The Visual Language of Drawing: Lessons on the Art of Seeing

Front Cover
Featuring the insights of 15 current and former Art Students League instructors, this stunning volume reassesses the art of drawing not as a technique, but as the essential grammar of all visual thinking. In an illuminating introductory essay, James Lancel McElhinney punctures the myth that learning to draw is something for experts only, and presents methods for making, appreciating, and teaching drawing. The 15 contributors then offer a broad range of stylistic approaches and methodologies, accompanied by examples of their own and their students' artwork. A final section of basic exercises, along with information on materials, techniques, and resources, completes this inspirational study.

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Instructors/Contributors: Sigmund Abeles, Will Barnet, William Behnken, George Cannata, Bruce Dorfman, Ellen Eagle, Henry Finkelstein, Michael Grimaldi, Charles Hinman, Grace Knowlton, Knox Martin, Frank O’Cain, Jonathan Shahn, Costa Vavagiakis, Alex Zwarenstein

About the author (2012)

James Lancel McElhinney received an MFA from the Yale School of Art and was later awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. His artwork has been shown in more than 40 solo gallery and museum exhibitions, and is in many private and public collections. In addition to teaching life drawing at the Art Students League of New York, McElhinney teaches Foundations drawing at Pratt Institute.

For more than 130 years, the Art Students League of New York--founded by and for artists in 1875--has provided an open-door policy for anyone seeking artistic training. Early instructors included William Merritt Chase, Kenyon Cox, Thomas Eakins, and Childe Hassam, and their students became well-known professionals whose legacy continues today. Many famous artists who have shaped the vocabulary of art worldwide have been instructors, lecturers, and students here. They include, among many others, George Bridgman, Thomas Hart Benton, Alexander Calder, Georgia O'Keeffe, Norman Rockwell, Winslow Homer, Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Nevelson, Romare Bearden, Roy Lichtenstein, and Mark Rothko.

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