Jon Houghton (2011)

Jon Houghton Drawing Workshop Held!Jon Houghton drawing workshop was well attended with 11 participants, eager to develop in what, in Jon’s words, is the “ the most important skill one can have in art.” , and the foundation for everything else.

The first day started with a discussion of materials, and tools, and then went into a demonstration of line “quality” i.e. hard or soft as a part of the emphasis, and value study, and a discussion of the “4 important guidelines of drawing”. We practiced in charcoal on fruit arrangement still lifes. Then we we worked in pencil on still lifes we had set up for ourselves taking advantage of the vast number of unique items in the guild from past generations.

On day two, we moved to landscapes, starting with discussion of composition, emphasis of focal points, and Carlson's value guidelines. We were provided many recommendations for books and authors to read for various artistic purposes. Before starting the landscape we worked on sketches in pencil to show our concepts which were were critiqued as a group, before we continued on to try to complete the sketch.

We took the afternoon off to allow Jon to dazzle the BWS with a portrait demo in watercolor at their meeting. What had them amazed was the loose application of color without prepared drawings - which was possible only because of Jon's drawing skill which provided the surety of placing the paint while being free and loose with it.

On the third day we learned about the beautiful although delicate in appearance art of silver point, i.e. drawing with a silver stylus on prepared paper. We prepared our own papers and practiced the drawing technique and included burnishing. We concluded the workshop and the afternoon with a portraiture exercise. First, Jon did a quick demo of measuring and marking, and went on to complete a very quick sketch of our model Jason. We heard a highly entertaining story (one of many) about Jon's experience drawing portraits at Merritt Island Square Mall. Then it was our turn. We each drew Jason from several locations over the remaining period - how you start is the important part and more practice is important. It was surprising to see the improvement each participant made by their 3rd drawing. Then sadly, we concluded the workshop, but with determination to continue working this vital artistic skill.

Brett Pigon