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.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Very Basic Art Lessons - #8 - Anatomy of the Ear

Let the Sunshine In

Many who love America are lamenting the upcoming trial of 9/11 terrorist. I am not. Some fear that Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, and the terrorists will use the trial to attack the Bush administration and America. I am confident that just the opposite will happen. The American people will once more come to appreciate the policies of George W. Bush. The truth will come out. The characteristics of a real leader, epitomized by President Bush, be reveled, and the courage, honor, and strength of our last President will be vindicated. The Obama administration will not fair well in the light of this day. As for the murderers of 9/11, their ranting, and the preposterous assertions of their attorneys and supporters, will shed the light of truth on fanatic Islam. It will wither like scum in the sunshine.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Sketchbook 1999

I kept sketching into 1999.

Layton High owns a real skeleton. I used to borrow it for a lesson on Archeology, but that was when I was young. I had started reading Robert Beverly Hale by 99. He recommends studying real bones – so, when the Biology classes weren’t using it, I kept it in my office. I made a series of sketches of the shoulder girdle.

Kamille intorduced her class to Edward Fraughten, a great sculptor who runs a foundry in West Jordan. He made the portrait bust for Ronald Reagan. I sat in his office and he told us how the University of Utah had offered him a job. He was excited thinking they wanted him to teach sculpture, instead they asked him to teaching casting. He wasn’t a real artist according to their opinion. He has two figures at the Railroad Museum at the Union Station in Ogden. One is of an Irishman, one Chinese. I went there to make some sketches. I had folks with me, and therefore not enough time. I’ll try again.

Spring came and the ducks, geese, swans, and I returned to Layton City Park.

Summer came, and we were off to Cherry Valley. I was determined to do a sketch a day. I did one all summer, this of a giant thistle. We called the Island conservancy and they came and killed it. They were very nasty to “invasive” species out there.

Fall found me back at the Layton City Park.

A visit to the Zoo brought a chance to sketch from life.

A winter Vistit bought me indoors, sketching in the Reptile House. A visit to the Zoo brought a chance to sketch from life.

I got a little sculpture of a dodo for Christmas. I made a sketched it the next day. I made some Watercolors as well.
A bolo tie carving by Phil Koldervyn.
A toy frog.

Here I tried another toy, one of my wife’s dolls. She makes good money with her art.
A good friend in Japan sent this doll to my mother. It stood in my father’s house for years, and then for years in my class room. There I tried sketching it.

Over President’s Day Trent, Jody, and I went to California to interview for Cherry Valley staff members. I tried sketching Trent as we waited for out plane home. It reminded me how little I knew about anatomy.

Back home I made a sketch from the skeleton. I often wished the Resurrection would come while I was drawing him, I would like to see what he looked like. The quote that fills the page is from Kippling's Kim

Spring and summer came and went, and we had a family reunion in California. I found some time for sketching, not much.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Very Basid Art Lessons - #7 - Building a Nose

Sketchbook 1998

I started a sketchbook in 1998. A lot of reading had convinced me that I needed to be drawing everyday. I was taking lessons from Kamille, but they were only once a week, at the same time I was attending life drawing at the U, but again that was only for a few hours weekly. On the inside of the front cover or the sketch book I outlined my rather ambitions goals.

I started filling pages with little bits from all around.

Once the weather permitted, I headed for Layton City Park. Years before I had dreamed of making sketches of ducks and other wild life. I now found that it is much easier to draw a bird than a person. Ones eye is not as critical. The same holds for plants.

So many ducks.
Come summer we were off to Cherry Valley Scout Camp. There, by the sea, one found a host of subjects to draw, what I didn’t have was time.

After Camp, we visited Loll. I missed it so much. We also went to Copenhagen basin to pick Huckleberries. While there I took time to make this sketch.

Autumn brought me back to my house in Layton, my memory jar, fall fruits, and more ducks.

That winter we visited Hogal Zoo. I sketched a rather intimidating chimpanzee. It was a bit disconcerting when, a few weeks later, the animal tried to kill his keeper and had to be shot. I think I saw that in his eye. Did I catch that evil glint?

There were many more drawing than I have posted here. The practice was valuable. I also continued my work with Kamille and my life Figure Drawing sessions. You can see some of these other efforts at Figure Drawing from the 1990’s.