Drawing Objectives

Introductions and Reflections
Syllabus Fall 2020
Friese’s Office Hours:
Monday 11:30 to Noon
Tuesday 11:30 to Noon
Wednesday 11:00 to 11:30 
via Zoom, gmail hangout or email.  
 Assignment: Free drawing assignment using a new surface. 
Second Week:
Samples of past work and a semester plan.
Slides show.
Assignment: bring a drawing of equal tonality throughout.
Look at the final summations or drawings of past graduates in drawing as a reference point.
Enjoyable Read: The Pencil Factory article at the end of this scroll.


Third Week: 9/30/20 POSTPONED TILL OCTOBER 7th


#4 Series Assignment

5 of the 10 series assignment are due 10/7/20

Enjoyable Read and  Viewing:



For contemporary series works, watch Ellen Gallagher Art 21 videohttps://art21.org/artist/ellen-gallagher/

Ellen Gallagher was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1965, and lives and works in New York and Rotterdam, Holland. She attended Oberlin College and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Repetition and revision are central to Gallagher’s treatment of advertisements that she appropriates from popular magazines like Ebony, Our World, and Sepia and uses in works like eXelento (2004) and DeLuxe(2004–05). Initially, Gallagher was drawn to the wig advertisements because of their grid-like structure. Later, she realized that it was the accompanying language that attracted her, and she began to bring these “narratives” into her paintings—making them function through the characters of the advertisements, as a kind of chart of lost worlds.


Meet individually at these times outside on the patio of the  POD Studio: email if any changes.

8:00  Jae (Zoom or gmail hangout or facetime)

8:30 Carmen

9:00 Ariel

9:30 Kayci

10:00 Anne-Sophie

10:30  Lana (Zoom or gmail hangout of facetime)

345 South Water Street, Providence, RI 

Please bring your new drawing of equal tones, last weeks drawing on a new surface and your plan.

We will meet individually and sequentially on the patio outside Project Open Door studio on 345 Water Street.  

#3 Metalpoint Drawing

Enjoyable Read: Irish Museum What is Drawing? https://www.imma.ie/en/downloads/whatisdrawing2013.pdf

Assignment and Handouts: Silverpoint due 10/7/20 

Metalpoint Drawing.                                                          

Color Aid  paper or Plike paper and silver points supplied.

Necessary Read and Handout Essay: Drawings under Scrutiny: The Materials and Techniques of Metalpoint. Kimberly Schenk. From:
Drawing in Silver and Gold, Leonardo to Jasper Johns Editors Stacey Sell and Hugo Chapman 2015 Princeton University Press

Fourth Week:  10/7/20

 Individual Meetings 


Enjoyable Read: Irish Museum What is Drawing? https://www.imma.ie/en/downloads/whatisdrawing2013.pdf

THESE ARE  ON HOLD: 1 and 2 below we will integrate these into the second half of the course; we missed a week due to rain.

1. Metalpoint Drawing.                                                          

Color Aid  paper or Plike paper and silver points supplied.

Necessary Read and Handout Essay: Drawings under Scrutiny: The Materials and Techniques of Metalpoint. Kimberly Schenk. From:
Drawing in Silver and Gold, Leonardo to Jasper Johns Editors Stacey Sell and Hugo Chapman 2015 Princeton University Press

 2.  Virtual or real exhibition visit.

John Carter Brown Library holds a world of maps ending at 1800. Please view one of their exhibitions on line: https://jcblibrary.org/exhibitions/all  and be prepared to share with us why you chose it and significant images.

RISD Museum of Art and Gelman Gallery in person exhibition visit.

The Boston Drawing Project https://thebostondrawingproject.net

MFA BOSTON Women Take the Floor: A comprehensive view of  100 works by women artists and designers.

RISD Museum Collection Friese Museum Drawings Choices


Fifth Week: 10/14 Read Carefully.  

We will be showing work in a staggered time frame and not as fixed group to keep social distance and in-door time safe.

Come to Project Open Door anytime 

Wednesday October 14 between 8 and 9:30 and hang your works on the long white wall inside the studio. If it cannot be hung, we will use one table from the studio to place any table pieces.  

Wed. between 9:30 to 11:  come back to POD and individually view the class works. Jae will send each of you a pdf.  

If multiple students are viewing, keep six to ten feet apart within POD.  Take notes on each other’s works for our next week group Zoom meeting and for the next interview/midterm assignments. 

Please hang or display these works:

Series Works: any work up to the total 10  due by midterm

the first drawing on a new ground 

the second drawing of limited tonal range 

One can remove work at 11:00 am on 10/14.

Assignment: Peer Interview due 10/21


A four-question interview with your peer done outside of class time.  

I rearranged the interview schedule from the syllabus with our larger class.

