The Tutor has noticed that class attendance is waning. This is to be expected. With most courses, once students have settled into a routine, they become lax in their efforts. The Tutor wants you to know that this will not do. Not in this class.
To reward those of you who have been diligent with your attendance and class participation, and to give those of you on the fence an incentive to commit to the program, The Tutor invites you to watch the following PSA:
That’s right, class; The Tutor is going to a host a live event featuring YOUR artwork! The gauntlet has been thrown to all you dabblers, dawdlers and dalliers. Will you accept The Tutor’s challenge? Do you have the courage to create and have your work shared?
Everyone who gets their grind on now and completes all of the homework assignments will have their artwork displayed in The Tutor’s Gallery. Those of you who have fallen dreadfully behind in class should use this opportunity to start creating now. More details on The Tutor’s Gallery will be available shortly… so stay tuned!
In the meantime, let’s get on with this week’s lesson. I give you Lesson VIII: Back to Front:
Commendations, students, you’ve completed another class! This week’s homework assignment is to paint the background of your still life drawn in Lesson VII.
Unless you are using watercolor paints, it is generally a good idea to apply a light wash of color over your entire image surface. This is to replace the stark nature of the naked canvas with atmospheric tone. When doing this, be sure to sufficiently thin your paint so that it is transparent enough to not obscure your drawing. You may wish to test the opacity of your paint on a piece of scrap paper.
If you are worried about messing up your drawing during these painting phases, I recommend you photocopy your drawing before beginning to paint. This photocopy can be used to reapply the drawn image at a later time with the transfer technique we learned in Lesson IV.
Once you have completed the color wash, begin painting the background elements of your still life. Start with the most receded elements, and then work your way forward. For example: if your still life is a bowl of fruit on a table in front of a curtain, begin by painting the curtain, then move your way to the table, and then paint the shadows on the table. Do not paint the actual subject(s) of your still life yet.
Since our still life’s background will serve as a stage for the main subject(s) of our work, it is not appropriate to riddle this backdrop with a lot of detail. Too much detail may distract viewers from the subject(s)… so keep your background loose and expressive. Detailing will come later, so focus more on mood and lighting for now.
I’m excited to see your progress by next week’s class, students. See you then!
Take a seat, students. The Tutor has tallied the results of last week’s midterm exam and as a class, we performed below average: in the multiple-choice portion of the quiz, only 68% of correct answers were given. The Tutor has the sneaking suspicion that many of you gave incorrect answers just to get his attention. If this applies to you, please stand up now, face the chalkboard, and write the following 50 times: “I am a bad, bad student. I am not worthy of The Tutor’s yardstick. I will no longer bleed the red ink from The Tutor’s grading pen with such disregard, and promise to perform better in the future.”
For everyone else, The Tutor wants you to know that he is a reasonable man who recognizes that the point of any classroom is to learn and grow… so do not despair over the poor scoring of this first exam. We will learn from our mistakes and grow together as a class in the weeks to come.
Here are the correct answers from last week’s quiz:
Which of the following elements from Lesson I is not a reference to The Molting? Answer: b.) The Tutor’s rubber apron
In Lesson II, which device cannot be used to sharpen a pencil? Answer: a.) a pencil sharpener
In Lesson III, which tool is not named after a character from The Molting? Answer: c.) Staci
In Lesson IV, what does our pencil become? Answer: d.) a dance partner
Which famous comic book couple is The Tutor’s 6-legged teaching assistants named after? Answer: c.) Marv and Goldie
In Lesson V, which of the following does not bespeak our greater purpose? Answer: b.) the mattress where we sleep
When painting a straight line, to what degree should we angle our straightedge? Answer: c.) 135°
In Lesson III, which of the following colors is not amongst The Tutor’s paint tubes? Answer: a.) Neutral Gray
What adjective is missing from this famous quote by Michelangelo: “If people knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem _________ at all.” Answer: b.) wonderful
Which of the following items featured in Lesson VI does Guilty Susie hold in chapter one of The Molting? Answer: d.) a handgun
According to The Tutor, what motivates creativity? Answer: c.) order and chaos
According to The Tutor, what’s the only way for an artist to thrive in a critical and unkind world? Answer: a.) to be proficient in our abilities
How many scratches are on The Tutor’s left cheek? Answer: b.) three
Based on what you’ve seen thus far in The Tutor’s classroom and The Molting comic book, who has yet to sit in the wooden wheelchair? Answer: d.) Uncle Henry
According to The Tutor, what cannot be taught in his classroom? Answer: c.) an artistic “voice”
Surprisingly, the questions most frequently answered incorrectly had noting to do with The Molting comic book (which I know many of you have yet to read), but to elements pertaining exclusively to The Tutor’s written Lesson Plans. For future reference, be sure to not only watch the tutorials, but to read the supporting homework assignments given here.
