I've been under the weather with another cold and some bronchial crap so this start date for the new course at Sketchbook Skool: Stretching, crept up on me.
If you haven't checked it out already go do so by clicking on the link. There are six artists who will be exploring that theme: Jonathan Twingley, Lapin, France Belleville van Stone, Fabio Consoli, Miguel Herranz, and Jason Das.
Also, the other courses in Sketchbook Skool will be open again for a new group of students, which means if you missed "Beginning" you can click on this link and read about it. This class doesn't begin until April 24, 2015.
I’m very pleased that I have a class in “Beginning.” I interpreted the theme as an opportunity to introduce people to methods and approaches, as well as some special tools and resource material, that would enable them to build a strong foundation for drawing animals from life—that’s right, critters that are moving.
In my class I talk about my supplies: which ones I use and and why I use them. I show a variety of examples of my work both in media style and in the variety of journal formats I’ve used over my lifetime journaling. You’ll see me demonstrate drawing techniques I believe are essential for artists of all skill levels to utilize, and you’ll see me draw an animal from life. Handouts with additional assignments and resource materials will allow you to continue your explorations long after class is over. A FAQ section will help you fine tune your practice while avoiding problems or difficulties many students encounter.
But that’s not all you get from the class. You will meet 5 other artists presenting their interpretation of “Beginning.” Any skill level artist will find information of interest throughout the course.
Danny Gregory and Koosje Koene the founders of Sketchbook Skool, have worked to create a series of courses tailored to inspire students. They are working on ways to improve the community features they have created and the new round of SBS classes will be on it's own self-contained platform. Students can go seamlessly from classroom to playground and share homework samples or join groups with students of similar interest. I've only spent a little time on the new platform but it's pretty interesting.
SBS Students are encouraged to post work to inspire each other and challenge each other with new assignments and collaborative projects that generate artistic momentum. Sketchbook Skool is a supportive and fun environment.
Each class within the course also has a FAQ section from the individual artist. These will augment your understanding of the concepts presented in those classes. Finally each artist has created a parting gift that relates to his or her approach or subject matter.
Danny has written extensively about his mission as he sees it, to create a “hang out.”
“We aren't like other online schools which apparently do give extensive commentary on all their work…We are trying to create a rich virtual online experience. That's what I mean by "hang out." We wanted to create the sense with each klass that, if you got to go to an artist's studio, what would it be like to hangout for an afternoon? They'd show you around their work, pull out some sketchbooks, tell you about their life, their philosophy, their lessons learned. You'd see their materials, learn how they use them. Then they'd pull out a sketchbook and do a drawing or two and you'd look over their shoulder, as they talked about what they were doing and thinking. Then they might give you a gift from their studio to take home as an souvenir.
That's what we are trying to simulate with our videos, which to me at least, is very different from what I have seen in many online classes that seem to focus on special techniques and how to do them.
It's not hand holding but it's what you need to get your creative engine stoked and to see the world and artistic creation in a stimulating way.”
Since April 2014 when “Beginning” first went on line I’ve seen four groups of students go through this course. They have developed artistic friendships with peers in a supportive and engaging environment. They have expanded the role of art in their lives. Many of the students now meet in person for sketch outs. They feel comfortable because they have shared an experience together and shared their art.
If this sounds like the type of community you would like to join, check outSketchbook Skool's website.
I’ve been pleased to be one of the presenting artists. I know that right this minute Danny and Koosje are working with other artists on new topics to develop additional classes. I don’t know when those classes will be available, or even how often “Beginnings” will be available within the year, so if you have been reading my blog and thinking about this course, go and check things out. I think you will enjoy the experience, learn to think about drawing live animals a little differently, and come away with a whole new group of art friends who will encourage you to stick to your art goals for 2015.