10 11 2010

once in a while students ask me about the education process during my years in artschool and are surprised how much time was spent with actual drawing. looking back, I started my studies in 1969, and I remember the day when I realized that I consciously SAW the things in front of my eyes, not just looked at them. that was the major goal in the first ANALYTICAL drawing classes, to learn HOW TO SEE. the drawing happened automatically.

the school I went to followed the academic teaching principles of the BAUHAUS-school. WALTER GROPIUS, 1883 – 1969, was one of the founders of the BAUHAUS-school together with a distinguished group of teachers in germany directly after the ending of WW1, in 1919. the schools purpose was to pursue new forms and new solutions to man’s basic needs as well as his aesthetic ones. the BAUHAUS-curriculum returned to fundamentals, the basic materials, the basic rules of design. and the question they dared to ask led to new definitions of beauty in the unadorned and practical aspects of the functional.

in my art school, the FOLKWANG-SCHOOL, the first exercises in the ANALYTICAL-drawing class during the first semester were to draw a plant, a chair and two stacked chairs. it looked simple first but turned out to be a major challenge. the drawings had to be huge, DIN A1, and had to be drawn with hard charcoal sticks on cheap grey packing paper. the motif had to fit exactly into the format. well, you better learn to control SIZE, ANGLES, LINE-DIRECTIONS and SHAPE overall, besides the ovious details of the object.

even after a short time of this practice I noticed that it became easier and easier to understand SHAPES, to organize them and then draw them precise.
the motifs became more challenging, I actuallly was searching for very complicated objects like an oldfashioned telephone, scissors or typewriters. we all improved, and after the most part of the first semester we started to draw our hands, the first step towards – LIFE-DRAWING.

at the end of semester 1 we were asked to combine the analytical experience with what we had learned in the composition- and color-classes. as you can see in my drawing, not everything was too serious.
the images I am posting here are only a few examples, there were dozens for every step. paralell to the drawing class for 2 days/week was one day DESIGN – composition and color, one day 3-DIMENSIONAL design with cardboard and other materials, and one day TYPOGRAPHY, understanding and creating font designs. shorter courses were PERSPECTIVE and PRINT-MAKING ( lithography and etching ). there was no cartoon or animation in the curriculum ( at that time it was not considered as a ‘serious’ artform in germany ), I had to cover that in my spare time and learn from the few books on the market.