge of brilliant highlight without any contour line.

E

Drapery Drawing & Texture

Photographing & Drawing Materials

Graphite or charcoal, 18” x 24” drawing paper

Project

Draw a piece of drapery with a full gradation of values.

Photographing & Drawing Guidelines

  • Using two tacks, place a cloth on the wall forming a pleasing pattern.
  • Place or hang a cloth or a piece of clothing so as to create an irregular pattern of folds, perhaps draped over a chair back, dropped casually over the chair seat or hung on a hanger.
  • Wrap a strange shape, such as a vacuum cleaner, iron, figurine, or chair, in cloth. This can make a very interesting drawing.
  • Use a fabric that has some texture to it, a towel or a sweater or a knit blanket.
  • Tie a sheet or any good size piece of fabric into a knot and hang it up.
  • On your 18″ × 24″ paper, make an interesting drawing of the drapery of your choice. Map your shapes carefully. When modeling the values, be sensitive to hard and soft edges. You may leave some places unfinished or very simple. This drawing should be at least 16″ × 20″ and be well composed. Think bold and strong value contrasts. Graphite or charcoal can be used for this assignment.
  • Remember your positive and negative space.
  • Use VALUE over LINE to create the shape’s form whenever possible.

F

Putting It All Together

Photographing & Drawing Materials

Sketchbook, graphite 18”x24” drawing paper

Project

ADD TO your Drawing composition for a complex still life with a dynamic composition using 4-5 items.

Photographing & Drawing Guidelines

  • Set up a still life of five or six objects of varying sizes, shapes, and textural and pattern complexity. Use all of the skills you have sharpened during the semester to develop your image.
  • In planning your still life, objects must be chosen not just for their interest, but also for shape, value, and texture. The objects must be arranged so they complement one another: dark against light, smooth forms next to ones with varied or complex surfaces. The element of drapery must also be included.
  • Place some objects in the foreground, some in the middle ground, and some in the background. Using your knowledge of atmospheric perspective as a guide, overlap the shapes to create varied intervals and interesting negative spaces.
  • Looking through your viewfinder, try different arrangements before picking the final version. Try out little drawings in your sketchbook to help you decide on the best composition.
  • Remember, lighting enhances your composition. Experiment with your light source before beginning to draw to find just the right arrangement. Light from a window may be fine for a while, but this source of light will move over time. The most effective general lighting comes from above, slightly in front, and to the side of the arrangement. Make sure your lighting helps describe the three-dimensional quality of your objects.
  • Are there objects of varying size and character? Are both regular and irregular shapes or objects represented in your composition? Harmony is important for your final arrangement of objects, but some variety can make your drawing interesting to look at. The way you make marks can determine the type of texture. Using a pencil, practice in your sketchbook make a variety of marks creating the illusion of different textures.
  • It is not necessary to laboriously draw every detail of a surface to disclose its identity to the viewer. A few indications of textures with intelligent editing may be sufficient. For example, you do not have to draw every cable stitch to characterize a cable-knit sweater. In fact, it is often better to suggest a textural pattern over a part of a surface and allow the viewer’s imagination to carry it across the whole form. The drawing can be very detailed where the fabric is illuminated by the light source and a line can be used to suggest only the broader details if the fabric turns into the shadow.
  • Finally, you may want to make the still life more personal. Consider the meaning of the objects so they tell a story about you—an “un-self portrait,” if you will. A self -portrait is a picture a person draws of his or her own face but an un-self portrait can be a drawing that contains objects that tell a story about you.
  • The objects can be things you like, or they can depict things you like to do. If you like to read, play a sport, go shopping, garden, bake, fish, or dance, what objects might you decide to include in your still life to make it meaningful to you?
  • Whatever objects you include in your still life, remember that accurate drawing technique is fundamental.

G,

Complete final drawing on 18” x 24” drawing paper and submit to final conference for critique.

Correcting/Critiquing Your Drawing

You should have added another 1-2 objects to your Final from your sketch.

  • How do you decide your drawing is finished? The first step is to take a step back and use your third eye—the critic. The original act of drawing was on the intuitive level; now you begin the process of critical analysis.
  • Step away from your artwork for a while; get a fresh look by taking in some fresh air, away from your art. Now turn the drawing upside down and look at it in a mirror. You’ll be amazed at how different the composition looks and how quickly inaccurate aspects of your drawing—like inconsistent perspective or incorrect symmetry—will become apparent.
  • Look for balance. Lopsided teacups or plate ellipses reveal themselves when a drawing is upside down. The fresh viewpoint allows you to be more aware of the drawing’s formal qualities, regardless of the subject you have chosen.
  • You may need to check your proportions with sighting and measuring to correct any problems. Check that all ellipses are drawn correctly.
  • Check that you have a fixed eye level and parallel planes are meeting at a single point on the horizon line
  • Foreshortening can be a problem if we have relied on what we think we know about an object receding in space instead of using sighting and contour techniques. Use a critical eye to check all foreshortened objects in your drawing.
  • Have you given attention to both positive and negative space? Has the arrangement of objects resulted in some interesting negative space?
  • Have you used overlapping in your composition?
  • Go over your contour and inner contour lines to find all indents, folds, and bumps.
  • Have you used line variation that describes form, volume, and space?
  • Your final drawing uses value to show volume. Have you accomplished this by indicating highlight, light, shadow, core shadow, and cast shadow? Adding textured detail after you have drawn the tonal volume is important, because the texture alone will not describe this volume.
  • Are there objects of varying size and character? Are both regular and irregular shapes or objects represented in your composition?
  • Does each part of the composition connect to something else in the picture? Do you repeat shapes or variations of shapes for harmony?

When your drawing is complete, you will post it in a final conference for a class critique.

Early Documentary Photography

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