Tag Archives: Art School


After several technology malfunctions, one new scanner (that is yet to be installed) and a busy summer, I am finally updating some of the work that occupied my last year. It’s mostly sketches, live model painting and assignments, rather than more polished “finished” work.  Have a look!

2 sketches from one model

2 sketches from one model

Detail of the seated drawing.

Detail of the seated drawing.

Same model, from the same session.

Same model, from the same session.

Male model in two different poses. These are between 5 and 10 minute sketches.

Male model in two different poses. These are between 5 and 10 minute sketches.

Amazing older women model. This is conte on a very textured paper.

Amazing older women model. This is conte on a very textured paper.

Same textured paper. Different model.

Same textured paper. Different model.

Fashion girl 1

Detail of previous full body shot.

Detail of previous full body shot.

That’s all for now. Stay posted for more actual paintings in the next week or so.


I just found some sketches I scanned for class that I thought I would post. I am seeking inspiration, and sketches are often a good place to find it. I find my sketches in my free time are often more interesting and natural than stuff I produce for school that tends to be, so here’s a little unrefined sampling:

I did a portrait of Madonna for a class project and this was one of the prep-sketches.

madonna-sketch1This one is a doodle of me and my roommates that I really like:


These next two really demonstrate how I tighten up when given an assignment. Both of these were for class – I had a sketchbook to keep that didn’t have to be polished; we were given ideas to play with. This first one was to take a traditional story and set it in present day. My take is pretty corny. You’ll see:

cinderella-sketch1This next one was based on the myth of Sisyphus – he was the mythical sucker who got roped into pushing a giant boulder up a hill over and over again forever. Way to try and bone Zeus’ wife (or something like that). We had to illustrate a modern day Sisyphean task. I thought the predominant qualities of his task were futility of the job and frustration it causes through it’s utter uselessness, so I chose telemarketing:


My Machine

I am in a class called “Media Studio” which means we have to use the computer to make pretty pictures rather than actual materials such as paint, etc.  My instructor likes to give us these in-class assignments that must  be completed within the 2 hours of class. The problem today was that we were required to use illustrator and photoshop together and I have very, VERY poor illustrator skills. I also thought I would try and go for an ambitious project, so that I could fail at it very thouroughly(sp?) and reack some kind of panic state during the 2 hour period. I am not panicked enough in daily life; it’s my New Year’s resolution: Panic More.

Anyway, I thought I would share the bruised clearance-bin fruit of my 2 hour’s labour.  Oh, I forgot to mention that we are given a vague theme at the onset that we are to work around. This week’s was “My Machine”:


There you have it.  The figure of the girl was formed poorly in illustrator which took me the better part of 90 minutes, and the other 30 were spend scrambling to do everything else in photoshop. UGH. I also peed and had a little meeting with the prof about my sketches for next week during that 30 mins, so make it 15 or even 10 in which the above was scraped together.

Here is the another in-class assignment from another week. Here the theme was “Friends of the Night””

ms3_sec3_gillian_goerz_inclass_1This one got a 70% with the remark that while they file was actually fairly complex (we are marked on HOW we use the programs, not just what we do with them), the figure was under developed and the composition didn’t reflect the theme. Okay, buddy. Whatever you say. Considering I think this peice is more interesting tripe than the tripe I slapped together this week, I can’t imagine the mark I am going to get on My Machine.

Some February work.

Having a great art day makes me feel like posting!

Here is some recent work from my drawing and painting class. It’s kinda corny, but this class is more about execution than concept, which is to say it’s not at all about concept and totally about composition, execution, etc.  We are doing drapery right now, so my instructor asked for a drawing of a flamenco dancer, clown or matador. Everyone but one person chose the dancer. I am not that one.


Not pictured: Castinettes.

You can see some of the bottom drapery is… invented. And perhaps sloppily. I am a pretty strong believer in drawing from life not your imagination (in cases like this where realistic depiction, not “creativity” per say is the objective) so this is a bit of a cop out.  I just drew a picture I found online (I am reminded of Ruth Fisher saying “Oh, he just loves Online!”) and where the photo ends and my invention begins is fairly obvious.  Also her nose shadow looks a bit like a Hitler ‘stache. It was like that in the photo making it a prime case in which varying from what you see is advisable.

The next one is another person with folds of drapery. Again I kinda cheaped out on the object of the assignment (drapery) in lieu of doing what I wanted.


Both of these are done with black ink wash.  Both of these also got great comments from the instructor in class, which means they will both get C’s.  This guy’s classic move is heaping praise on every single piece, even if it’s a total POS, and then issuing grades based on how he really feels about it. Perhaps he is trying to spare us in-class humiliation, but it’s terribly demoralizing to get these bargain basement marks after feeling like you are a handshake away from a grant and an internship. Besides, none of the other classes spare us the in-class coal-raking, so what’s the point? Perhaps he is a wimp. Perhaps.

This has been a good art day because I am feeling both inspired and motivated – two infrequent bed-fellows, to put it britishly.  They have been feuding pretty ferociously, but just finished a very successful mediation session and have joined again in happy matrimony.  In honour of their reunion, I will post a work in progress at two stages.

This is more drapery drawing.  The initial sketch:

drawingThis is a little shoddy in quality, since it’s a scanned pencil sketch, which scanners HATE. I jacked up the black levels so something would show up. This is my friend Jacqueline who kindly modeled her cardigan on her head as she studied.

Next I painted in her skin in watercolour:

watercolour-skinI tried to adjust the colour of the skin in photoshop, but the real pain of a laptop is that depending on the angle of your screen, the colour saturation is dramatically different and you can’t know which angle is the correct one.  The yellows here are a little deeper than they are in the original. Especially the dark spot on her nose. It’s a more lemon yellow in person, less jaundiced rudolf.

Next I want to ink all the lines in sepia-toned ink and leave them as just outlines, not filling them in. This plan requires a new pen nib that will make finer lines than the ones I have, so it has to wait, sadly, until tomorrow.  I will be sure to update the finished drawing at some point.  I am pretty happy with it so far and a little scared to mess it up. I think watercolour and I might be new best friends. That’s all for now.