Drawing II enlarge objects that are “part of their everyday life”


Photo courtesy of Alexander Puz.

Students observing the art in the gallery, West Haven, March 9, 2023.

Creating a piece of art is something that takes much time and effort. The students in the Drawing II course understood just that and excelled when its 16 students created personal pieces that are now set in the Seton Gallery.
The “Something So Little Can be so Big for Us” gallery features artwork by all the students in the Drawing II course. The purpose of the pieces is for the artists to look at small objects that have meaning to said artists, then enlarge them on four-foot by six-foot craft paper by drawing their object of choice with black and white charcoal.
The show opened prior to spring break on March 7. The pamphlet handed out to viewers says, “The smudges, shadows, and linework in these drawings index a careful process of looking – an examination of the details, nuances and intricacies of something the artists interact with daily but may not always take the time to behold.”
Drawing II is a general education course run by the Department of Art and Design that non-art students can take. One student includes Alyssa Leon, a junior forensic psychology major, whose artwork is now up in the Seton Gallery in Dodds Hall.
Leon’s drawing was of a baby alligator that she saw on vacation recently. Leon said, “We were holding baby alligators and so I decided that was a special moment for me recently, and it was something small and it was cute, and I wanted to blow it up big.”
Leon took special care with her piece, as the hyper-detail on the alligator’s scales and eyes made the piece more realistic. This is especially true when looking at the shadows that the alligator cast onto the hand holding it. The replicated texture of the alligator makes you want to reach out and touch the drawing just to feel the faux scales.
Farrah Johnstone, a sophomore graphic design major, drew a mabkhara – an incense burner. Johnstone said, “It’s commonly used in the Middle East, and my mom gave it to me when I first came to college.”
Johnstone said the biggest challenge was figuring out where the project was going and how to increase the size of a small object. “I’ve never done something at that big of a scale,” said Johnstone. Johnstone figured to just “go with the flow” when drawing, which worked out as the piece was well done.
If you are unfamiliar with what a mabkhara looks like, you will be able to know it is a wooden object just by looking at the shading, which mimics a wooden shine. Despite the object in the drawing being dark, Johnstone made the holes and lines of the incense burner stand out.
Johnstone was amazed at how the small object could be accurately enlarged to be nearly several feet. The larger recreation of a sentimental gift made the small details of the object stand out more than before.
Ariana Zuniga, a first-year art major, made a large-scale drawing of their eyes. Zuniga said, “behind my eyes, I have my whole personality, and my eyes are very distinct.”
Zuniga took up the whole paper to draw not just her eyes, but also her nose and the curves of her face shape. Shading was a large part of what made the drawing special, along with the thin lines used to replicate Zuniga’s eyelashes and eyebrows. Those thin lines and shading collaborated in a phenomenal way when replicating Zuniga’s iris and pupils, which forced the viewer to get closer just to look in awe of the hyper-realistic picture.
Zuniga said that the most challenging part of creating the piece was transferring the picture and measurements to the drawing. The whole process took 12 hours for Zuniga, which was spread over two to three weeks of in-class time.
Despite the long process, Zuniga and others were proud of their work. Alexander Puz, a professor who instructs one of the Drawing II courses, expressed pride in the students’ work. Puz said, “I think they all really rose to the occasion and made some beautiful work.”
If you are interested in seeing the “Something So Little Can be so Big for Us” gallery, head over to the Seton Gallery by April 9.