Monday, November 30, 2009


Very Basic Art Lesson is finished. I started writing it nine months ago; it was not an easy labor. I did it for my own study; each of the sixty-seven plates a battle, each completion a victory. Here is how I fought.

I read and re-read the books of great artists and teachers, filling journals with diagrams and sketches; I watched Robert Beverly Hale’s lectures many times; filling notebooks like a student at the League, but blessed with a pause button and endless replay capability. I chose the course and content: perspective and anatomy, and distilled the seed for each lesson from all I read and heard. The Anatomy section of Very Basic Art Lessons follows Hale, with drawings as he instructed. (Valerie Wilson did the same, even as Hale followed Bridgman.) I mingled Hale’s ideas and designs with those of other masters and roughed out each page to scale on folded sheets of Canson Classic Cream “true size” drawing paper. I corrected these, arranged, and rewrote each to my satisfaction. Editing these produced the final plates, one lesson at a time. The core draws and all the text was done on the same Canson paper with Ticonderoga #2/hb – soft graphite, and red, green, and blue added with colored pencil.

Sixty-seven plates do not seem like many for nine months of effort, but there was a lot of living to do: books to read, school to teach, camp to run, family and friends; I got to play with my grandsons. I restarted the web-log.

I am my first pupil – taking each lesson in turn. As I have no other students, I will teach myself. Teaching is the best way to learn.

Here are some examples of the preperation that went into creating Very Basic Art Lessons:
These are some of many journals and notebooks I have filled with notes and sketches.

These are pages from the compleet set of notes I have done on Robert Beverly Hale's lectures.

Here are outlines on perspective and anatomy from Principles of Perspective by Nigel V. Walters adn John Bromham, and Hale's Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters.

These are some of the dozens of drawings done from Joseph Sheppard's Anatomoy: A complete Guide for Artists.

These are drawings from a reading journal I kept on Guptill's Drawing and Sketching in Pencil. They are from Chapter 3 on Starting the Work. He begins by teaching how to sharpen a pencil.

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