Sunday, February 21, 2010


We have not had time to read this in class so I encourage each of you to read this amazing commencement address by David Foster Wallace (February 21, 1962 – September 12, 2008)delivered at Kenyon College, 2005. D.F.W. was an American author of novels, essays and short stories.

*Line Discussion
*Linear Contrast Overview

*Finish Linear Contrast assignment (plus Illustrator Companion Piece)
*Bring supplies (all except large Bristol and colored acrylic paint)
*Bring ADDITIONAL SUPPLIES: Bring a small stack/ at least a couple of black and white newspapers (newspapers that are primarily black and white) for in class studio work (collage).


Materials: pencil (erasers,etc.), ink, dip pens, brushes, b/w acrylic paint, bristol, vellum, tape, ruler, mixing tray, sketchbook.

Overview: You will be creating 4 drawings, each utilizing in their own individual and unique ways, the idea of linear contrast, specifically, geometric/organic relationships. You're basically sandwiching this composition : pencil drawing-add a layer of wash-more drawing.

1. Tape a sheet of Bristol from your pad as follows (creating 4 equal rectangles):

Place tape on each edge of your bristol (creating a frame). Then locate the vertical and horizontal axis (dividing line) - do not draw a line - just a mark near the edge of the bristol. Following these lines with your tape resulting in a division of your bristol into 4 equal rectangles.

2. FOUR DRAWINGS (Pencil only)- Create four distinct drawings. Each drawing is dictated by a specific linear quality (straight/geometric or curved/organic) - as listed below.

1 & 2 = Straight - Geometric Lines (ONLY)
3 & 4 = Curved - Organic Lines (ONLY)

*The subject matter/content is your choice
*We're working with LINE. You have more than one pencil (sharp/light and soft/dark) and more that one way to use vary your line qualities! (Think: sharp pencils/dull, hard/soft, thick/thin, implied/actual, etc.). The emphasis here is to keep your compositions LINEAR...shapes will be created in the process of drawing (unavoidable) but what you should avoid is shadingfor volume, etc (some lines may be lighter than others - so value shifts will still play a part in your drawings).

3. WASH - You will be COVERING the first four drawings with a diluted wash of either INK (for 1 &3) OR WHITE ACRYLIC (2&4) - evenly applied (as explained in class). You will still be able to see the original drawings through the wash, but they will now be obscured by a thin 'veil' of liquid media (ink or white acrylic). Let the wash dry completely before continuing (use a hair dryer if desired).

1 & 3 = Diluted Ink (wash)
2 & 4 = Diluted White Acrylic (wash)

How much ink or acrylic?
The diluted "veil" or layer of medium (ink or acrylic) will be approximately the same translucency as a sheet of vellum or tissue paper. You should be able to still see the drawing below. This layer will "even out" the drawing below - it will add a level of unity to your drawing by decreasing the contrast ratios (bringing the values closer to together by shortening the distance between the lightest light and the darkest dark).

The 'wash' of ink "levels out" the value range/contrast of your original drawing. This creates a more harmonious space (it's being unified by the value of wash) and makes it easier/a more level playing field (less contrast) for you to continue to the next drawing.

For the next step you will be further editing/refining the composition. Remember your checklist of the Principles of Design. Determine/define: the lightest light and darkest dark, dominant/subordinate/accentual elements, and the fore/middle/background. HAVE FUN!

4. CONTRASTING LINE DRAWING (pencil, ink, black/white acrylic)- At this point, your drawings on bristol should consist of the initial pencil drawing, and a thin wash directly over those drawings (of either ink or acrylic depending on the rules stated earlier).

It is now time to draw again...ON TOP of your compositions using ONLY CONTRASTING LINE.

Two important points:

1) For each composition, finish your drawing using ONLY contrasting line. For example: If your first drawing was
'straight/geometric', you would now draw on top using ONLY 'curved/organic' line (and vice-versa).

2) The drawings covered with INK are darker (so when you finish the drawings with contrasting line you should be utilizing some White Acrylic to allow yourself to lighten the compositions along with pen/pencil/etc). The drawings covered with WHITE ACRYLIC are lighter (so you will be utilizing ink/pen, pencil and even diluted black acrylic to regain contrast).

You're attempting to finalize your compositions by adding the element of contrast in your drawings. Specifically, contrast in: geometric/organic, value(light/dark), width (thick/thin), texture , medium (ink/acrylic/pencil), etc.

Most importantly your new drawing (this final step) should:
*Take into consideration the decisions you made in your first drawing
*Use the specified media


Illustrator Companion Piece:

Overview: Using Adobe Illustrator, create a drawing based on your most successful Linear Contrast drawing. Print your finished companion piece, cut down the margins and neatly glue to the center of a sheet of bristol (measure, make sure the image is glued flat). Size art board (printable area) at no less than 6 x 8 ". Black/white/grey only.

You're not copying the drawing/scanning into Illustrator. You're using the Linear Contrast drawing as a starting point/model to spend some time using the line tools in Illustrator. Notice the difference in line qualities and the possibilities of the software (transform, stroke, value, etc). This addendum to the assignment is geared for you to investigate and gain working experience with Illustrator before the major Illustrator assignments.

Computers with Adobe Illustrator are available on the 9th Floor of the building.

*Linear Contrast assignment/Illustrator Companion
*All supplies including x-acto/glue stick(except for large bristol sheets and colored acrylic)
*ADDITIONAL MATERIALS: small stack of black and white newspapers for collage (2-3)


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