Basil Arts

Mixed Media

For the second semester of ‘20-21, SBA art students have the opportunity to take Mixed Media. In this class, students will explore different media while learning basic art concepts such as line, mass, composition, space, rhythm, balance, mood, color and value.

Finished Work 8: Mixed Media Self-portrait

After the “Erase Your Face” exercise, the students drew a detailed black and white portrait. This drawing was used to create the final work. In the final work, the artists traced their work, focusing on minimal basic details and inking them in using a fine point and then a brush tip pen. The traced version was layered on top of a collaged canvas board. The artists had to bring in paper mementos to make their background have meaning.

First step: “Erase Your Face” exercise

Artists had to take three selfies OR chose an old picture of themselves for this work. They had to reproduce the photo enlarged to 8 x 10 in black and white, and remove a section of their face. The exercise was to duplicate that missing portion, teaching the students how to place the features and correctly interpret the values to create a work that blends the photos with the drawing. This exercise was the first step for our final work of the year, a Mixed Media self-portrait.

Finished Work 6: 3D Flower Tile

During a virtual lesson the week before the students started this piece, the artists were challenged to photograph flowers (3 photos) or to research pictures on the internet. Then, they selected two of the photos to create detailed colored pencil studies, which were the same scale as the final work, a 4” square tile. They selected the drawing that inspired them. Artists were encourage to “break the barrier” of the four sides of the tile, and allow their 3D image to expand out of the frame.

For the imagery/sculpture, the student used tin foil which they molded and shaped, and covered in masking tape. The tile was collaged, and then the 3D flower was painted and attached using hot glue. These dynamic images pop off the canvas.

These tiles will border the bulletin boards in our art room. Enjoy!

Finished Work 5: Four “Square” project: Mixed media/simple subject

The inspiration for this work came from a Sketchbook assignment, where students were asked to create four different still life setups. They were to photograph them, paying attention to lighting and background. In a later sketchbook assignment, the students selected two of the photos and created detailed value studies. The final work came from this exercise.

Using their chosen composition, the artists created four equal quadrants on their papers. Each quadrant will be done with a different medium choice: collage, colored pencil, detailed pencil, acrylic on Bristol board. The challenge is to create a cohesive work where the values and details blend together, in spite of the media differences. Click on the photos for detail and slideshow.

Final Work:

In progress

Finished Work 4: Hands in Coffee/Colored Pencil

Part of all classical art training involves drawing hands and feet. SBA artists took on the challenge of rendering hands for a finished work which will include multiple forms washed onto watercolor paper (with instant coffee) and a splash of color provided by colored pencils.

For initial warm-up and design classes, the students did some “quick studies,” sketches which were done in 7 minutes. Some are featured here. In order to get a feel for the scale of the project, students were asked to plan their work with preliminary sketches. They are featured here also. Look for the final works at the end of next week!

Finished Work 3: Costume Collage

For the third finished work of the semester, artists were given a figure from the book Costumes as their inspiration. First, they completed sketch using guides for drawing the human figure. Artists learned how to use relative proportions to capture the correct the scale of the figure, measuring the length of the body using head size. After a rough sketch was completed, the final drawing was transferred onto drawing paper. The student selected from an array of different patterned and solid papers. Ink was also used to add facial and costume details. Attention was given to the placement of the paper to give the feel of cloth.

As the students complete their works, more art will be added to this section. Enjoy!

Out of Studio Work

With our hybrid schedule, SBA artists are only in the studio for 2-3 classes a week. During their Out of Studio days, sketchbook work helps them develop the skills they are working on in class. Here are the results of a simple assignment using collage, tying into our Word Art project and the current work, a Costume Collage figure.

Artists were asked to draw a shape and fill it either with collage materials or with colored pencil designs. Be inspired by the results!

Word Art

Art makes a statement. In their second work, the artists were challenged to choose a word or initials or a name, create a font and then use collage plus other media. They were given design parameters ( a 6” x 12” sheet of paper) and used graph paper to plan it out.

Here are some closeup photos of some of the works:

First Final Work: Georgia O’Keeffe Inspired Collage

Here are some of the final collages created by MM students—the first completed piece of the semester. Each work reflects the choice and style of the artist. The focus was on composition and the use of detailed black and white, ink, and color pencil media. (Scroll down to see some of the steps in the process.) Click on the photos to view more a more detailed slideshow!

