Welcome back

Hello everyone,

Welcome back from your holiday break and welcome to ART202 AF II. If you don’t already know… AFII is a foundation art class focused on design enhanced, drawing/image making skills. AFII focuses upon the human figure as a means to refine hand/eye skills, observation skills and a broad range of media technique. We will be working a range of media from dry media (graphite, pastel, conte crayon and charcoal) to wet media (ink washes and watercolor), both in B/W and full color. Fun. The syllabus and supply list can found on this site – look for the tab above and if you have any questions, let me know.

This is a fun course, we will do a ton of drawing an painting and your skills will really develop this semester if you work hard in class and practice what you do in class, outside of class. It is a simple formula… the more you draw and paint, the better you will get.

See you in a week or so… Rusty


For Tuesday, Feb. 21

Bring to class on Tuesday, your best drawing/watercolor from week 4 and 5 (just one drawing, not two) and the homework assignment (1 hour watercolor, figure). You will be turning these in to me. See you Tuesday and have fun practicing watercolor. Oh, you are by no means limited to doing just one, one hour piece – do a couple or three and turn in your best one. Just trying to help you out.

Pick of the litter

I am posting some of the works you turned in to me today – the in-class and outside class drawings. These examples demonstrate those things I have been talking about in class… observation, confidence and strong mark making (regardless of the media). They each have different ways of depicting the figure. These pieces really nailed it. Keep up the good work.

Outside of class assignments

So, for Thursday, Feb. 9… I want you to work with the four states of watercolor that I showed you today in class. I want to see the best examples of what you do for each state listed below on Thursday.

Wet on Wet – for broad areas of color, areas of color transition from shade to tint or saturation and/or hue. This is not a control state. Let the watercolor do it’s thing. Don’t fuss with the media in this state. Lay it down and let it be.

Wet on Dry – this state is a control state. Since the surface is dry, the media stays where it is placed. You can do different things with this state depending upon the type of brush you are using. This state with a fine tip round brush is where you can paint in structural line to define edges and detail in the piece.

Dry on Wet – this state allows you to remove color from an area. A damp brush to lift color in a wet area or even a dried area. This is a subtractive process.

Dry on Dry – this state is for creating textures. A damp pigment loaded brush on a dry surface.

Correcting mistakes – you can fix any mistake with clean water. Just add water to a wet or dried area and keep flushing the mistake with water until it lifts off. It is figg’n magic.

Once you work with and understand these states, you will be able to do anything with wet media. Practice make general things… maybe some little watercolor landscapes.

I also want you to paint with watercolor a color wheel that has the primary colors, secondary colors and tertiary colors. See examples below.

Bring your color wheel to class on Thursday, I want to talk some color theory before we get started. Bring your watercolor supplies to class on Thursday too.


Learning how to draw and perfecting drawing skills is very straight forward. You simply need to draw a lot, and fail a lot until you develop an ability to truly see what you are looking at and translate that to your paper. This practice develops your aesthetic sensitivities and your technique in a range of media. I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to draw as much as possible. And, don’t worry about it being good or bad – just draw.

You also can’t work in a vacuum. Look at the drawings of your classmates this semester and use Pinterest and YouTube as a resource. I have a several Pinterest boards with examples of drawings, artwork, design and illustrations that might help inspire you to improve your drawing abilities. I also will be  drawing in class with you, so feel free to take a quick break during an extended pose to see how I approach drawing the figure. And, please ask questions. I always appreciated watching someone with experience do the task that I was asked to do in class. Just keep in mind, I have forty plus years of drawing/painting practice and experience – which takes me back to my original point – you have to practice to get good,



Student Examples

Hello spring semester ASF II. Here are three of student examples from my ASF II class from fall semester. We’ll be working to develop and refine hand-eye coordination, mark-making, sighting, and foreshortening. We will be using a range of media – graphite, conte, pastel and watercolor. Drawing figures from life is a great way to refine drawing technique and skills. It can be and often is, very frustrating. But, if you put in the time and effort you will see amazing results in your artwork and skill-development. Practice, practice, practice.

Final Portfolio

As with the midterm portfolio, this portfolio is digital – photograph or scan your work, save as a .jpg or make a multiple page .pdf. Make your you crop out any background that isn’t part of your drawing. I want you to submit 8 of you best in-class drawings and I want the submission to include b/w or monochrome and color drawings (wet and dry media).

Also, include 4 more of your best outside of class practice drawings – things from your sketchbook.

You can email me your portfolio examples if your files aren’t too big. If emailing doesn’t work, connect to my computer (IP address:, connect as a guest and select the “public” folder and dump your portfolio folder or .pdf into the ART202 ASF II Final Portfolio folder. This is a drop box, so you won’t be able to “fix” the submission once it is dumped over to my computer.

Ask me next week in class if you have any questions.


Midterm portfolio

OK, here are the specs for the midterm portfolio due on Tuesday, October 11th.

Pick any seven of your best figure drawings so far from this semester. They can be from your sketchbook, newsprint pad or on the good paper – give me a range of b/w only and some of your color work too.

This is a digital portfolio, so get a camera or use your cell phone and photograph your choices. Watch your lighting when you shoot – don’t have cast shadows on your artwork and crop the image, so as only the drawing is seen (crop out any background). Shoot as squarely as possible. You can email me the individual .jpgs or put the seven images into a single .pdf file.

We have two more classes that you can draw  some decent drawings for this portfolio, so make an effort on Thursday and next Tuesday. The portfolio should be emailed to me by 11:59:59 on Tuesday. If you have any questions, let me know on Thursday.

Conte and color conte on Thursday. Next week is water media.

Art is hard, takes a lot of time and cost a lot of money

It is expensive to be an art major or even to take an art course – especially your first year in college when you have to buy everything new. Expect to spend some serious money on art supplies. Student grade supplies will work just fine as you learn techniques and build skills, but quality supplies and tools will yield superior results and might alleviate some frustrations. See the tab above for a list of recommended supplies. Come to the first day of class with your newsprint pad and black conte crayon,