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Report: Figure Drawing and Beyond at FOU Gallery

On Saturday, September 9th Artuta held an art workshop in collaboration with FOU Gallery in Brooklyn. The workshop was titled Figure Drawing and Beyond, which worked in relation to FOU’s current exhibition Interest in Humanity: Portraits of Yesterday and Today.

The exhibit focuses on portraiture from mid 20th century artists, to contemporary and emerging artists, each portraying figures and expressions in their own distinct ways. Artuta’s workshop was held in FOU Gallery’s apartment-like space which had work by the likes of Andy Warhol and Joan Miro on its walls.

Artuta’s Figure Drawing and Beyond workshop concentrated on figure drawing practices that are akin to street photography. Instead of utilizing a live model, as most figure drawing classes do, students drew themselves using a hand mirror, their classmates, and the environment around them. Kosuke Kawahara, Artuta’s workshop instructor introduced artists from FOU’s exhibit and other artists like Michelangelo, Ellsworth Kelly, David Lynch and Sigmar Polke highlighting the different figure drawing styles - mass to contour drawings and shading techniques, encouraging students to experiment with various styles.

Kawahara showing diverse figure forms in artworks at the FOU Gallery exhibit.

The workshop was split up into four timed drawing practices, allowing students to try out different drawing techniques and build or expand upon their drawings. For the first practice, students were asked to draw their own ear, based on the lines and contours they felt while touching their own ears. This may seem strange to draw something you cannot see, but it heightened senses - paying attention to the curves, crevices, and dips in an ear and making those marks on the paper.

Students drew their own ear, observing it by using touch.

Student work from first and second practice

The second practice had students looking at someone else’s ear while they drew, now that sight is involved the drawings have become more detailed.

The third practice was a group drawing. Half of the group drew themselves using a hand mirror while the other half observed and drew their classmates looking in the mirrors. Students took turns switching off three times, each drawing session was timed - 1 minute, 5 minutes, and 10 minutes. These timed drawings allowed students to think about how they utilize space on their paper - whether they add new drawings to the same piece of paper, draw on top of another drawing, or use a completely new piece of paper. How a piece of paper is used can create interesting combinations and compositions. Some students continued the same drawing in between time gaps and others started new drawings.

Practice three - students draw themselves or each other.

For the fourth and final practice Kawahara consulted each student about ideas they wanted to explore in their final drawings and how the figure or something in the environment can be incorporated or serve as inspiration. The final outcomes are diverse and even the figureless drawings convey a presence activating the negative space.

Final drawings

Overall, the workshop seemed to be a success. Our students left with new drawings and techniques in tow. Artuta had a wonderful time collaborating with and working in the beautiful FOU Gallery.

Photo credit: FOU Gallery and Artuta Art School


Interest in Humanity: Portraits of Yesterday and Today

August 5–October 22, 2023

FOU Gallery

410 Jefferson Avenue, #1, Brooklyn, NY 11221 Artists (Alphabetically sorted): Andy Warhol, Chen Dongfan, Dawei Wang, Furen Dai, Greg Burak, Helia Chitsazan, Joan Miró, Los Bravú, Lorena Torres, Marsha Pels, Suyi Xu

Curator: Lynn Hai | Co-Curator: Echo He | Curatorial Assistant: Misia Yuan [ Learn More ]


Jessica Lee

Hello! My name is Jessica. I am a collage and soft sculpture artist based in New York City. I am originally from East Los Angeles, California. I love making things and believe that art is an extension of yourself. I am always excited to see what Artuta students create!

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