Thursday October 22, 2020

Virtual Art-Making Session with the Princeton University Art Museum: Gestures and Expressions

- Free!

The Arts Council is partnering with the Princeton University Art Museum to provide free online art-making experiences. Weekly classes are taught by artist-instructor Barbara DiLorenzo over Zoom, so participants can join live from home. A variety of media and techniques will be explored, using materials readily available. Each week’s lesson features works from the Museum’s collections and is introduced by an Art Museum Student Tour Guide.

This live art-making class is inspired by the Xochipala figurines Seated adult and youth. Ceramic figurines from Xochipala, in the Mexican state of Guerrero, are renowned for their attention to anatomical detail and expressiveness. Precise renditions of human anatomy—including bone, muscle, and fat as well as the telltale signs of age—lead us to imagine that the figurines are portraits of specific individuals. Perhaps the greatest example of Xochipala figural art, this seated pair captures an engaged, animated conversation, brilliantly expressed through the careful posing of unadorned bodies. In this class we will consider the intimacy and emotive expressions of the Xochipala figurines as we draw group portraits capturing gestures, feelings, and relationships between people.

Free registration for the drawing class via Zoom here.   (When prompted, click to sign in as “attendee”.)

This event will include live closed captions in both English and Spanish. English captions are available directly in the Zoom toolbar by clicking the “CC” icon. To access Spanish-language captioning, open Streamtext, where you can select “Spanish” to see the live captioning.

Para acceder a los subtítulos en varios idiomas, ingrese al seminario web de Zoom durante un evento en vivo, luego abra un navegador web separado para visitar esta página donde puede seleccionar “español” o el idioma de su elección.

Materials List

  • These materials are suggested by the instructor but not required. Any pencil, eraser, and paper will work well.Paper: For the demonstrations, I use Discount School Supply White Sulphite Paper (12 x 18″, 50 lb.). My personal sketchbooks include Moleskine, Strathmore, and a variety of others that have different textures and thicknesses. Everyone has their own preference, so I recommend trying out different papers to see what you like!Factis Mechanical Eraser: This eraser is helpful for pulling graphite and bringing highlights back into your drawing. It can also be used similar to a pencil, making long strokes of white (erasing the graphite) that add texture to a drawing. Tombow MONO Zero Erasers: Round & Rectangular: I use the small, round eraser for the tiniest erasing details. It saves time to have such a small eraser on hand, and creates beautiful moments of light.

    Faber-Castell Drawing Pencils: Although you can purchase a set of pencils in varying grades, for the drawing demo I’ll be using 6B so that people can see the dark marks better. I am not a fan of anything in the H grade, as the graphite is too hard and light for me to sketch comfortably. I love a 4B or 6B pencil, but that is entirely personal preference. 

    General’s Pure Woodless Graphite: These pure graphite pencils are a lot of fun to draw with. I usually add them to a pencil lengthener so that I can hold them like a paintbrush. Big, loose marks can be even more fun to draw with—so if you have the ability, give this a try!

    Koh-I-Noor Pencil Lengthener (I add the woodless graphite to this): This pencil lengthener was first introduced to me in art school. My drawing teacher would use compressed charcoal in the extender, and hold it like a paintbrush. It allows an artist to draw with a loose hand, moving the entire arm to create curves and gestures. Without it, sometimes a small nub can be harder to hold onto or can limit the range of motion. 

LATE THURSDAYS! This event is part of the Museum’s Late Thursdays programming, made possible in part by Heather and Paul G. Haaga Jr., Class of 1970. Spanish-language live closed-captioning for this program is made possible by the Rapid Response Magic Project of the Princeton University Humanities Council.

Image: Xochipala, Late Formative, Seated adult and youth, 400 B.C.–A.D. 200. Red-brown micaceous ceramic. Princeton University Art Museum. Gift of Gillett G. Griffin in honor of David W. Steadman, Graduate School Class of 1969

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