Eight Minute Colored Pencil “Quick” sketches

The finished GOK project will feature her flowers rendered in ink, colored pencil, and detailed pencils. In our virtual class today, 2/1, 9th and 10th grade artists had 8 minutes to render GOK flowers. They had to select their pallet first, then quickly find the form and add the colors, laying them and paying attention to values. Look at what they did in such a short amount of time!

Five Minute Ink “Quick” Sketches

In preparation for the work, students created inked quick studies using gesture or contour lines. Flower photography was their inspiration. These quick sketches were done in 5-7 minutes with ink pens.


Fall 2020 Drawing Techniques

As our artists learn, our gallery will expand. Featured work will include sustained works done in class, OSW (out of studio assignments), and the semester long Identity Capsule project milestones. Click on the works to see a full slideshow and enjoy!

Identity Capsule Project

Since the DT artists were on a hybrid schedule, there was work going on at home as well as in the art room. Throughout the semester, artists created Out of Studio work, which included milestones for their Identity Capsule project. In the milestones, students considered the origin of their names, the people who influenced them, where they would be in five years, what were the ‘simple things’ they loved. The milestones paved the way to a project that tells the view who the artist is. A container was selected first, and it was the the container’s job to help explain the artists. During our final days of class, the artists present ended their works. Here are some of the projects:


The Madonna Project, Final Work (Pastel on Canson)

The Madonna Project, Preliminary Study

Preliminary studies started with Madonna paintings done by Master Artists. Each artist was given a specific Madonna, with the challenge of capturing the head position and features. The work will be transferred to pastel paper for the final, full-color work.

The Face

In preparing for our final drawing work of the semester, (a Madonna full-color pastel), the DT artists are taking what they’ve learned about value to help them place and capture the features of the face.

In our virtual lessons the week of 11/30, the students worked from a handout with 7 different faces. First, they created using just shapes, the axis lines, and the feature lines. Then, they created drawing where they were only permitted to shade in the features. Here are some of the sketches done in a 25-30 minute exercise, where the features emerged from the values applied with the side of a drawing pencil:

The Eye Project

We are back in school this week, so the 10th graders had another class to work on their eye painting. Here is a close-up of some of the results:

Statue Project, Part II: Pastel on Bisque Canson

The artists used their black and white studies to learn the transfer process, an invaluable process that allows an artist to take a work, trace it, and place it onto a new medium. The next step was to develop the work, using black and white pastel along with the tone of the paper.

Statue Project, Part I: Detailed Values

The artists have been working with values and using them to create dimension and shape. In this project, each artist was assigned a statue photograph. The students studied some figure drawing and learned about how to use a photo to get proper proportions. The goals for this part of the project is to create a black and white, detailed valued drawing.

Sketchbook Prompt: Drawing with an Eraser exercise

In this exercise, the students “drew” with an eraser. First, they put a tone on their paper with graphite, then lifted the highlights out with a kneaded erase, and then added back the dark values.

Sketchbook Prompt: Learn your statue’s features, value study

As the semester progresses, students are learning basics art concepts starting with line, composition, form, shape, and now, values. The drawings below are in preparation for a project involving rendering the figure of a statue in black and white pastel on middle-toned paper. For this assignments, the students had to create a valued, pencil study of their statue’s head and shoulders.


Part of this year’s class is a semester long project, the Identity Capsule. The artists will be creating a container/contents with information about their identity. Along the way, the out-of-studio assignments called Milestones, gives the girls writing/drawing prompts to inspire them for the project. Featured below is the graphic that goes along with IC Milestone 2: Who am I?


Sketchbook Prompt : Create a Postcard for a place you’d like to visit

Photography: Texture in Nature

Enjoy these great photos taken for an Out of Studio Assignment: Find texture in nature. The artists will be using their photos to create a detailed, inked landscape.

IC Milestone 1: What is in a Name?

Introduction to Texture: Object d’Art

What happens when you take a small object and capture in ink? The DT artists continued their study of line, texture, and value with this work done in ink

Sketchbook Assignment: Create a Logo, incorporating the Basil saddle shoe

2019-2020 Beauty in Simplicity class

2 thoughts on “Basil Arts

  1. My, what talent exists among these students. The results are impressive and fascinating. Good luck as you continue developing your artistic talent.

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