Phil Sylvester founded the independent art school, the Drawing Studio, in 1990, after teaching ten years at Oregon School of Design. The Drawing Studio offers drawing and painting classes for adults taught by Phil. Classes meet evenings and weekends and are designed for anyone from true beginners to experienced artists who want to get their work rolling again.
Sylvester’s method emphasizes loosening the student up so she/he becomes more comfortable experimenting and inventing technique. “I believe humans are naturally designed to draw, perceptually, neurologically, muscularly, kinesthetically, the works. However, obviously, many of us feel we can’t. We assume we are missing something, talent, the right techniques, whatever. Thirty years of experience have taught me that what holds us back is actually our very assumptions, our preconceptions about how drawings come about, what the steps are, what is behind being able to draw.”
Sylvester designs exercises to suspend those preconceptions so that students can begin experimenting freely without fear of failure. Once the process is underway, students quickly realize that growth as a drawer is dependent solely on breadth of experimentation and practice. “Essentially, I demystify drawing so that students personally experience that progress in drawing is made through regular human scale efforts rather than through abilities available only to a select few.”