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
“There is no self-portrait of me”
— Gustav Klimt
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 top-to-toe self portrait. Use all the mark making techniques generated in the first drawing.
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.
Reflect on your progress during the session. Individual feedback will be given during drawing. (Pay attention to the work of your classmates).
→ Plenty of Vine or Willow charcoal
→ A1 sized paper (at least 5 sheets)
2,5 hours (one afternoon).
“I'm not a fan of books”
— Kanye West
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 A4 sized fanzine (folded A3) about this individual. The zine should be at least twelve pages including the cover. Text is only allowed on the cover.
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?
Individual feedback will be given during class. Pay interest in the work your classmates are doing.
→ At least four pages of folded A3 paper
→ Analog drawing material of own choosing
5 hours (two afternoons).
“Every time I paint a portrait I lose a friend”
— John Singer Sargent
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.
Composition/position on paper, use of colour and contrast, light source, depth (e.g. use of foreground/background).
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.
→ Coloured felt-tip pens
→ 200g Biotop A4 paper
2,5 hours (one afternoon).