Jordy van den Nieuwendijk

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Drawing Class

A selection of Drawing Class assignments for the BA Graphic Design students of the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague, The Netherlands.

“Who's going to ask a painter to see a diploma? They'd say, ‘Can I see your paintings?’, wouldn't they?”
— David Hockney

Mirrors & Sticks09

Synopsis
  Two short assignments. (01) Tape a sheet of A4 sized drawing paper to an A3 piece of cardboard (both provided in class). Hold the drawing paper next to your head and position yourself in front of a large mirror. Draw a self portrait with charcoal by only looking at the reflection of yourself and the drawing in the mirror. (02) Tape a stick of charcoal to the end of a one meter long wooden stick (both provided in class). Position a classmate against a wall and hang a sheet of A4 sized drawing paper next to his/her head. Take a good step back and draw a portrait using the one meter long stick whilst being able to see the subject and result side by side.


Consider
  Experiment and play to get the most from the charcoal. Composition on paper, use of contrast (light source). Angle of subject. Vary drawing techniques.

Feedback
  Individual feedback will be given during class. Pay interest in the work your classmates are doing.

Material
A4 sized paper (10 sheets)
A3 sized cardboard
Charcoal
Wooden stick (1m)
Masking tape

Duration
2,5 hours (one lesson).

“I think a lot about teaching my kids to work hard.”
— Jennifer Lopez

Secret Knowledge08

Synopsis
  (01) Viewing of David Hockney's Secret Knowledge in the cinema at the academy. “BBC: Artist David Hockney reveals startling evidence which suggests that cameras have been a secret tool for artists since the 15th century, a discovery that solves century-old mysteries surrounding famous paintings. Presented by Kirsty Wark, and filmed in Bruges, Florence and a stunning Hockney-designed set in Hollywood.”

  (02) Using tracing, projecting and copying techniques exposed in David Hockney’s Secret Knowledge, recreate an acclaimed artwork that contains one or more figures. Replace one figure with yourself and any others with people you know.


Consider
  Select a work you feel connected to. Avoid clichés i.e. Mona Lisa. Build your work in a similar way to the original. You should be recognisable in the final piece. Be creative with the techniques you use and how you incorporate yourself into the image.

Feedback
  Individual feedback will be given during class. Pay interest in the work your classmates are doing.

Material
Of own choosing

Duration
7,5 hours (three lessons).

“When I am in my painting, I'm not aware of what I'm doing.”
— Jackson Pollock

Fanzine07

Synopsis
  Search online or preferably in the academy's library for a well known artist whose name has identical initials to yourself. For example, Haruki Murakami → Henry Matisse. Make an A5 sized fanzine about this individual. The zine should be at least twelve pages including the cover. Text is only allowed on the cover.


Consider
  Curating/storytelling. What part of your subject triggers you visualy. What to emphasise. How do you keep the reader interested half-way through reading your booklet. Time; there is a first page, a centerfold, and a last page. How do you use this?

Feedback
  Individual feedback will be given during class. Pay interest in the work your classmates are doing.

Material
At least three pages of folded A4 paper
Analog drawing material of own choosing

Duration
5 hours (two lessons).

“I'm not a fan of books.”
— Kanye West

Triptych06

Synopsis
  Create a series of three drawings: a portrait, a landscape and a still life. Investigate these archetypes and how the works can succeed individually but also together.


Consider
  Size, medium and technique. clever ways to link the works. what makes a portrait? landscape? still life? Overall theme or storytelling. Way of presenting the works.

Feedback
  Individual feedback will be given during class. Pay interest in the work your classmates are doing.

Material
Of own choosing

Duration
5 hours (two lessons).

“All gardening is landscape painting.”
— William Kent

Monochromes05

Synopsis
  Make a series of three monochrome still lifes, each a different colour. Position a bell pepper in front of you and get a good sense of its form. Look for an interesting angle and make this the crop for your painting. A monochromatic work has only hues of one colour, use black and white paint to mix darker or lighter tones. Repeat the exercise with two new compositions.


