ARTS 639
Monster Drawings: Large Scale Rendering

Peter Waite         


To expose participants to making drawings on a large scale (typically in the 4x6 foot range). To break down certain inhibitions perhaps encountered by past, smaller, more precious work. To become physically engaged, to experience the use of one’s whole body in drawing, to engage in creative struggle. To consider what happens to one’s field of vision when making large pictures; how it becomes almost cinematographic and in the picture plane. To become more intimately aware of subject matter when translating something small to big. Example: a clothespin enlarged to six feet becomes something else – a triumphant arch, or a menacing, predatory form. But in the process, the renderer has to experience the form from micro to macro, to understand a full use of materials and the power of simple charcoal when used on a large scale, to participate in class assignment but to also create a focused body of work (6 to 8 large finished drawings) whose subject matter is chosen with scale and conceit in mind by each student.

Topical Outline

Note: homework will be given each week that will echo the previous class’s work.

Week 1

Materials list and paper. Estimated cost for materials: $60.00
Students will work on large surfaces, with great care as to not  make any mess.
Group project / tiled portrait. Much in the manner of photorealist portraitists (Chuck Close) each student will render small squares which, when finally arranged on the wall, will form a large portrait (usually a recognizable painting from art history).

Week 2

Large scale brown paper drawings in black and white charcoal of sculptural forms (usually bio-morphic forms like Henry Moore’s).

Week 3

Small bio-morphic forms (bones, feathers, coral, etc.) enlarged in the same manner as week 1.

Week 4

Man made objects rendered large: kitchenware, tools, etc. Same process as previous weeks.

Week 5

Reductive /eraser drawing on rolls of white paper covered with charcoal and then erased.
Subject: jellyfish and Portuguese Man’o’War.

Week 6

Life size, full-length drawings of toy monsters, soldiers, superheroes, dolls, etc. Charcoal wash on either brown or white paper.

Week 7

Develop a series of full-length portraits of a made-up race or group of humanoids. Composites of the toy “monsters.” E.g. police officers, sports figures, doctors, soldiers, bankers, etc.

Week 8

Architecture, architectural elements, monuments, etc. (a trip to the nearby cemetery) rendered using straight edges and projected directional lines.

Week 9

Design your own monument or create a proposed monument for a theme of one’s own choosing, real or imaginary. E.g. the Unknown Soldier or the unknown accountant. Connection with week 8.

Week 10

Bathroom drawings from memory, then from sketches and photos. Drawings of this well-known personal and private space. 

Final project: each person develops a series of large drawings of one’s own choosing.