For example, only 31% of you answered #7 correctly: When painting a straight line, to what degree should we angle our straightedge? The most popular answer given was d.) 180°, which is not an angle at all (as far as our straightedges are concerned!). 180° is the equivalent of resting our straightedges flat against our drawing surfaces when the point of the exercise is to angle them so we can run the body of our paintbrushes along a raised edge. Placing our rulers flat against the canvas will not only result in sloppy lines, but in messy straightedges covered in paint. This information was originally outlined in Lesson I’s Lesson Plan.
Unsurprisingly, the most popular lesson—according to the answers given in the essay portion of the exam—was the one that required interjecting a personal element into our projects: Lesson VI: Selecting a Subject. This pleases The Tutor because it lets him know that you are eager to create! So, wipe off that soiled ruler and brush away those pencil savings… it’s time to leave behind the preparation phase of this class and journey into phase II: Creation! I give you Lesson VII: Large to Small:
Well done, students, you’ve completed another lesson. Your homework assignment is to draw the still life that you assembled in Lessons V & VI. We will be applying paint to this drawing in later lessons, so select an appropriate drawing surface—if you plan on using watercolors, consider using watercolor paper; if you plan on painting with acrylics, consider an illustration board or canvas, etc.
Before you begin to sketch, it’s important to decide where you will be positioned in relation to your still life. Similar to how we don’t want our still life disturbed, it is important that the angle with which we view our still life does not alter greatly… so, pick a comfortable spot, and stick to it.
For many of you, drawing a still life may seem like a difficult leap from our prior lessons, but if you follow The Tutor’s method—begin with large, simple shapes and slowly work down to details—any drawing is attainable. For example, if your still life is a rose in a vase sitting atop a table, draw the table first, then the vase, then the rose, then the leaves, then the stem, then the thorns.
Hello class. We’re halfway through our course, so you know what that means? That’s right, midterms! The Tutor wants to test how closely you’ve been paying attention to his lessons thus far.
As a course refresher, The Tutor has prepared a midterm review. So, brush the lent off of your pinafores, get your notepads and pencils ready, and watch this overview of Lessons I-VI:
Now that you’ve soaked that in, are you ready to put your knowledge to the test? Are you bold enough to accept The Tutor’s challenge and submit… to a quiz?
Good. Take this stack of Scantrons, keep one, and pass the rest back. The Tutor will not tolerate cheating, so no looking over each other’s shoulders, pupils.
When I say go, answer the multiple-choice questions below. When you are finished, please answer the following essay question in the “Comments” section above: in 100-words-or-less, let The Tutor know which lesson has been your favorite thus far, and why. The Tutor values the opinions of all his students, and will use your answers to improve future lessons.
Also: you will notice that several of the quiz questions are related to the comic book series The Molting, and its tie-ins with The Tutor’s Lesson Plan. While The Molting is not required course reading, The Tutor invites you to check out the series, as it will continue to play a part in future lessons. Proceeds from The Molting are used to keep the lights on in The Tutor’s classroom and the bloodstains out of the recess carpet. The Molting comic can be purchased only at www.TheMoltingComic.com. Thanks in advance for your support.
Okay, students, on your marks, get set, go! Start your exams now, and good luck!
There are a total of 15 multiple-choice questions in your exam, plus 1 essay question. Please ensure that you submit an answer to each question. Results will be posted in next week’s lesson plan.
G’day, students. We’re 6 weeks into the course and I’m happy to announce the details for our first fieldtrip… so get your permission slips signed and join me and director/principal Shem Andre Byron for an evening of adventure at San Diego’s Comic-Con!
There, we will debut a new lesson from “The Tutor” and answer questions about the class. The lecture will be followed by a live shadow-casted screening of REPO! The Genetic Opera, and copies of The Molting Comic will be available in the theatre. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your lunchboxes, top off your thermoses, and order your tickets today! Click on the poster below for details. Note: you do not need a ticket to Comic-Con to attend this event; it’s a separate location and independent box office.
Now, please direct your attention to this week’s tutorial: Lesson VI: Selecting a Subject:
Close your Velcro binders and zip up your backpacks, students… we’ve just completed another lesson! This week’s homework assignment is to interject a personal element into your still life from Lesson 5. This may seem simple, but it is perhaps the most challenging assignment yet…
In this class, I can teach you technical aspects of creating artwork, but I cannot provide you with an artistic “voice”. This task is entirely yours.
You will notice that what separates great artists from plebeians is not merely technique, but visual style and motif. For Salvador Dalí, it was a moustache. For Al Hirschfeld, it was “Nina”. For Albert DeSalvo, it was nylon stockings. And for that Zdunich fellow, it’s those imperishable 6-legged pests.
What will your voice be? What can you include in your still life that is specific to you? Many of you are already demonstrating distinctive “voices” within your homework, and your still life should be no different.
This task may seem daunting, but do not fret, dearest students; we don’t need to get everything correct on our first try. Our artwork will mature with us, and so will our “voices”. All that matters is that we consider our personality as we progress so that we are not merely mimicking, but creating.
The “something special” that you add to your still life can be very simple, like a specific color or symbol, or it can be exceptionally complicated, like red pigtails, a handgun, and ruby red slippers.
I look forward to seeing your “voices” develop, students. For details on how to submit your assignment, visit the “Homework” link above. See you next week!