I had the amazing opportunity to work for Marwen this summer teaching an observational drawing course for students in 6th-8th Grade.

If you aren’t familiar with Marwen, they are a private arts organization in Chicago that provides free visual arts classes to under-served Chicago youth in 6 – 12 grades.  Marwen also provides free college and career counseling to high school students and their families who are interested in pursuing a career in the visual arts or wish to continue their education beyond high school. If you’d like more information please visit their website:

Anyway, I taught a 2-week summer course where students met Monday-Friday for 2.5 hours each day. The emphasis of the course was on observational drawing and traditional technical skills.  We used mostly pencil, charcoal and pastel and focused on value, line, composition and proportion. Students learned how to sight measure and look carefully at a subject.

Below are some photographs of students at work, as well as some of there final assignments which were “Self Portrait Still Life Drawings.” For their Self-Portrait, students brought in items that were representative of their personalities and worked to draw them from observation. I think you will be pretty impressed… these kids were AWESOME!

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