Courses Perceptual Studies page 9


Typical Criticisms
) The proportions are wrong. Draw an axis line from the blossom to the stem. Just as with the leaf, the contour and shape on either side of the axis might differ but the areas have to be the same.
) Draw through all the ellipse in order to better understand the form. A diagrammatic drawing.
) Make a pencil rendering shading in all the values describing the forms in order to better understand the form.
) Draw an ellipse or trapezoid (square in perspective) and draw the base of the fruit so it touches all the sides describing the space it occupies.
)The top line is straight across where it should be curved because it is the top line of an ellipse.
) The bottom line is straight across where it should be curved because it is the bottom line of an ellipse.
) Off-set the two side lines where they meet the stem because now they cut off the stem.
) Draw an ellipse at the top of the fruit and begin the stem from the center of the ellipse rather than drawing it from the contour.
) Look at proportions. The vegetable has two basic elements with an extended neck and a body. Play with size differentiate between the two elements.
) Play with the scale of the cap and stem to the body.
) Even though the detail of the blossom scar is inverted, reverse it so that it extends and becomes part of the contour.
) Try exaggerating the thinness and length of the stem in relationship to the body.
) This should be a point rather than a curve to suggest this form going behind that form.
) Try flopping the drawing and see if it works better.
) Play around with the different ways you can set the drawing on the board. Play the bottom line of the vegetable against the straight line forming the bottom edge of the board.
) The top of the stem has to be curved also because it is circular.
) The drawing is too symmetrical. One side is just like the other. Play one line against the other.
) Line quality is terrible! No tension in the lines!
) To draw the stem cap as on a tomato, eggplant or squash, draw the elliptical contours from where the stem attaches. Draw the cap to sit on the contours. When you fill in, the cap will then describe the volume.


Draw four 10-inch squares on tracing paper and with marker fill in four different rotations. When the best positioning is identified, the final presentation is made with plaka visually centered on a 10-inch board.


Final Project
For the purpose of maintaining a record, the previous practice for assigning this stage of the course is retained, and is as follows.

In the instance of animals, birds, reptiles, insects and fish, students are required to do considerable research which must be included in the progress book. It is important at this stage to insist that students collect information and sketch in a professional, systematic manner. Sketches should be well organized on the page. The research sketching should require all the criteria and demands of the drawing class. A principal concern at this stage is teaching students how to use research material (images) as a source for information. It is important to teach them how to use visual research as a source of information , and not as something to copy . This is an extremely important point and worth the effort and time to teach. I take time and make special effort to emphasize and require students to use found images as sources only, how to use the sources, and never permit them to copy. Research involves drawing details such as mouths, hoofs, ins, ears, legs, etc. I put emphasis on this part of the problem; I am critical of drawing quality. It is a technical, or information drawing, not artistic nor rendering. It is important to me to emphasize to students that they draw what they know mores than what they see. This point cannot be over-stated.
Students are expected to build in the illusion of dimensionality. In the instance of any four-legged creature, they draw a rectangle in perspective in order to place the feet; wherever one form overlaps another is indicated in the contour. They also make diagrammatic drawings of the spine using right angle lines for placement and perspective of eyes, ears and limbs. Some sketches are volumetric, drawing through the forms to accentuate better understanding the illusion of dimensional imagery.

Exaggeration is also discussed and explored during the sketching stages. There is usually a great deal of distortion such as making heads smaller, legs longer, thinner and reducing the size of feet, identifying and exaggerating characteristic qualities. A few insects and fish are entirely invention designed from parts of several varieties of the species. We talk about designing into the image intangible qualities such as a fox being sly, antelope as graceful, etc. The objective was to create an interpretive, symbolic image with high communication value and not to make an image that is biologically correct.

The first step is pencil sketches to understand anatomy, ind a posture, explore proportions and drawing of details. Most of this work is quite small. When the major decisions are made, the drawing is enlarged to size and work begins on contours. These drawings are then tested by filling them in as black shapes with no internal details. Students are encouraged to pin these on the wall and study them before working on them some more. This is to establish shape and dimensionality through contour. At this stage, the filled in shapes are put up for critique and discussion. After defining shapes, students are permitted to introduce some reversed internal lines to define details. I emphasize that these are minimal, and students should be selective about how much, where, and weight of white lines. Normally there is a great deal of trial and error exploration at this stage.

At a later date, students began to introduce texture. Since this was obviously what they wanted to do, I added dimension as an option, but with the condition that texture had to show form.



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Student example of mini composition using theoretical flat shape with illusion of dimension.

Mini Composition
(more examples)

Final Project: Book Cover

Final Project: Animal

Final Project: Bird

Final Project: Fish

Final Project: Insect


Student example of final project: reptile
Final Project: Reptile
(more examples)

Final Project: Arizona/Alaska

Final Project: Still Life/Professions

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