Drawing and Painting with Barbara DiLorenzo

The Princeton University Art Museum partnered with the Arts Council of Princeton to provide free online art-making experiences in 2020-2021. Classes are taught by artist-instructor Barbara DiLorenzo over Zoom, so participants can join live from their home computers. Techniques emphasize drawing or painting fundamentals, with a specific focus each week. Each lesson features works from the Museum’s collections. Visit the Princeton University Art Museum Website to register for FREE.

Chinese, Qing dynasty (1644–1912), Yun Shouping 惲壽平 (1633–1690), Begonia, ca. 1686. Folding fan mounted as album leaf, ink and color on paper. Princeton University Art Museum. Museum purchase, Carl Otto von Kienbusch Jr. Memorial Collection

Watercolors: The Power of Negative Space
Thursday, July 22, 2021 8 p.m.

In drawing and painting, a composition can be improved by considering the negative space. In this class we will work on painting flowers, examining the difference between a solid clump of blossoms and a composition that allows for space between stems and leaves. 

 

Photo by Barbara DiLorenzo. This image is used in the live painting demonstration. Feel free to click on the images to use as a reference for your drawing and painting.

 

We want to see your work!
Please tag the Princeton University Art Museum or the Arts Council of Princeton on social media!

DRAWING MATERIALS

These materials are suggested, but not required. Any pencil, eraser, and paper will work well.

Paper: For the demonstrations, I use Discount School Supply White Sulphite Paper (12" x 18", 50 lb.). My personal sketchbooks include Moleskine, Strathmore, and a variety of others that have different textures and thicknesses. Everyone has their own preference, so I recommend trying out different papers to see what you like!

Factis Mechanical Eraser: This eraser is helpful for pulling graphite and bringing highlights back into your drawing. It can also be used similar to a pencil, making long strokes of white (erasing the graphite) that add texture to a drawing. 

Tombow MONO Zero Erasers: Round & Rectangular: I use the small, round eraser for the tiniest erasing details. It saves time to have such a small eraser on hand, and creates beautiful moments of light.

Faber-Castell Drawing Pencils: Although you can purchase a set of pencils in varying grades, for the drawing demo I'll be using 6B so that people can see the dark marks better. I am not a fan of anything in the H grade, as the graphite is too hard and light for me to sketch comfortably. I love a 4B or 6B pencil, but that is entirely personal preference. 

General's Pure Woodless Graphite: These pure graphite pencils are a lot of fun to draw with. I usually add them to a pencil lengthener so that I can hold them like a paintbrush. Big, loose marks can be even more fun to draw with—so if you have the ability, give this a try!

Koh-I-Noor Pencil Lengthener (I add the woodless graphite to this): This pencil lengthener was first introduced to me in art school. My drawing teacher would use compressed charcoal in the extender, and hold it like a paintbrush. It allows an artist to draw with a loose hand, moving the entire arm to create curves and gestures. Without it, sometimes a small nub can be harder to hold onto or can limit the range of motion. 

WATERCOLOR MATERIALS
Here is a list of supplies for an artist that is trying out watercolor painting, and is unsure if this is the medium for them: Total Under $25
Paper
12 9 x 12" sheets ($6): https://www.jerrysartarama.com/strathmore-300-watercolor-pads

Paint

Marie's Student Watercolor Set of 12 - 12 ml tubes ($7): https://www.jerrysartarama.com/maries-watercolor-and-gouache-sets
Colors include Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Crimson Red, Lamp Black, Lemon Yellow, Prussian Blue, Sap Green, Vermillion, White, Yellow Ochre, Violet, and Green Deep.

