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“Easy reading is damn hard writing.”


The same is true for drawing. 

What looks like an easy simple piece of artwork is damn hard work. It's worth the effort, though. 

Below are some of the ways we practice being good at drawing.


Artist: Matthew Cusick


Students create collages to explore the use of warm/cool colors, value, shade/tint, mood, balance, pattern, complementary colors, and overlapping colors and shapes.

A collage is a work of art made from numerous materials such as paper, newsprint, photographs, fabric, and other found objects.


Many modern collages are made by placing electronic images on a digital background. However; for your project, you will collect different colors and glue onto a thick mat board to create a semi-realistic artwork of your choice.


For a more unique approach, repurpose items like sand, shells, and plants to stick to a piece of paper. Collages are limited only by your imagination, so work with all sorts of different materials to make amazing art.

Braque, Picasso, Cusick


Para-athletes Doing Fist Bump


100 Neediest Cases

For the past 97 years, the 100 Neediest Cases campaign has helped thousands of families and individuals during the holidays throughout St. Louis.


In 1954, local organizations adopted individual cases, donated food, medications, household necessities, and holiday presents, etc. for the 100 beneficiaries of the campaign. Since the United Way and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch partnered the annual donations have reached $1.3 million, up from $400 in 1922.


An important factor is an artwork of high school and college students that accompanies the stories in the St. Louis Post Dispatch. 


Our students undergo a demanding problem-solving process to convey a specific message to readers. The brainstorming process for the drawings is originated in scientific brain research.

Knowing the science behind the audience is effective, but it takes an artful approach to turn this science into engaging content in order to help people each year.

Braque, Picasso, Cusick



Artist: Leonardo Da Vinci

The Figure

When you draw from life you’re attempting to capture the world as it really is. This means studying forms, proportions, perspective, shading, and all the fundamentals that go along with learning to draw.


Young artists need to train their eyes to see things that photographs just can’t capture. This observational skill makes you more perceptive not only in art but in every other subject area.


Many great medical teachers through the ages have emphasized the paramount importance of the art of observation. Chief among these was Joseph Bell – the Edinburgh surgeon who inspired the creation of Sherlock Holmes.

As students study these minor details through figure drawing they will learn to see them everywhere. After a while, these life drawing sessions will get easier and more fun.

Braque, Picasso, Cusick



Artist: Marc Mazzoni

Colored Pencil

In Drawing, students were taught color theory and scumbling. Color Theory is a way of mixing a wide variety of colors to create pleasing color combinations and the illusion of depth.


The technique they use to apply color theory is scumbling. Scumbling involves making continuous circular marks on the paper with smooth transitions between values using color theory to create depth. 

The accuracy of the representation of light in their artwork depends on an understanding of human anatomy, psychology and the laws of physics and math. Knowing that light is a potent conductor of mood, when correctly applied with color and value scale it will create an emotional bond with viewers and bring ideas across powerfully.

Helen Frankenthaler, Rothko, Monet, Van Gogh, O'Keeffe




Planar Structure

Line is the most fundamental element of art. It is important for art students to understand the uses of line when it comes to the creation of strong works of art. Our unit of cross-contour and planar structure taught students contour lines describe edges, form, and volume. These lines can follow planes of form, moving around and across objects as well as through them, much like a topographical map.

Leonardo Da Vinci



Artist: Heeyoung Kim

Pen and Ink

In this lesson, students will learn how to capture subject matter using line and gesture to quickly delineate form, carefully block in shadows and major dark masses to create a bold statement and identify light and shadow division to create a believable illusion of space.

Ink is a difficult media to control and part of the appeal of a well-executed ink drawing lies in the well-organized placement of lights and darks, flowing pen work, and deep, unpredictable washes. The goal of this exercise can be to familiarize the student with the subject matter before moving onto more workable media such as pastel, charcoal, paint, etc.

Rembrandt, Tiepolo, Bernini



Artist: Frank Lloyd Wright

Open Project

Explore any medium, technique, and subject of your choice.


  1. Pinterest ideas or inspiration is not allowed.

  2. You can't do something because it looks cool.

  3. You have to fill out a Project Proposal sheet with your intentions.


Artist: Olivia Zerbo

Renaissance Illustration

Explore the artwork of Mike Mignola to practice making complicated compositions readable with only two tones.


  1. You will choose 1 Renaissance painting that has a lot of detail.

  2. You will recreate this painting with 2 tones of ink to simplify the image.

  3. The color of ink you choose is up to you.

  4. While drawing, you will need to make decisions about what needs to be left out and what is kept.

  5. Use the reference photo above as a guide. 



  • Pencil – 2H, HB

  • Pen – Staedtler Pigment Liner – 0.1, 0.3

  • Ink – Higgins Black Magic

  • Paper – not too smooth, not too rough

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