Professional Practices – Assistant Teaching – week 3


In this week’s class, the students continued doing quick 2- or 5-minutes sketches (mostly on 18″ x 24″ paper), then moved on to the beginning of a 3-week drawing. The first half of the class time was spent on these quick drawings, still focusing primarily on proportions and getting the anatomy of the figure correct. The second half of the class consisted of Ernie setting up the model’s pose, the chair she would sit on, and the lighting. He took good care to get the right arrangement, and repositioned the lights until he got everything where he wanted it. The students fanned out around the model in a tight first row, with a few people standing up in back making a second row. They proceeded to begin their drawings, very lightly, and with attention to fitting the entire figure on the page. Ernie stressed the importance of drawing in the highest point of the figure, the lowest point, and the most extreme right and left sides. This gives the student a guideline to get everything to fit on the page. As Ernie circulated through the class checking everyone’s progress, he reminded the students to use measurements to get their proportions correct. This involves holding up the pencil toward the model and using it as a measuring tool to determine vertical and horizontal distances between points. Then translated to the page, this method helps ensure that everything is being drawn in the right place.
This drawing will be continued for the next two weeks, after which we will be having a critique. I’m eager to see how Ernie runs his critiques, and also to see how the students evaluate and communicate with each other in a critique situation. It should be interesting to note the difference between the Sophomore-level undergrad critique and the second-semester graduate-level critique, which I am now experiencing as a student myself.
Also on the horizon is a little “show” that I will be “curating”. In anticipation of the accreditation review that we will be hosting in the near future, I will be helping set up some student work for them to view. During the next class (week 4), Ernie and I will be sorting through some student drawings that will be going up on a wall in the AMF building. It will be my job to choose the best work from these drawings, decide on a visual layout, and hang them on a large panel on the wall of the second floor. I will have about two weeks to put this together, and I think it should be a valuable exercise for me. Editing or curating is an often overlooked but severely important of any art practice, as far as I am concerned. I’ll take all the practice I can get. I also look at this as an opportunity for me to contribute something to the school as the accreditation process commences. If I can help CCAD put its best foot forward, I’m glad to do so.


About AlexEConrad

Fine artist. Freelance designer.
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