Palette

12 wells that fit the 12-tube set ($7): https://www.jerrysartarama.com/eldajon-palette

Brushes

https://www.jerrysartarama.com/polar-flo-watercolor-brushes

  • $2 for the Try-It! Polarflo Brushes Pack of 2
  • $4 Polar-Flo Watercolor Brush 700R Round
BEYOND BEGINNER SUGGESTION FOR WATERCOLOR SUPPLIES
Here is a more comprehensive list of materials for artists that are enjoying painting with watercolor, and want to add to their art supplies.
Paper
https://www.jerrysartarama.com/arches-watercolor-blocks There will be times when you are experimenting and probably don’t want to waste good paper, and times when you are ready to paint a well-drawn composition. For the good-quality paper, the Arches Blocks are wonderful. The paper is already stretched, and you paint on the top sheet, one at a time. After it dries, you can separate it from the sheet below (a letter opener helps). You will notice choices in size and name. For the size, choose the biggest block that works for you financially. For the name, everything offered is either Hot Press, Cold Press, or Rough in 140 lb. There is one thicker paper that is 300 lb Cold Press in the larger blocks, but 140 lb is just fine for now. Hot Press is slick, smooth paper, while Cold Press has some texture. Rough has even more texture. This is a personal preference, though I notice students have a more forgiving time when they purchase 140 lb. Cold Press paper. A 10 x 14” pad is $42 for 20 sheets, so $2+ a sheet. But that should last a while as it’s intended for serious painting efforts, not experimental play. For that, you can purchase a Canson XL Watercolor pad with 30 sheets for about $10: https://www.jerrysartarama.com/canson-xl-watercolor-pads

Paint
 
This is something that will change as you grow as a watercolor painter. Here is a list of colors that are recommended to start, but feel free to add whatever excites you! Some tubes are $4–$25, depending on their ingredients. With that in mind, here are some lists of colors to fit different stages of your budget. One note of caution: some professional artist paints contain toxic ingredients. Be on the lookout for anything that has cobalt or cadmium especially. You can substitute those colors with a cadmium hue or a cobalt hue. This means that it’s the color of the original without the toxicity. But be sure to check safety labels to confirm. If you had to pick just 6 colors to start with: https://www.jerrysartarama.com/winsor-newton-professional-watercolors
  • Red: Pyrrol Scarlet (Cadmium Red)
  • Yellow: Hansa Yellow Medium (Cadmium Yellow)
  • Blue: French Ultramarine (Ultramarine)
  • Green: Sap Green (Sap Green)
  • Earth Red/Orange: Burnt Sienna (Burnt Sienna)
  • Magenta: Quinacridone Rose (Purple Lake)
If you have the opportunity to purchase more:
  • Aureolin Yellow
  • Cadmium Yellow Light
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Quinacridone Gold
  • Cadmium Orange
  • Cadmium Red
  • Permanent Alizarin Crimson
  • Quinacridone Rose
  • Sap Green
  • Viridian
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Prussian Blue
  • French Ultramarine Blue
  • Raw Sienna
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Burnt Umber
  • Payne’s Gray
  • Gouache - White
Palette ($16) https://www.jerrysartarama.com/robert-e-wood-palette I like this palette because it allows for 24 colors and has two generous mixing areas. I use one area for mixing warm colors and the other for mixing cool colors. The lid helps protect your pigments from dust, and from spilling after a painting session, when everything is wet. It’s also a good price for a palette. The only drawback is that the plastic it is made from is a bit light. If you want a palette that is heavier, though it doesn’t have 2 mixing areas, this one is great: https://www.jerrysartarama.com/john-pike-palettes ($23). There is also a really great color wheel palette for $17: https://www.jerrysartarama.com/color-wheel-palette

Brushes

https://www.jerrysartarama.com/beste-finest-golden-taklon-hair-brushes
Flats 2" and 3/4” (Flats need not be sable. These are good for washes.)
Rounds #12 and #8 (But feel free to buy more: #6, #10, etc., if you can.)
Brights (Square tip. I usually don’t use this shape brush with my own painting, but I encourage people to explore–please feel free to use this type of brush in whatever size you like.)

 

 

Charles Herbert Moore (American, 1840–1930) Water Mill, Simplon Village, 1877. Watercolor and gouache over graphite. Princeton University Art Museum. Gift of Miss Elizabeth Huntington Moore, the artist's daughter, presented by Mrs. Frank Jewett Mather Jr.

Watercolors: How Colors Change over Distance
Thursday, July 15, 2021 8 p.m.

For artists who love to paint landscapes, understanding how light changes over distance is important. In this class we will look closely at Charles Herbert Moore’s painting Water Mill, Simplon Village, painting a copy to learn from his choices regarding values, hues, and their saturations in the foreground, middle ground, and background.

