Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Artists' Choice: Grisaille I

Ruskin's Drawing and Watercolor from the Ashmolean
The Spring Session of our Garage School of Art is off to a great start as we tackle grisaille, a method for painting grey monochrome. Our first subjects are stunning stones from the coast of Maine collected by my neighbor Jill Levine and lent to us for our studies. The great artist and teacher John Ruskin used just such stones in his iconic book The Elements of Drawing, making the claim, "Now if you can draw that stone, you can draw anything; I mean anything that is drawable." So we made our way to Oxford and the Ruskin School of Art, compliments of iTunesU, where Dr. Stephen Farthing instructed us in the use of toned paper and the advantages of color. Dr. Farthing emphasized that the addition of color is the most complicated element in the range of art that we call drawing.

Using images of Jill's stones in warm grey monotone and color we experimented using both graphite and colored pencils on toned paper following Dr. Farthing's instructions.

JoAnne started with black and white.

Linda Harvey's drawing in its beginning stages.
Jane begins

Warmly toned paper is hospitable to cool colors/
Chris referencing her color wheel.
Beautiful and elegant drawings appeared quickly. Skill and artistry is evidenced in the gallery of artist at work.
Therese beginning the line drawing.
Cathy adds contrast.
Katie feels out her drawing like Ruskin.
The pans in Pam's set rendered like jewels .
Mary Vetere 

Chris immersed in her work.
 The homework is to make a chart of as many grays in the Prismacolor set that you can, by combining complimentary colors and finally adding white or grey.