ARTS 631
Strictly Abstract Drawing

Peter Waite


Various notions of non-representational--or abstract--imagery will be explored through the inventive use of both traditional and non-traditional drawing media. Through abstraction one can experience a withdrawal from worldly objects, the mind becomes disengaged and subject matter can be approached through purely theoretical, conceptual or intuitive considerations.

Course Schedule
Week 1:
June 29-July 2

Line and lines

  • Intro to materials and materials list

  • String project: division of room with colored string, the penetration of space. Like a giant cobweb.Graphic response using line. Considerations of depth, direction, composition.

  • A series of drawings using pencil, colored pencils, charcoal, straight edges, varying width; color; washes (use of brushes) and value changes; eraser drawings on white paper that has been blackened out with charcoal; light, movement, depth, and emotion.

Curves and straight lines

  • Fantastic architecture series

  • Non-functional constructions

  • Geometric forms in space (two values plus white) on brown paper

Week 2:
July 6-July 9
  • Illustration of contrasts: thick/thin, much/little, rest/motion, high/low, light/dark, horizontal/vertical. A variety of media will be explored as well as gravity fed (drips) and flung marks (toothbrush spatters).

  • Action drawing. Combinations/incorporation of various different mark-making techniques

  • Grid series; crossword puzzles; following a set of directions or rules; math.

  • Collage: cutting up past drawings and reassembling

Week 3:
July 13-July 16
  • Use of stencils, letters, text.

  • Explore repetition, movement, density.

  • Concrete poetry and connections; irony; humor.

  • Mystery objects: drawing blind from unknown objects in paper bags just by sense of feel. Large scale drawings from these drawings.

  • Out of focus slide progression project. A slide will be projected in three stages: extremely out of focus; clearer; then more clear and perhaps identifiable.


- tool box
- erasers: kneaded, white plastic
- scissors, razor blades
- "Yes" paste
- charcoal brick
- charcoal sticks
- white conté
- white charcoal pencils
- charcoal pencils
- HB pencils
- brushes
- blue painter's tape
- sponges
- pad 18 x 24 inch Bristol paper
- workable spray fixative*

Instructor will request additional specific items when appropriate.
* Drawings sprayed ONLY in designated room in the print making studio.