Drew uses his sketchbook to study the values and shapes of the red cliffs during a Roland Lee drawing class

Because drawing is so fundamental to all the visual arts, I try to teach at least one drawing workshop during the year. Last week we held that class in St. George and 12 wonderful artists attended. Learning to see with the “Artists Brain” instead of the “Intellectual brain” is critical. The artists brain sees shapes and values while the intellectual brain wants to identify and record data, information, and things. I taught this class how we identify shapes because of their edges. We see edges because of value changes. Once we learn to look for edges, values, and shapes we can draw anything from portraits to landscapes in just a few minutes. I showed the class how I use travel sketchbook vignette drawings to record my experiences, and often use those drawings and my memories to develop larger studio paintings. We also learned how to use small “thumbnail” value studies as a preparation for full-size paintings. This was an exceptional class, and they succeeded in picking it all up very rapidly.

Two students sketch the red rocks during Roland Lee drawing class

Deerdre sketches the Woodward school Tower in Roland Lee’s drawing class
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