Archive for March, 2013

New Sketches at Trinity 17, March, 2013 (with commentary)

For those that don’t know, I am an assistant teacher in a fine arts class at Trinity Alliance, a local non-profit serving Albany’s South End. You can learn about the class here:

The class is taught once a week, Saturdays 11-2. I usually get a little time to work on a few things for myself during the time I am teaching. Mostly, I am doing works that demonstrate the skills being taught in the class that day. Most of my arts education was pretty informal, I took some college level studio painting classes, but never took a fine arts degree, so a challenge for me in the class is taking what I learned intuitively, or by practice, and teaching those skills in a manner that my students understand.

I was talking to our head teacher, Malik Huggins, about what he wanted the younger students to do that day (the class is open to adults and children, and we usually have about 3 or so regular students that are younger than 12 or so). About five minutes before class began, I started sketching out a simple line drawing of a cartoonish character. I never studied cartooning, and the form never was very interesting to me as an artist. Still, I needed an image that would be appealing to my young students to help teach them blending with colored pencil.

Here’s the end result that I came up with:

Mario, sketch

Mario, sketch 8” x 11”

It’s sort of fortunate for me, that, being an ’80’s kid, the Mario character is something that plays well to the young set. When I was making this, I was thinking of my own seven-year-old son, because Mario is one of his favorite characters in the games he plays on his Nintendo DS. I plan to frame this and give it as a gift to the kiddo.

This particular page of the blog is going to (eventually) include, a lot of sketching that I have been doing as demonstrations for my students during class. I won’t lie, I learn a lot from the two other artists I work with in the class. We have been doing figure drawing, and a local man has been kind enough to volunteer as a model. I have a whole series of sketches, that, once they are photographed, I will include here.

When I was a fine arts student at a local college, I found doing reproductions of famous artists’ work to be a very helpful learning tool. It’s also helpful for teaching those techniques to my students. So, In class, I have done several reproductions of famous artist’s works as a way to help teach my students:

Some sketches from previous classes:


Reproduction, Pablo Picasso, Harlequin with Mirror, Oil Pastel on Paper

Reproduction, Paul Gauguin, Ancestors of Tehamana, pencil on paper

Reproduction, Paul Gauguin, Ancestors of Tehamana, pencil on paper


The past couple of weeks, the Trinity class has been doing sketches of a still model. Our model, Colin, has generously volunteered his time. Between teaching, I have done several sketches, to demonstrate still-drawing techniques for my students and for my own practice. Here are the sketches over the past couple weeks:

Many of these are just quick figure studies, of a model in a pose for 2-5 minutes, so not really completed works.

Still drawing, seated male

Still drawing, seated male


three still sketches, male model


figure study, male model, standing

figure study, male model, standing



figure sketch, female

abstract sketch of older student

abstract sketch of older student


I’ll be updating as more work is completed…


Lastly, our class is funded entirely by donation. There is a pay-pal link on Trinity’s page (see the link above). If you can make a donation, your money would go directly to buying supplies for our class –which is free and open to the public. Your donation allows us to continue teaching a fine arts class in one of Albany’s most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, to individuals and families who otherwise might not be able to afford a fine-arts education.