Monday, July 12, 2010


I've liked the work of Salomon Huerta for awhile. I remember seeing one of his paintings at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla 5 or so years ago. A bald man sitting in a chair, facing away from the viewer. Not your normal portrait...
He has also done a series of suburban homes from around LA that I have always liked for their clean lines and the simplicity in the colors and compositions. Notice a theme?

I like these houses, too, because of what they aren't. They aren't mansions. They are homes that many of the students of our school could live in, whether as renters or owners. The students can relate to them and that's important.

It was our first foray into chalk pastels this year. The students chose one of Salomon's houses to draw and when doing so they focused on using tints and shades to make the scene look somewhat 3d. They were allowed to use 2 different sets of complementary colors, so that parts of the drawing contrasted against other parts. It's easier to create a focal point when using opposites.

The drawings were completed in an hour and 10 minutes.
Students also practiced blending the pastels and leaving other areas rough. Again, this allowed for contrast and set the trees and grass up nicely against the house and sky.

1. intro to Salomon's work- focus on landscape as subject, tints & shades, color
2. intro to working with pastels- demonstration of how easy it is to erase and make corrections
3. make contour line drawing of suburban landscape lightly with white chalk on black paper
4. add color to sky and then house, blending the colors smooth
5. add white to areas and blend for tints and light
6. add color to trees and grass, leaving these areas rough
7. add white and black to areas to make shapes look more 3d

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