Drawing to Understand Composition 2nd Quarter

Your job is to sketch the important compositional elements and key figures of both artworks.

Now the key word here is SKETCH.  This is not to be a perfect copy, nor it is not to be a perfect forgery that captures every nuance; it is to be a quick little drawing.

Really, don’t spend more than five minutes on each drawing.  I am talking to you, “AP-Studio-Art-Student-and-Obsessive-Compulsive-Drawer.”  Seriously, don’t go crazy with this.

What I Am Looking For

I am not looking for realism, proportion, anatomy, shading, or any of those things.  I only want to see the important elements and where they reside in the picture.  Treat this like a tableaux vivant:  decide what is important in the picture and then show me that.

What I want to see are stick figures and sausage people lined up in relatively the right place on the page.  I want to know where the light is coming from.  I want to know where the implied lines are leading my eye.  I want to know where the horizon line might be.

I will be grading this not on artistic skill nor aesthetics.  I will be grading on how well it replicates the important elements of the work.

…and I have one more question.

After you have sketched both images, and figured out all of the key elements, I want you to tell me:

How are these two images similar compositionally?



Materials List

  • The sketch can be done on notebook paper or any other similar material
  • A normal #2 pencil will do the job just fine
  • Whatever you draw… take a picture of it and send me that picture

What I Hope This Accomplishes For You

This exercise is like a tableaux vivant:  it is designed to help you pay attention to what is important in a work of art.  By taking the time to quickly sketch out a complex work, we can break it down and see all of its components.

It is also my hope that this will become a tool for you to use on tests, when taking notes, or anytime you are wanting to investigate a work of art.  Taking five minutes to quickly sketch your first impressions can do a lot to inform you about the work.

How You are Turning In Your Work

As you know, I don’t want posters, glitter, and feathers.  For this assignment, once you have completed your sketch, photograph it and send me that photo.  You may email the photo, email me a link to the photo, or bring it in on a portable drive.  If you absolutely must, I will take a physical photo.

I will not grade an image on a phone.

Turning in Work Electronically

You are most likely giving me some sort of file.  To make things easier, and to ensure that you receive credit for your work, be sure to include your name in the file name, like this:

Names in File Names Example

Photos of your sketches are due Tuesday 12/1/15,  by 11 p.m. This is a formative grade.

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