Lana interviews Jae (zoom or email)

Jae interviews Anne-Sophie (zoom or email)

Anne Sophie interviews Ariel 

Ariel interviews Kayci

Kayci interviews Carmen 

Carmen interviews Lana  (Zoom or email)

For the interview, look at the artist/designer’s works in person 10/14/20 and take notes. Then pose four substantive open-ended questions and arrange an interview time with your interviewee. You may interview in video, in email, in person.  Focus the interview on work for this class and intersecting works. Content, procedures, goals, methods, failures, reflections may be areas one could probe in questions to your peer. The interviewee will answer in writing, video, email, or in-person.

Sample interviews:

The Archives of American Art has written transcripts of designers and artists

such as Anni Albers interview below.  These are wonderful interviews through history.


Some of the websites that use to have extensive written interviews are now just using video interview format; one can infer the questions the artist/designer has been asked.




The professional interview portion mentioned in the syllabus, the museum visit and the metalpoint assignments will be integrated into second half of course; we lost one week due to rain!


Sixth Week: 10/21 Midterm  Zoom Group Meeting 8 to 11 am.

Zoom Group Review: Round Robin Format 20 minutes for each artist

Each artist gets 20 minutes time in total.   

5 minutes interview summary by peer.

5-10 images shared by artist/designer who was interviewed; have a pdf ready to show.

Each class member asks one question to the interviewee as a takeaway (look at each other’s works carefully on 10/14.) 


Assignment: Enjoyable Read: Midterm:                                           https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2019/apr/21/make-your-mark-enduring-appeal-of-drawing-draw-art-fair-london-saatchi-laura-cumming    A general overview of drawing’s power.

Assignment: Long Drawing Assignment 

Necessary Read

The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramon y Cajal

Historical medical drawings by a neuro-researcher over time.

The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal



Seventh Week:


Eighth Week:  




Tenth Week: 

Charts, and toned grounds, books and reading sources precede a  review any new work by the group.

Color Ideas and Reflections: Charts, Resources, Colored Grounds Synthesis, and Integration. 

Enjoyable Reads:  Wash and Gouache by Marjorie Cohn https://risdcollegiateteaching.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/wash-and-gouache-marjorie-cohn.pdf

Color Resources:

Colour: The Professional’s Guide Karen Triedman   2015 full range of ideas around color use including new media. RISD faculty’s book.

Materials of Artists and Their Use in Painting.  Max Doerner. 1935. With a very good section on painters’ color-methods.  This manual along with Ralph Mayer’s Materials and Techniques and Bernard Chaet’s An Artist’s Notebook 1979 and The Art of Drawing are cornerstones to working methods for drawing.

Chromophobia. David Batchelor 2000  and  Luminosity and The Grey 2014                     Contemporary philosophical and contextual ideas about color.

Color a Natural History of Palette. Victoria Finlay 2003 Fascinating traveling look at color through history and culture. 

Interaction of Color.Josef Albers 1963 the basic primer for painters and designers to more powerfully use color.

Color: A Workshop Approach.  David Hornung 2004 work-a-day manual for artists and designers to apply color principles.

The Principles of Harmony and Contrast of Colors and Their Applications to the Arts.  Gobelin Tapestry’s Chemist Theory. M. E. Chevreul 1860 reflections on color for industry and artists as an early applied system of color.

Modern chromatics; students’ text-book of color,: With applications to art and industry  Ogden N Rood and Faber Birren 1879very in-depth survey of science and methods of use for color in the late 19th century which gave a foundation for modernist color.

Blue: The History of a Color Michael Pastoureau 2004 Red: The History of a Color 2016 and more volumes on specific colors.

Wash and Gouache: A Study of the Development of WatercolorMarjorie B Cohn, Rachel Rosenfielda survey of British watercolor techniques and applications. The RISD Museum has 600 British watercolors that exhibit a full spectrum of color usage from tonality, to luminosity, to color interaction. Looking at these and the range of color Japanese woodcuts would fortify one’s color thinking.

A Dictionary of Color Combinations by Sanzo Wada (1883-1967) an artist, teacher, costume and kimono designer in avant-garde Japanese art and cinema. A richly visual and beautiful treatise on color.




Wash and Gouache Marjorie Cohn

RISD’s Color Lab opposite the RISD Store…The Lab will grow to house research collections and provide resources—physical and electronic—that allow classes to experience first-hand demonstrations and experiments clarifying the importance of color in human experience and world culture. In our first year, we will host events, lectures, demonstrations and classes, all centered on the rich and vital subject of color.



