Sunday, June 16, 2013


So, anyone who read/followed/stumbled across Reflections on the Ninth Art knows that I  attended the Graphic Novel Intensive (GNI) class at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon in the summer of 2009. But long before that, in 1987, I took a drawing and cartooning class from Nils Osmar at what was then called the University of Washington Experimental College. Aside from a drawing class taken as an elective for my associate's degree in the early seventies, that is the extent of my art education. Then why an art blog? Well, because I'm going to try again.

One of my current projects, now that I have returned to an instructor's schedule and essentially have the summer off, is to work through Matt Madden and Jessica Abel's course Drawing  Words and Writing Pictures. I am going to be what Matt and jessica call a Ronin - that's their term for a student who is following the coursework in the book independently, rather than as part of a class. The sequence of instruction is structured across fifteen weeks; I hope to use the eleven weeks of my summer break to take a big bite out of the course.

As I said in connection with the GNI course, my personal intent is to work more on my draftsmanship than my writing. I have been reading comics forever and comics criticism for a long time, and my professional field is rhetoric and writing: I feel comfortable with understanding the language of comics; what I need to do is work on getting better at actually illustrating them.

I guess I could have just found a regular drawing course to increase my skills, and in fact considered that. But I thought that working with what I know and love would give me a little more incentive to stick it through, more so than random still lives and landscapes might.

And as for the blog, well, nothing keeps you more honest than going public. I'll publish my activities and homework from the DW-WP course, finished pieces from the old cartooning class, and some random stuff from in between.

And in that spirit, let's get right to it. Here are my 'realistic' faces from 1987.

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