Materials used: Pencil on Bristol

Size: 24″ X 36″

There’s more after the jump!

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Edit Update 10/22/07:

So from my wordpress blog stats, I see that this post has been getting quite a lot of traffic. I can only assume that it’s Coat, Desk, Chair time at good ol’ Berkeley. If you are currently a Environmental Design 11A student, I feel sorry for you. ED11A really teaches you how to shit diamonds. But fret not, after 11A, you will have all the fundamentals down (more like branded into your brain with a hot poker) and trust me, it will come in handy and save your asses numerous times down the road. If your instructor is Katie Hawkinson, tell her I said hi. She may be the most influential teacher I had at Cal. Here are some tips on Coat, Desk, Chair:

-Unless you have amazing furniture, don’t use your dorm room or your sad apartment. I had crappy plastic chair in my apartment from Walgreens. It’s as interesting as dirt…unless you’re going for the destitute college theme, and I have seen some amazing drawings of the like. You just have to make sure your set-up carries a theme. Dorm rooms and apartments can convey really mixy-matchy confusing notes. Opt for your own studio. Or a library. Or even a window display at Urban Outfitters on Bancroft (if it’s still there).

-Use your time wisely. Does the light source keep on changing? Well then, during your “good light time” mark your shadows and highlights, then fill it in later.

– Don’t be scared of backing up clear decisions you made during the drawing process. And express them diplomatically at your critiques. This doesn’t mean you should provide excuses either. If your instructor thinks your drawing is lame, don’t get down-trodden. Talk about it and find out why it’s lame.

Good luck!

/Edit Update.

The infamous “Coat, Desk, Chair” assignment was something that every Berkeley Architecture student would still have nightmares about years later. The mission, if you choose to accept, is to compose and complete a drawing featuring a coat, a desk, and a chair in one weekend using nothing but a gigantic piece of paper, pencils, and one eraser without the use of a camera. I can see that it doesn’t sound that hard but consider this:

How mundane are coats, desks, and chairs? Especially coats, desks, and chairs of poor college students? So say you’ve composed the most perfect set-up in your living room with the sun shining through the window and creating all the right shadows, and now you decide to start drawing. Oops! Three hours have gone by and the sun is setting, and all of your shadows have moved. Your roommate decides to eat his ramen and watch TV while you’re enjoying your well-earned bathroom break and then knocks over your coat. You come out of the bathroom and witness the horror. Now you’re yelling at him, and then a fight breaks out, ramen is thrown.

This assignment not only tested skills but it also tested smarts. I decided to draw my classroom studio with all the lights off except for my desk light. Sure, I had to spend my weekend in an empty classroom but at least I didn’t have to fling ramen at someone.

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