A pencil is a little wonder-wand: a stick of wood that traces the tiniest motions of your hand as it moves across a surface. I am using one now, making weird little loops and slashes to write these words. As a tool, it is admirably sensitive. The lines it makes can be fat or thin, screams or whispers, blocks of concrete or blades of grass, all depending on changes of pressure so subtle that we would hardly notice them in any other context. (The difference in force between a bold line and nothing at all would hardly tip a domino.) And while a pencil is sophisticated enough to track every gradation of the human hand, it is also simple enough for a toddler to use.

Such radical simplicity is surprisingly complicated to produce. Since 1889, the General Pencil Company has been converting huge quantities of raw materials (wax, paint, cedar planks, graphite) into products you can find, neatly boxed and labeled, in art and office-supply stores across the nation: watercolor pencils, editing pencils, sticks of charcoal, pastel chalks. Even as other factories have chased higher profit margins overseas, General Pencil has stayed put, cranking out thousands upon thousands of writing instruments in the middle of Jersey City.

Extrusions of graphite are collected for recycling.

Packing graphite, which is the consistency of sand, is used to distribute the oven’s heat evenly around the graphite cores. Afterward, the packing material will be poured out and recycled. 

Graphite cores cooling after being dipped in heated wax. 

These graphite cores were heated in an oven to remove moisture and harden the material.

After being heated, graphite cores are placed in perforated cans and dipped in hot wax.

The pastel cores are fragile and must be carefully placed by hand into the cedar slats. 

The employee seen here has worked at General Pencil for 47 years. The mixer behind him handles pastels and charcoals. 

Pastel extrusions, used for colored pencils, are laid by hand onto grooved wooden boards, where they will dry before being placed in pencil slats. The extruding machine that produced them usually handles a single color each week, after which it is scrubbed clean to prepare it for the next. 

A lead layer drops graphite cores into pre-glued slats. 

Another layer of wood fully encases the pencil’s core. The resulting “sandwich” is clamped together to bond and dry. 

This sandwich still needs to be shaped. A woodworking machine will cut the individual pencils into their desired shape — round, hexagonal or otherwise. 

Editing pencils are sharpened at each end: One makes red marks, the other blue. The trays seen here will be turned upside down and dunked in blue paint by a dipper machine, marking the blue half.

Ferrules — the metal bands that cinch around the bases of erasers — are loaded onto a conveyor and sent to a tipping machine. 

The tipping machine adds metal ferrules and erasers. 

After receiving a coating of paint, pencils are returned by conveyor for another layer. Most pencils receive four coats of paint. 

On some pencils, a capper installs smooth metal caps — no eraser. 

Pencils are sharpened by rolling them across a high-speed sanding belt. 

Over the past few years, the photographer Christopher Payne visited the factory dozens of times, documenting every phase of the manufacturing process. His photographs capture the many different worlds hidden inside the complex’s plain brick exterior. The basement, where workers process charcoal, is a universe of absolute gray: gray shirts, gray hands, gray machines swallowing gray ingredients. A surprising amount of the work is done manually; it can take employees multiple days off to get their hands fully clean. Pencil cores emerge from the machines like fresh pasta, smooth and wet, ready to be cut into different lengths and dried before going into their wooden shells.

Other parts of the factory are eruptions of color. Red pencils wait, in orderly grids, to be dipped into bright blue paint. A worker named Maria matches the color of her shirt and nail polish to the shade of the pastel cores being manufactured each week. One of the company’s signature products, white pastels, have to be made in a dedicated machine, separated from every other color. At the tipping machine, a whirlpool of pink erasers twists, supervised patiently by a woman wearing a bindi.

Payne conveys the incidental beauty of functional machines: strange architectures of chains, conveyor belts, glue pots, metal discs and gears thick with generations of grease. He captures the strangeness of seeing a tool as simple as a pencil disassembled into its even simpler component parts. He shows us the aesthetic magic of scale. Heaps of pencil cores wait piled against a concrete wall, like an arsenal of gray spaghetti. Hundreds of pencils sit stacked in honeycomb towers. Wood shavings fly as fresh pencils are dragged across the sharpening machine, a wheel of fast-spinning sandpaper.

In an era of infinite screens, the humble pencil feels revolutionarily direct: It does exactly what it does, when it does it, right in front of you. Pencils eschew digital jujitsu. They are pure analog, absolute presence. They help to rescue us from oblivion. Think of how many of our finest motions disappear, untracked — how many eye blinks and toe twitches and secret glances vanish into nothing. And yet when you hold a pencil, your quietest little hand-dances are mapped exactly, from the loops and slashes to the final dot at the very end of a sentence.

Photographs like these do something similar. They preserve the secret origins of objects we tend to take for granted. They show us the pride and connection of the humans who make those objects, as well as a mode of manufacturing that is itself disappearing in favor of automation. Like a pencil, these photos trace motions that may someday be gone.