Spring Creative Arts_Photorealism

Welcome back! I am here today with quite an update for you all! First off, can we all just take a moment to appreciate the Spring weather?! I thought the weather would never warm up, but once again Spring is right around the corner. Spring has to be my favorite season. Maybe because my birthday is in the spring, (wink wink) but it mostly has to do with the feeling of new flowers blooming and hearing the birds chirping in the morning. Something about this time of year gives me butterflies in my stomach and makes my heart flutter.

Our Spring Semester here at Little Ashcan is finally starting to feel like the spring semester. We started the semester off with an incredible few weeks on creating Miniature Sculptures and then went into a rather challenging exercise on Photorealism. Photorealism is a genre of art in which an artist studies a photograph and then attempts to reproduce that photo as accurately as possible. The artist our kids studied is J.D. Hillberry.

This is an example of a photorealistic portrait done by Hillberry. As you can see, it is incredibly accurate, almost unbelievable that it was done by hand in pencil. Each wrinkle, hair, is meticulously drawn.

Now this drawing is a little different from the portrait shown above, in that it is almost an illusion. This whole layout is a drawing. The tape, folds of the paper, and the dark background are all simply a drawing!

This project was more of an exercise than an actual project. Doing an exercise like this is in fact extremely difficult and frustrating, but it really boosts our students’ skills and technicality. We took a generous amount of time on these drawings; we took a break in between and took part in the annual Doodle 4 Google competition to keep our kids motivated. We had our students use carbon pencils and charcoal instead of pencil because of the effect graphite pencils give off. If you have ever drawn with pencil, you can see that the color of the pencil is not completely black, but almost a dark gray with a shiny finish. We used the carbon pencil and charcoal to give that intense black matte color. Although this was a very challenging exercise, the results left me speechless.

We had our students choose from a few black and white photographs taken of objects. They then took the photo and cut it in half. Their task was to draw in the other half! Sounds simple, but not so much! They used a variety of thicknesses to portray the different tones in their drawing. They also used a kneaded eraser to lift the darkness wherever they needed to.

Wooden stump_Charles L.

They then went into the background with their charcoal for those who had black backgrounds. You can see this student even had writing to fill in. Take a look at the detail he portrayed on the leather portion of the camera.

Camera_Jabez L.

Some students did not have a black background, but a shadow they had to portray. Take a look at the branch below. This was a little different in the way that there was no symmetrical half that had to be drawn. The student had to go back and forth and observe the other half as they drew it in.

Branch_Han V.

Thanks so much for visiting us again! Before I end this post, I would like to let everyone know that our Summer Creative Arts program is finally open for registration. We are having a promotion for those who register before April 30th! Spots fill up quickly, so come on over asap. See you all next time, where I will show you our entries for the Doodle for Google competition!