 

Alice Baber (American, 1928–1982), The Jaguar Crosses the Rainbow Desert: Sacred Space Series, 1980. Dye-based colored inks. Gift of the Alice Baber Estate through Norbert N. Nelson, Executor, Class of 1950. © Alice Baber Estate

Watercolors: Focus on Color Theory
Thursday, July 8, 2021 8 p.m.

Transitioning from grayscale to color can be a challenge for artists. In this class we will explore color theory, experimenting with combinations of colors that work well together due to the structure of color schemes.

Photo by Barbara DiLorenzo. This image is used in the live painting demonstration. Feel free to click on the images to use as a reference for your drawing and painting.

Arthur Bowen Davies, American, 1862–1928. The Riviera, ca. 1925. Gouache and blue crayon. Princeton University Art Museum. Gift of Remak Ramsay, Class of 1958 

Watercolors: Using Toned Paper and Gouache
Thursday, July 1, 2021 8 p.m.

To help push the range of values in their watercolor paintings, many artists use a combination of toned papers instead of pure white, with the assistance of gouache paint to bring back areas of the lightest tones. In this class we will experiment with both, using Arthur Bowen Davies painting The Riviera as an example.

 

Photo by Barbara DiLorenzo. This image is used in the live painting demonstration. Feel free to click on the images to use as a reference for your drawing and painting.

 

Winslow Homer (American, 1836–1910), Eastern Point Light, 1880. Watercolor over graphite. Princeton University Art Museum. Gift of Alastair B. Martin, Class of 1938

Watercolors: Embracing Dark Tones in Watercolor
Thursday, June 24, 2021 8 p.m.

Watercolor can replicate a wide range of light and dark tones. However, many watercolorists are nervous about making their artwork too dark. We will explore rendering a nightscape in watercolor, maximizing the value scale and learning not to be afraid as we create beautiful, rich tones in the work. 

 

Photo by Barbara DiLorenzo. This image is used in the live painting demonstration. Feel free to click on the images to use as a reference for your drawing and painting.

 

Thomas Moran (American, 1837–1926), Venice: The Lagoon Looking toward Santa Maria della Salute, 1894. Watercolor and gouache over graphite. Princeton University Art Museum. Gift of Mrs. Philip T. White

Watercolors: Water Reflections
Thursday, June 17, 2021 8 p.m.

Seascapes are a favorite subject for watercolorists. In contrast to solid structures above the water, reflections can be painted in a loose and playful manner, highlighting watercolor’s unique properties of spontaneity and luminescence. We will examine patterns of water and light that will make painting marine scenes easier. 

 

Photo by Barbara DiLorenzo. This image is used in the live painting demonstration. Feel free to click on the images to use as a reference for your drawing and painting.

 

Greek, Tarentine, Statuette of Nike, mid-3rd century B.C. Terracotta. Princeton University Art Museum. Museum purchase, gift of friends and colleagues in honor of Frances Follin Jones

Art Making | Drawing from the Collections: Clothing and Drapery
Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 8 p.m.

This live art-making class is inspired by a Greek Statuette of Nike from the Hellenistic period. In this sculpture, the goddess of victory wears a clinging chiton with a long overfold that reveals the lines of her voluptuous body. A belt cinches the garment high under her breasts. In this class we will focus on the basic shapes of clothing and the anatomy of folds to better understand the mechanics of drapery.

 
   

Photos by Barbara DiLorenzo used in the live drawing demonstration. Feel free to click on the images above and draw from them.

Jacob Lawrence (American, 1917–2000), The 1920’s . . . The Migrants Arrive and Cast Their Ballots, 1974, printed 1975. Color screenprint. Princeton University Art Museum. Gift of Lorillard, a Division of Loews Theatres, Inc.

Art Making | Drawing from the Collections: Storytelling with Collage
Thursday, February 25, 2021 at 8 p.m.

This live art-making class is inspired by Jacob Lawrence’s The 1920's . . . The Migrants Arrive and Cast Their Ballots. This screenprint is alive with energy and activity. Lawrence’s characteristically expressive style conveys the scene with exaggerated geometries, angular figures, and blocks of color. Lawrence is known for his narrative pictorial compositions that depict significant historical events, such as the Great Migration or the life of Frederick Douglass, as well as scenes of the everyday life of African Americans. In this class we will focus on visual storytelling and creating collage compositions using basic shapes and blocks of color.

