Seeing and Drawing

Alan Quinonez - Journal & Porfolio

Highlights from Dynamic Sketching I

From October to December 2013, I took the 8-week CGMA Class Dynamic Sketching I with Patrick Ballesteros.

Week 1: Warmups

Week 1 focuses on developing confidence with the pen by drawing and tracing straight, curved and zigzag lines, as well as ellipses.

Week 2: Organic Shapes

In week 2, we study organic forms, contour lines and texture gradations.

Week 3: Geometric Forms & Basic Shading

In week 3, we free-hand cubes and other shapes in perspective – no rulers allowed!

Week 4: Combining Shapes

In week 4, we start practicing shape intersections as well sketching household objects

Weeks 5 & 6: Plants

In weeks 5 and 6, we draw plants from photo reference and from life.

Week 7: Creature Redesign Part 1

In week 7, we start studying reference and incorporate it into an original concept: We redesign a creature based off the characteristics of a plant.

Week 8: Creature Redesign Part 2

After receiving feedback from our teacher, we improve and process and have a second stab at the creature redesign.


  1. Thanks for posting this. Nice work! I had a question about what you learned in the class. Did they go over posture when sketching? Like is it ok for the elbow to touch the desk, or does it matter? What’s recommended for learning to sketch?

    • Alan Q

      June 1, 2014 at 9:12 am

      Hello Jason,
      You’re most welcome! To better understand your question: Do you mean if there were notes about ergonomics when drawing?
      If so, I do not recall hearing much emphasis about it during this class. That said, the teachers advice to rotate your sketchbook so that you do not find your wrist trying to draw long lines in an uncomfortable position.
      Regarding your elbow touching the desk, I personally do not feel that it matters much, as long you to keep in mind some ergonomic basics such as taking breaks every 30 – 45mins and doing some hand stretches.
      There is this very good slideshare about ergonomics by Marsha Devine who is an educator/artist from the Univ. of Phoenix. She offers some great examples about how often to have breaks and what type stretches can hell you prevent injury. Check it out. I hope you find it useful!

      • Hey Alan,

        Thanks for the response! Yes, I was just beginning with working on my line work and I was wondering if I should change the way I use my arm when sketching. Some artists like to have the wrist and elbow up so the motion is fluid. However, it’s not good for making straight lines and keeping some control. Sounds like it’s perfectly fine to have the elbow down since making precise lines needs a bit more control.

        For me right now I’m finding it difficult to combine and intersect forms in perspective. Was there any exercise you found helpful in learning this?

        Thanks again!

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