Imaginative DrawingÂ is a beginning-level drawing class. It is one of my favorite classes to teach, and I’ll teach it again this winter at the Lawrence Arts Center. This class begins on Wednesday, January 8, 2020, and meets each Wednesday evening for eight weeks, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
The classÂ is based on drawing prompts and exercises that we do together each week in our own sketchbook-journals. By the end of the eight-week session, we’ll use what we’ve learned to create a Â drawing-related work of art in any medium we choose, as a finished piece.
For the first few weeks of class, we’ll explore drawing as making expressive marks on a page using all kindsÂ of pens, pencils, and other mark-makers. We’ll make comic-style “timed” drawings as a way to doodle, and we’ll also doodleÂ by building up a seriesÂ of spontaneous linesÂ that eventually turn into pictures and patterns. We’ll “noodle” our doodles, using aÂ controlled hand to create a finished look by adding color, texture, and shading. Weâ€™ll make drawings that are based on observation, drawing the objects and people that we see, as we see them. We’ll consider how observational-drawingÂ Â informs imaginative-drawing, and vice-versa. Sometimes weâ€™ll draw at drawing “stations” where weÂ choose from a menu of exercise options, staying for as little or as long as we want to at a station. These sorts of exercises willÂ focus onÂ stretching, distorting, or abstracting images that we’ll drawÂ from observation. On a different station-dayÂ weâ€™ll explore the use ofÂ “randomness” as the basis for making somethingÂ new:Â random squiggles on a page, random cracks in the sidewalk, or random shapes of clouds can provide the building blocks for making faces, creatures, or monsters. Each week we learn something new about the creative process. Along the wayÂ we’ll ask the question,Â Where do creative ideas come from? Â Weâ€™ll engage exercises that seem to get to the heart of creativity, bringing disparate ideas together in ways that are new. Weâ€™ll also learn about how to keep a sketchbook-journal, using artist Corita Kent’s focus on the journal as a “sense diary,” and cartoonist Lynda Barry’s “daily diary” formats to bring words and images together. Towards the end of the eight-week session, we’ll discussÂ composition, that is, how to arrange the elements in our drawings with attention to the drawing as a whole. We’ll then imagine a drawing that we would like to make, plan it, and make it.
A writer-friend who tookÂ Imaginative DrawingÂ several Â years ago recently saidÂ about this class Â on Facebook: “Take this class! About two hours ago, I pulled out my sketchbook from the class. It is part brain health, part creativity, part stress relief.” And I would contend that the class is also a way for students to build confidence in their drawing abilities and to learn imaginative drawing skills to be used in art forms as different as comics and quilting.
I strive to create a warmÂ atmosphere where students will feel encouraged and comfortable drawing in ways that are new. While I encourage students to share their work with others in class, because there is so much to learn from each other’s experiments, I also make it clear that no one is everÂ required to share; “passing” is always an option. And homework is optional, too.
Winter classes begin during the first full week in January. Registration now for Winter session. Senior discounts and financial aid are available. RegisterÂ either on-line or at the Lawrence Arts Center,Â 940 New Hampshire St., Lawrence, KS, Â phone 785.843.2787. To register for “Imaginative Drawing” on-line, visitÂ http://enroll.lawrenceartscenter.org/browse-classes/event/2941?fbclid=IwAR1tS5t8oXpsnJfo_AlpjN-yTufrYNYN78CARP9OOr3taLmbexoLf96S9To.