 

Photos by Barbara DiLorenzo used in the live drawing demonstration. Feel free to click on the images above and draw from them.

Edward Hopper (American, 1882–1967), Universalist Church, 1926. Watercolor and gouache over graphite. Princeton University Art Museum. Laura P. Hall Memorial Collection

Art Making | Drawing from the Collections: Unique Cropping
Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 8 p.m.

This live art-making class is inspired by Edward Hopper’s Universalist Church. In this partial view of an eighteenth-century Universalist church in Gloucester, Massachusetts, Hopper shows only the elegant white spire, obscuring the rest of the building with intervening houses. The lines of the roofs adjacent to the church lead the eye across both axes of the image to the steeple. In this class we will focus on creating a unique architectural composition by cropping the image and closely focusing on one aspect of a scene.

 
 
Link to Walking Tour of Hopper's Birthplace: Nyack, NY  

Photos by Barbara DiLorenzo used in the live drawing demonstration. Feel free to click on the images above and draw from them.

Click here to see the sped-up video of Barbara drawing this Hopper painting.

"Coming through the Rye." Frederic Remington (American, 1861–1909), Coming through the Rye, 1902. Bronze. Princeton University Art Museum. Gift of Laurance S. Rockefeller, Class of 1932

Art Making | Drawing from the Collections: Illustrating Horses
Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 8 p.m.

This live art-making class is inspired by Frederic Remington’s Coming through the Rye. Remington’s ambitious bronze sculpture is based on a drawing from the 1880s and features four animated horses and riders in a composition remarkable for being largely elevated off the work’s base, with the leftmost horse completely suspended. In this class we will focus on drawing horses, with instruction on anatomy, movement, texture, and expression.

 
 
Horse Skeleton (Download)  

Photos by Barbara DiLorenzo used in the live drawing demonstration. Feel free to click on the images above and draw from them.

Click here to see the sped-up video of Barbara drawing a horse.

"Winter Rain from the East"
1940 Charles Ephraim Burchfield, American, 1893–1967 Watercolor

Art Making | Drawing from the Collections: Capturing a Winter Scene
Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 8 p.m.

This live art-making class is inspired by Charles Ephraim Burchfield’s Winter Rain from the East. Broadly painted in ghostly tones of gray and brown, Burchfield’s watercolors of obsolete farms and forgotten towns on the outskirts of Buffalo, New York—where the artist lived and worked—capture a poignant sense of loneliness. In this class we will focus on techniques of drawing a winter scene, including line, shadow, perspective, and tone.

Photos by Barbara DiLorenzo used in the live drawing demonstration. Feel free to click on the images above and draw from them.

Click here to see the sped-up video of Barbara drawing from this artwork from the Princeton University Art Museum Collection.

The Fall 2020 Drawing Series will be posted here soon.

The April - August 2020 Drawing and Painting Series are posted below.

Anatomy: Skeletal and Muscular Structures
Thursday, August 6, 8 p.m.

In this session, we will start by learning about the placement of the average adult human’s bones and muscles. We will learn tips and tricks to make sure our drawings of people are comfortably accurate (similar to the approach with perspective), with room for variation based on personal artistic style as well as cultural and individual characteristics of the subjects.

Skeleton Front

Skeleton Side

Photos by Barbara DiLorenzo used in the live drawing demonstration. Feel free to click on the images above and draw from them.

Click here to see the sped-up video of Barbara drawing from this artwork from the Princeton University Art Museum Collection.

 

Artistic Voice
Thursday, July 30, 8 p.m.

Separate from style, voice is the entirety of the artist coming through the work to reach the viewer. When we feel clumsy with the materials (charcoal, pastels, etc.) or the style (realism, abstract, etc.) our voice may not come through clearly. To move beyond this phase, committed artists practice their techniques, honing their skills in order to express their voices as clearly as possible. Many students begin their artistic journey by measuring their merit in comparison to others. Instead of seeing a seasoned artist as “more talented,” it’s more accurate to say they are skilled (practiced) in expressing their artistic voice more clearly. The good news is that a clear artistic voice is in reach of all artists. Practice helps, as does consideration of the subject matter that appeals to the artist. When an artist is truly content with their work, and it feels like it clicked into place, chances are their voice is clear and an audience will resonate with the work.

