Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sketch Your Art Teacher Contest

Jeanette Gurney John Van Hamersveld Art Center
Here's a fun contest for art students. Nine rules:

 1. Sketch your art teacher in the act of teaching. Please work from life and not from a photo. The sketch can be funny or serious.

2. It's free to enter, and anyone in the world can enter. You can be a young student or an older student in any sort of class or workshop. You can also be an artist sketching a teacher in a non-art class. And it's OK if you did the sketch in the past.

3. Only one entry per person.

4. To enter, just scan a small JPEG file of your image, about 500 pixels on the longest side. There are three ways to get the file to me. You can send it as an email attachment to gurneyjourney at, with the subject line "ART TEACHER." Or you can put the image on an image hosting site such as imgur or flickr, and send me just the link to the file. Or you can post it on Facebook and tag me on the post. I'll like it to let you know I got it.

5. Title the image file like this: your name, your art teacher's name, your art school, and if you're under 18, your age, and the date: "JamesGurneyDavidMocarskiArtCenter_1982.jpg".

James Gurney Terry O'Shea Art Center
6. You've just got two weeks! The deadline for entries is January 22 at midnight. I'll post results on Jan. 24.

7. I will choose five finalists plus one grand prize winner and I'll post them on the GurneyJourney blog.

Left: Jeanette Gurney, Larry Edwards. Right: James Gurney, David Mocarski, both Art Center
8. Each finalist and their teacher will receive a free signed Imaginative Realism poster. The overall winner will also receive one of my DVDs.

9. Please spread the word on Facebook and Twitter and let your friends know about the contest. Have fun!
The sketches in this post were all done at Art Center College of Design around 1980-1982 by my wife Jeanette and me when we were art students together—I think one of you called us the "Bonnie and Clyde of Sketching."
Edit. Greg Shea told me about this great illustration, which my friend Dan Zimmer posted today by coincidence:
Illustration by Gerald Leake, thanks Dan Zimmer


Keith Parker said...

I had always wanted to ask you about whether Jeanette was into art before you two met, or had come to like it after the fact. I never quite had the guts to ask it however, because it seemed to be crossing some sort of personal life boundary in my mind! I always thought it would be cool to marry someone with a similar interest in art.

The contest sounds like a lot of fun. I wish I had something to enter. I always drew other students, but I don't think I ever drew my art instructors. The other teachers I drew but I don't think they liked that. I doubt those sketches have survived.

Tom Hart said...

Love that Leake painting! That's an artist that hadn't been on my radar...until now. I'll have to do some research.

Judy P. said...

Sounds like a fun contest; I hope it's OK to leave a general painting question here. I'm starting to develop an eye for the different color effects in a scene while painting. That's great- finally! So whether it's outdoor plein air, indoor still life, I try to convey the chroma, value, hue- again finally!
But now I'm increasingly bothered by the way the resulting work looks in different light when displayed. So a painting rendered under the revered cool north light looks starkly different in my yellow kitchen light, or the natural light in my south-facing living room. I had a dark, moody painting displayed in the local library, but the light was so strong the values seemed neutralized, so any dramatic effect was lost. I've spoken with some very experienced artists, and they have the same lament- colors dull, or sometimes get electric, subtle transitions get lost. Some say they make adjustments after, but what adjustments can be made, unless you know for certain where the work will finally rest? Is this something I just have to get over? Thanks for all your great advice over the years!

James Gurney said...

Judy, it's a good question, worthy of a longer answer than I can give right now, but.... The quick answer is to do the painting under light that's the closest to white sunlight as possible. Sunlight is the reference to which all comparative assessments of artificial light are made. If you google "color rendering index" or CRI you'll get lots of information on it. Each sort of light: incandescent, LED, and various fluorescents varies in the range of color they deliver. If they are missing some colors, those colors that you put on your painting will look dead. Some lights have big gaps in the color spectrum. See my earlier post on studio lighting:

Some artists advise you to paint under the same lights that the work will be seen under, but my advice is to paint under the best light possible, because you never really know where your painting will end up.

Allen Garns said...

Hah! Great fun! I love Jeanette's drawings of Edwards and Mocarski. Especially Edwards! (I'm sure yours is just as good but I never knew O'Shea.)

Mara Mattia said...

Great fun idea! Too bad LCAD students don't start back to school until January 20th. :(