April
About the Artist: Teaching
Drawing Portraits

   I really am pleased to be teaching at The Drawing Studio here in Tucson. Our students get a firm grounding in the mechanical ‘nuts and bolts’ of drawing, and just as important, the mental aspects of seeing, understanding and interpreting how the light around us describes what we see.
 
   We work on the variety and harmony of shapes, values, edges, light, shade and shadows. We work out different methods of measuring objects and placing them in context. We discuss how these things we see are affected by color and color temperature. All of the fundamental aspects of good drawing are covered.

 

    I’ve had students tell me that they . . .
‘see differently now.’ They . . .

  • are more aware of their surroundings.

  • have a better appreciation and understanding of the art they see.

  • understand why they like or dislike a particular work of art.

Teen Summer School

    For the last few years, I’ve been asked to demonstrate portrait drawing to high school students in the summer art program at The Drawing Studio. After the demonstration, I go around and help the students with their drawings of the model.
    This is one of the most rewarding things I do. There is a long tradition in art of passing along the things we have learned from our teachers, and working with these young people is as good as it gets.

    In the lectures that go along with the demonstration I stress three things to them:

  • The practice of art is part skill, which can be learned, and the other part is the passion you feel for your subject.

  • Draw the subjects that you are most passionate about, whether it's people, still lifes or landscapes. Your passion for the subject will keep you working long enough to build your drawing skills.

  • Learn to appreciate the mistakes you make. They are critical in showing you the things you need to work on. The ONLY mistake that you can make that will hurt your work is NOT drawing. All the others are good.


    I would like to share with you a few letters I’ve received from these young people. They really do make me happy to be a drawing teacher:

Letters from teen students... 

“To Paul Mohr...

    "Hello, how are you? I would like to thank you for teaching us the portrait drawing, it was one of the few times I actually enjoyed drawing the human face (maybe the first time). I’ll be honest, when you first had us all draw. I wasn’t thrilled with the project but it was pretty intesting and ‘squinting’ is probably one of those things I’ll use in the future. Long story short, thanks for coming.
Thanks again,  L.M.                
P.S. Please excuse any spelling errors, I can’t spell for beens.”

    “I want to thank you for coming to our class to teach portrait drawing. I really learned alot from your examples.  I didn’t realize that I could draw portraits like that until you showed me. The next week I practiced on almost every face I saw and I’ve gotten alot  better, especially on profiles.
Thanks again for all your help and good advise. J.R.”

    “Thank you for everything you taught us, I especially learned a lot. You made it easier for me to think of figure drawing as a process.  I really enjoyed your drawing and I hope you have time to come back and visit.
Thank you,  D.J.”

    “When you came to do the demonstration I couldn’t believe how much I learned!  I’m thanking you for helping me progress in what I love to do.
Thank you,  A.H.”

    “Thank you for showing me different ways to look at people’s  faces. The squinting really helps.  I really like detail and focusing on the big picture first helped me draw better.
Thanks,  S.C.”

    “I really enjoyed and appreciated the demonstration you gave to us and the individual help you provided for me.  I really feel like I got a lot out of it and gained a freeness in my scetches that I didn’t have before.  Its amazing how easily your method achives a likeness!  Thank you so much for coming in and taking the time to help us out. I wish you the best of Luck. Sincerely, E.D.”

    “Thank you very much for coming in and presenting your work of art and technique.   My drawings of the human face have really improved.  I will continue to draw and always have a pencil in my hand.  You really inspired me to not only sketch what I see, but bring out my personality in what I an drawing. Again, thanks so much.  R.P.”

    “Coming back to The Art of Summer a second time gives me a chance only to learn more, and receive more visits form guest artists like yourself.  I really enjoyed both learning your technique and having you help my faces come along.  I hope that I can continue to incorporate every thing I learned from your visit into my drawing in order to better myself. Thank you for your visit.
Drawing Studio Student,  R.S.”

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