Photos by Barbara DiLorenzo used in the live drawing demonstration. Feel free to click on the images above and draw from them.

Click here to see the sped-up video of Barbara drawing from this artwork from the Princeton University Art Museum Collection.

"Northern Lights"
Francis Orville Libby
American
1883–1961
Watercolor

How to Bring Back Highlights
Sunday, July 26, 3 p.m.

Students often wonder what to do when the tones of their watercolor paintings get too dark. Since artists generally try to leave the white of the paper as the lightest value in their paintings, it can be frustrating when those areas are mistakenly painted over. We will explore lifting colors to get a lighter tone in earlier sessions, but in this class we will talk about paint called gouache. This is a water-soluble, opaque paint that can be helpful in bringing back highlights that have been lost or mixing with another color to create lighter moments. We will also discuss a tool called resist, or masking fluid, for the painter who wants to preserve those lighter areas from the beginning. 

 

Photos by Barbara DiLorenzo. These images are used in the live painting demonstration. Feel free to click on the images to use as a reference for your drawing and painting.

Click here to see the sped-up video of Barbara painting, inspired by "Northern Lights" from the Princeton University Art Museum Collection.

 

Anatomy: Faces
Thursday, July 23, 8 p.m.

Portraits are some of the most challenging drawings an artist can make. We will explore mathematical proportions for the average face while allowing for our individual expressions of the subject.

 

Photos by Barbara DiLorenzo used in the live drawing demonstration. Feel free to click on the images above and draw from them.

Click here to see the sped-up video of Barbara drawing from this artwork from the Princeton University Art Museum Collection.

"Graduate College,
Princeton University"
Jane Peterson
American
1876–1965
Charcoal and watercolor

Focus on Dry Brush and Nontraditional Materials
Sunday, July 19, 3 p.m.

The dry brush technique allows a painter to create texture or light in a way that the wet-into-wet technique does not. We will look around our houses for everyday objects that can create interesting textures. Using salt and alcohol can also be a fun way to work with watercolor, but often it’s not the most archival method. We will practice creating foliage for trees in the foreground, middle distance, and the background using these techniques.

 

Photos by Barbara DiLorenzo. These images are used in the live painting demonstration. Feel free to click on the images to use as a reference for your drawing and painting.

Click here to see the sped-up video of Barbara painting, inspired by "Graduate College" from the Princeton University Art Museum Collection.

 

"Mill at Sandwich"
William Palmer Robins
British
1882–1959
Watercolor

Focus on Wet-into-Wet Technique
Sunday, July 12, 3 p.m.

In this session, we will begin by making a small series of paintings that play with adding a variety of colors into a wet area and letting gravity and water create beautiful skies. We will also learn how watercolors can actually be quite forgiving (with the right paper). We will learn how to lift colors when they get too dark; we will practice dropping wildly different colors into puddles of another color, and pushing an area from warm tones to cool tones, then back again. As long as the watercolor paper is wet, there is so much we can do!

Photos by Barbara DiLorenzo. These images are used in the live painting demonstration. Feel free to click on the images to use as a reference for your drawing and painting.

Click here to see the sped-up video of Barbara painting, inspired by "Mill at Sandwich" from the Princeton University Art Museum Collection.

 

"Untitled"
1984
Hitoshi Tsukiji 築地仁
Japanese, born 1947
Gelatin silver print

Perspective 101
Thursday, July 9, 8 p.m.

We will explore the way perspective works, as well as techniques to draw in “comfortable,” but not architecturally precise, perspective. We will look at one- and two-point perspective in-depth, but information on three-, four-, and five-point perspective will also be examined.

Photos by Barbara DiLorenzo used in the live drawing demonstration. Feel free to click on the images above and draw from them.

Click here to see the sped-up video of Barbara drawing from this artwork from the Princeton University Art Museum Collection.

