For absolute beginners and for experienced drawers who don’t love to draw. Emphasis is placed equally on seeing and expression, description and the pleasure of making. Exercises break down students’ preconceptions about how drawings come about, so that drawing becomes a matter of truly human scale exploration and experimentation, rather than the product of giant leaps of talent and inspiration. We work from photos, reproductions of other artworks, the mirror, and the human figure, using graphite, charcoal, and pen. Just as we all learn to speak, walk, and eat, I believe we are all capable of drawing. As your teacher, my job is to clear away the impediments that keep you from exploiting this natural potential.

Intermediate Drawing emphasizes two big issues. One, we come to understand what we are observing through trying to draw it, hence the drawing must change as our seeing changes. Two, the very key to mastering the figure is the understanding that drawings are necessarily subjective, that they depend upon selection, emphasis, and expression, not objective measure. This class will push intermediate level students to explore how they see rather than simply what they see. As in Intro, equal emphasis will be placed on seeing and expression. Students are welcome to use any and all media, including paint. Most sessions will have live models. First time Drawing Studio students should take Intro to Drawing before taking Intermediate Drawing, regardless of experience level. It won’t be the least bit remedial.

An introduction to acrylic paints. Just as in drawing, what slows down beginning painters is preconceptions about how paintings come about. Class exercises will suspend those preconceptions, encouraging new painters to experiment with acrylics very broadly. In the end, new painters will begin to experience the true potential of paint, rather than forcing the paint to illustrate preconceived ideas. More experienced painters are encouraged to follow or ignore the exercises, whichever serves their momentum best on a given night. Experienced painters can also work on longer term projects, one on one, with Phil. First time Drawing Studio students should take Intro to Drawing before taking Painting, regardless of previous experience.


Phil Sylvester has been making art for nearly 40 years. He has exhibited drawings, paintings, sculptures, guitars, and amplifiers (see in the US, Canada, and Europe, and has work in collections in LA, Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Chicago, New Orleans, New York City, and London. His work has been featured in Poetry Northwest magazine and Premier Guitar magazine, on OPB’s Oregon Art Beat, and on many sites on the web. In the 1980s, he was Director of Academic Affairs at Oregon School of Design. In the 1990s he taught at Lewis and Clark College and did creativity workshops for Nike, as well as a number of other national corporations. Phil has a BA in mathematics from Reed College, a Master of Architecture degree from Princeton University, and studied at Berklee College of Music. Phil founded his own school, The Drawing Studio, in 1990.


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