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Expressive Drawing

Expressive Drawing Curriculum

Session 1

Session 1 - Expressive Drawing

Circles, Squares, and Triangles

Here's a glimpse of the first lesson. The complete instructions and details are here.

"On the first surface, draw one of the following: a circle, a square or a triangle. Take that in for just a second.  Next, introduce a second shape. Very quickly, take in how the pairing of those two shapes feels together and immediately place the third shape into the space. You’ll now have a drawing in which one circle, one square and one triangle are present. And your drawing is finished."

Session 2

Hugh Delehanty painting on large canvas

Art Appreciation Class

Our next lesson is fun and easy. You'll see seven different works of art and hear Steve Aimone describe each of them. Your assignment is to match the commentary with the drawing.


Let's Doodle!

Our third lesson is probably something you've done before – doodling. The idea is simple: draw without thinking, planning, worrying or conscious control; to make lines and marks in seemingly random fashion.


Expressive Drawing Session 4

Draw Your Hometown!

This lesson focuses on drawing your hometown. Traditionally, you might draw a certain object such as a tree or a building, but in expressive art you will try to “re-present” a few chosen bits and pieces of your town in a stream-of-consciousness manner.


Expressive Drawing Session 5

The Great Cover-Up

This lesson teaches you how to tap into your creativity by taking away and adding elements. There are no mistakes, no correct or incorrect way to do this. And the great thing is, the more you do this, the better your drawing becomes.

Session 6

bowl of red paint

Draw a Portrait of Your Inner Self

This lesson takes the concept of the  "self-portrait" a step further. This exercise will help you create a portrait, not of what you look like, but rather what you feel like.

Session 7

Expressive Drawing, Lession 7

Repetition of Motif

This lesson is simple. Draw a shape and repeat it. But with each shape change the size, width or porportion. When you do this your drawing will come to life.

session 8

Horizontal Rhythm

Drawing to the Beat

Everything that's alive throbs with rhythm. Our hearts beat. We breathe in and out. In this exercise you'll discover the rhythm that's inside of you. We'll build on what you learned about repetition in the last session and explore a specific kind of rhythmic repetition, one that is patterned or sequenced.

session 9

closeup of a painting

Exploring Color

This exercise will help you explore the different properties of color. While color may simply seem to be part of the fabric of a painting or drawing, it sometimes helps to investigate how color is used, in our own work and the work of other artists.

Session 10

Expressive Drawing- Grids

How to Use a Grid

In this lesson we'll explore how a series of underlying shapes can give a drawing the foundational structure it needs to hold together in a richly satisfying manner. The most common form of an underlying shape structure is the grid. You all know what a grid is: a division of the drawing space into an orderly series of compartments. Using a grid a your framework will free you to try other shapes and sizes.

Session 11

woman creates expressive drawing

Top and Bottom, High and Low

Think about where you place the various elements of your artwork on your drawing surface. Those near the top become more prominent and feel more energetic. Something near the top of your canvas is more likely to feel as if it may spin into motion or fall. Elements placed at or near the bottom of a drawing feel grounded and supported, less likely to go into motion, and therefore less dynamic. We'll prove these principles with a drawing exercise.

session 12

Create a new shape of a drawing other than a rectangle

Drawing Outside the Box

In this exercise, we're going to try something different. When you think about drawing or painting, you probably envision creating an image on rectangular pad or a square board. With all the possible surfaces that we can choose from to draw on, why do we automatically think of rectangular spaces instead of venturing outside the box?

Session 13

Drawing on the Edge

In this lesson we discovered how where you place things in a drawing space greatly influence the expressive quality of that drawing: When you place major forces up high, you create a sense of dynamism. And when you place those forces down low you create a sense of stability, support and comfort.

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