Consider
  Light source, texture and glow. Shade and shine. Try working wet and dry. Experiment with layers. Search for an unusual crop for a strong composition. Zoom in on a detail.

Feedback
  Assemble your work on the walls once each piece is finished. Feedback will be given during painting.

Material
A red, yellow or green bell pepper
Three colours of acrylic paint
Black and White acrylic paint
Brushes (at least a centimetre wide)
Any type of A1 paper (5 sheets)

Duration
2,5 hours (one lesson).

“Good painting is like good cooking; it can be tasted, but not explained.”
— Maurice de Vlaminck

3D Portraits04

Synopsis
  "Draw" in 3D. Work physically in three dimensions to build a self portrait using cardboard, masking tape and black/white paint. Keep looking at your creation from different angles throughout. As opposed to a flat drawing or painting the subject and resulting sculpture can be seen from every angle.


Consider
  Open building constructions. Discover ways to construct in three dimensions. Ensure every aspect looks interesting. Think around 360 degrees. Contrast in colour/density/detail.

Feedback
  Individual feedback will be given during building. At the end of the class collect and examine all sculptures in a brief critique.

Material
Light grey firm cardboard
Knife and scissors
Masking tape
Black and white paint

Duration
2,5 hours (one lesson).

“A sculpture is something you bump into when you back up to look at a painting.”
— Ad Reinhardt

Charcoal Drawing03

Synopsis
  Explore the complex medium of charcoal. Experiment and play to get the most from the material. Generate at least ten different mark making techniques on one sheet of paper. In the second half of class, hang large sheets of paper on the wall and draw a 1:1 scale self portrait. Use all the mark making techniques generated in the first drawing.


Consider
  Choice and texture of paper. Work rapidly. Sketch roughly first. Be careful not to work too dark. Keep pulling the light out from the paper. Charcoal is a very dry and powdery medium that tends to leave a dusty mess and smudge. Prevent this with a fixative/hairspray.

Feedback
  Reflect on your progress during the session. Individual feedback will be given during drawing. (Pay attention to the work of your classmates).

Material
Plenty of Vine or Willow charcoal
A1 sized paper (at least 5 sheets)

Duration
2,5 hours (one lesson).

“There is no self-portrait of me.”
— Gustav Klimt

Audio Visuals02

Synopsis
  Different short sound bites will be played. Visualize what you hear. Drawing time is confined to the duration of the fragments. The second half of the class consists of life drawing. A musician will play live electric guitar sounds. Draw a portrait emphasising the synergy between music and motion.


Consider
  Drawing pace, shape, colour, flow, pattern/repetition, rhythm, etc. Vary techniques. Try figurative and abstract.

Feedback
  Assemble all drawings on classroom wall after each session for a moment of reflection. Examine the gathered work and discuss the observations in a brief question round.

Material
Coloured drawing material
A2 sized paper (7 sheets)

Duration
2,5 hours (one lesson).

“As soon as I hear a sound, it always suggests a mood to me.”
— Brian Eno

Portrait drawing01

Synopsis
  A variety of short (10—15 min) portrait drawing assignments exploring: speed drawing, two-handed drawing, blind drawing, upside down drawing, monochrome drawing and Cubist portrait drawing. Pair up and draw each other simultaneously. Rotate models in between sessions; just like speed dating. Intensely observe your subject. Draw the nose in front of you; don't come up with one.


Consider
  Composition/position on paper, use of colour and contrast, light source, depth (e.g. use of foreground/background).

Feedback
  Assemble all drawings on classroom wall after each session for a moment of reflection. Examine the gathered work and discuss the observations in a brief question round.

Material
Coloured felt-tip pens
200g Biotop A4 paper

Duration
2,5 hours (one lesson).

“Every time I paint a portrait I lose a friend.”
— John Singer Sargent