For cycle, you will select two artists from those presented in class (NOTE: you cannot begin this project until you have witnessed the Artist Reports in class). Each time you complete this assignment, you will use up 3 pages in your sketchbook, and 1 piece of of larger paper (at least 18″x24″) outside your sketchbook for the final piece.
When selecting two drawings to copy and eventually synthesize, it can be helpful to select two distinctly different styles. Look for striking differences in the use of line, value, form, space, color, and so on. It can also be helpful to seek out two different types of drawing to ensure there is adequate contrast between the two master copies. Some types of drawing include landscape, still life, portraiture, figurative art, architectural, botanicals, cartoons/comics/graphic novels, caricature, silhouettes, architectural/technical/engineering, travel illustrations, cartography (signage, maps, charts, infographics), food/product illustration, animals/minerals illustration, medical/anatomical illustration, fiction/horror/fantasy, or collage. It can also be helpful to seek out drawings that are executed in distinctly different media, such as graphite, pen and ink, marker, charcoal, colored pencil, pastel, oil pastel, scratchboard, computer illustrated, sidewalk chalk, spray paint, and so on. Finding as much difference as possible between the two master copies will provide opportunities for interesting combinations during the third drawing, or synthesis.
On page 1: Imitate one of the selected artists – go online (or find a book and scan it – this might actually be easier) to find your favorite drawing by the artist. Print it LARGE and in color (no smaller than 8″ on it’s longest side – do not allow it to become pixelated or degraded in quality – you will need precise detail). You can copy a section or all of the drawing, but you must fill the sketchbook page with your drawn copy. Pay special attention to replicating, as close as possible, the distinct and unique aspects of this artist’s style. Bring both the drawing and the print-out to class.
On page 2: Imitate the other selected artist – go online (or find a book and scan – this might actually be easier) to find your favorite drawing by the artist. Print it LARGE and in color (no smaller than 8″ on it’s longest side – do not allow it to become pixelated – you will need precise detail). You can copy a section or all of the drawing, but you must fill the sketchbook page with your drawn copy. Pay special attention to replicating, as close as possible, the distinct and unique aspects of this artist’s style. Bring both the drawing and the print-out to class.
On page 3: The third drawing is a synthesis (combination) of the two master copies. Your goal is to intertwine these two specific styles without adding new or unrelated items (or adding as little as possible). Ask yourself how you can break up the composition. What are the key components of each master copy’s style? Use your analysis skills to identify the subject, form, content, and context of each style. How can the two subjects interact or fuse? What are the formal elements of each work and how can they coexist? Can you simultaneously represent the content of the two works? Are there relationships between the contexts of the works? You will want to execute several sketches to test various combination options before launching into your synthesis drawing. Write the names of the two artists you are synthesizing on the back of this drawing.
On the larger (at least 18″x24″) paper: The fourth drawing morphs the third drawing into something beyond the original two by incorporating one of your influences or sources into the composition. Spend time flipping through your sketchbook collection of sources and influences. What would make the most sense to incorporate into this drawing? Think in terms of subject, form, content, and context. How does the synthesis drawing make you feel? Is there anything from your sources or influences that inspires a similar emotion?Be ready to share how you have morphed the styles and integrated your own ideas, subject, elements of style, etc. Again, you will want to execute a number of sketches testing various approaches before you begin your fourth drawing. Write the two artists that inspired this drawing on the back of the drawing.
[Note: on our fourth time through this cycle, your fourth drawing will be an animation]
Frequently asked questions:
— When you are researching the artist you are copying and all of the works say mixed media, then you will have to experiment with various media until you achieve the same look.
— The size does not need to be the same as the original. In some cases it will be better to just copy a section of a piece rather than the whole piece (especially if the work is significantly larger than the size of the sketchbook and particularly detailed).
– Amount of risk taken in your fourth drawing (how far are you outside of your comfort zone)
– Accuracy of replication in drawings 1-3 (did you utilize the same media as in the original? do you have evidence of your experimentation/trial-and-error process?)
– Evidence of effort/time investment