• Karen Welch-Smith



CLASS DATES FOR 2021-2022:

Classes Begin: September 21st

Last Class of 2021: December 7th

First Class of 2022: January 11th

Last Class/Art Show Week: March 29th

No Classes

February Break Week


November 30th

6:00pm - This week, after recalling the characteristics of a Modigliani portrait, we are off!

Sketchbook Practice this week: look at the hair, eye and skill colour of your subjects. Noticing these things will help inform colour choices for mixing next week.


7:30pm - Do we have fun in classes? Absolutely! Everyone was in good spirits and even the quietest members of the group joined in the laughter. Oh - and lots of work happened too. Really. Everyone in the studio is now colour pencilling and for this group the majority of students it is their favourite medium. Even if it is a slow one.

November 23rd

6:00pm - This evening we began our new project, and everyone managed to paint their background on the canvas under pressure - and got the job done.

Sketchbook Practice this week: After this evenings updates on Blast, the students said they would like to draw a picture of Blast. While talking about Blast the students shared some of their favourite memories of him.


7:30pm - the colour pencils are out! This evening the students created colour recipes for some of the areas of their drawings and we are on out way to some intense focused work!


November 16th

6:00pm Class - Snow Day and a little bit of improvisation taking us in the direction we need to go. We looked at portraits by Picasson, Chuck Close, Modigliani and Matt Groening (Simpsons) and drew selfies in the style of some of these artists.

Sketchbook practice this week a family portrait in the style of Matt Groening' Simpsons.


7:30pm Class - we had a split of Zoom and in studio students this evening and each student was working towards their next (colour pencil) project.


November 9th

6:00pm Class - Monster circles are complete, we will remove them and sign them next week and I will have them uploaded to Artsonia after that.

Sketchbook practice this week the students are to bring photo's of parents to next weeks class. If they are able to bring the photos on an iPad to class that would be great, if this is not available to them, please email or message photos to me and I will put them on an iPad here.


7:30pm Class Pen and ink projects are now complete for everyone - and we are moving into colour pencil, which is a favourite with this group.

Sketchbook practice this week -making choices for their photo reference. I offered "reflections" as a place to start, which is open to interpretation, and is certainly not binding.


November 2nd

6:00pm Class - this evening we painted the monster wheels, using watercolour paints, focusing on paint application and showing the transparent qualities of the paint. This will be finished next week.

Sketchbook practice this week - choose a piece of Halloween candy, open it take a bite or shovel out some of the candy from the wrapper and then draw it.


7:30pm Class Pen and ink projects are starting to finish up and the search for new photo references has begun.

Sketchbook practice this week - Kloey, Marleigh and Mackenna are working on sketches and colour choices in their sketchbooks so they are equipped for getting down to business next week. Alexander and Brianna should be looking for photo references, three different possibilities.


October 12th

6:00pm Class - the blind contour drawing continues and they are slowing down their drawing in order to observe more. These are some beautiful continuous line drawing birds.

Sketchbook practice this week - a continuous line drawing of their closet - and for the smart ones among us, that means open the closet doors 😆 If they don't have a traditional closet in their room, they can open a drawer - or sit in front of someone else's closet.

7:30pm Class

Everyone is now working with a dip pen and ink, some for the first time.

October 5th

This evening students explored blind contour drawing, a tricky concept as the results are not perfect. Blind contour is an exercise in close looking and going slowly, two skills that really help with drawing realistically.

Sketchbook practice this week: Five blind contour drawings, each should take at least five minutes. Your student should look for things that are interesting in line and shape.

September 28th

Oh I do like to start the year with drawing skills, and line investigation continues for Tuesday classes also.

Students tried out the two handed drawing warm ups this evening, holding a drawing tool in each hand causes much consternation to begin with, but once they get going and the right brain is engaged the magic happens. The two handed drawing exercises include:

  • Both drawing tools moving at the same time in the same direction

  • Mirror imaging, where the left hand does the opposite of the right hand

  • Two completely different drawing marks. I often begin this bu having students try the belly rub, head pat to explain the exercise.

  • Finally, students write their name one the correct orientation and the other hands creates a mirror image in unison.

Sketchbook Practice:

6:00pm continuous line drawings of three things:

an animal, something that does not move and the last one is their choice.

Once the pen/pencil is on the paper they are keep the pencil on the paper

until completion of the drawing.

7:30pm in preparation for next weeks class, the students are making a sketch drawing if their chosen image and adding the values, starting with the darkest value, #7 on their value scale and then going from the #2 value upwards, They are identifying the values but also thinking about the mark making techniques they might use to describe the textures.

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