"Marsh Marigolds"
1891
Ellen Robbins
American, 1828–1905
Watercolor

How Can I Control My Watercolors?
Sunday, July 5, 3 p.m.

Many artists who experiment with watercolor painting feel that the paint is unwieldy, flowing into already wet areas and creating a muddy mess. In this session we will explore the properties of the paint, and how to get watercolors to do what you want. Unlike other paints, watercolor is a bit playful and wants to engage and make its own mark, too. We will talk about ways to preplan elements of your painting so that when you place the paint on the paper it can flow freely and create spontaneous moments—but also leave other areas of your painting alone. 

Photo by Barbara DiLorenzo. This image is used in the live painting demonstration. Feel free to click on the image to use as a reference for your drawing and painting.

Click here to see the sped-up video of Barbara painting, inspired by "Marsh Marigolds" from the Princeton University Art Museum Collection.

"Coast View"
A ttributed to Claude Lorrain
French, 1600–1682
Black chalk and gray-brown wash

Composition
Thursday, July 2, 8 p.m.

Even the most detailed drawings will suffer if the composition is not well considered ahead of time. In this session, we will look at some of the underlying grids artists use as guides and practice making compositions that take a drawing from good to great.

Grid-Spiral
Grid-Triangle

Grid-Thirds
Grid-Spiral

Grid-Thirds
Grid-Spiral

Grid-Thirds
Grid-Spiral

Photos by Barbara DiLorenzo used in the live drawing demonstration. Feel free to click on the images above and draw from them.

Click here to see the sped-up video of Barbara drawing from this artwork from the Princeton University Art Museum Collection.

"Untitled (Flowers)"
2003
Paul P.
Canadian Born, 1977
Egg tempera and blue colored
Colored Pencil

Negative Space and Abstract Shapes
Thursday, June 25, 8 p.m.

In this session, we will practice looking at the spaces around a subject (negative space). Seeing shapes created between flower stems in a vase can be a helpful tool in drawing the subject, as well as creating more interesting moments in a drawing. We will also look at water in a vase, noticing all the abstract shapes that are created from light refracting and reflecting. Although they may seem complicated, glass and water are satisfying and surprisingly simple drawing subjects.

Photos by Barbara DiLorenzo used in the live drawing demonstration. Feel free to click on the images above and draw from them.

Click here to see the sped-up video of Barbara drawing from this artwork from the Princeton University Art Museum Collection.

"Friends"
1944
Elizabeth Catlett
American, 1915–2012
Egg tempera and blue colored
pencil on Masonite board

Mark-Making Variations
Thursday, June 18, 8 p.m.

Artists use a variety of mark-marking techniques, from smooth to expressive, sometimes altering the style to fit the subject. In addition, many artists use contour lines of varying thicknesses to show an object either projecting or retreating in space. We will explore these effects and practice using them.

Photos by Barbara DiLorenzo used in the live drawing demonstration. Feel free to click on the images above and draw from them.

Click here to see the sped-up video of Barbara drawing from this artwork from the Princeton University Art Museum Collection.

"In Mexico"
20th century
Margo Allen, British, born 1895
Black and orange pencil

Light, Values, and Shading
Thursday, June 11, 8 p.m.

In the second session, we will focus on learning the value scale and how to apply those light and dark tones to various shapes to create a three-dimensional effect. We will turn a circle into a sphere with shading, then look for places we can use that technique in representing elements from a still life.

Photos by Barbara DiLorenzo used in the live drawing demonstration. Feel free to click on the images above and draw from them.

Click here to see the sped-up video of Barbara drawing from this artwork from the Princeton University Art Museum Collection.

"View of Rome from the
French Academy"
1752-56 by Augustin Pajou
Black Chalk

Distilling Any Subject into Basic Shapes, Lines, and Angles
Thursday, June 4, 8 p.m.

In the first session, we will explore a very important skill that artists use whether seasoned or new to the process: finding basic shapes within complex scenes and subjects. We will also explore how to find correct angles and create a good gestural line as a foundation for a more detailed drawing.

Photos by Barbara DiLorenzo used in the live drawing demonstration. Feel free to click on the images above and draw from them.

Click here to see the sped-up video of Barbara drawing from this artwork from the Princeton University Art Museum Collection.