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2016 September Art Dare


Draw a self-portrait from direct observation using charcoal.

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Prize Winners

Charcoal Portrait Drawing by Amelia Rozear

Amelia Rozear

Honorable Mention
charcoal on paper
24″ x 18″
“To try and convey a rather stressed out version of myself, I let myself go by making harsh marks and dark lines throughout the piece. My goal was to create a busy atmosphere that my face would be placed in, as if I felt very overwhelmed and anxious at the time when this was made.”
Charcoal Portrait Drawing by Michael Buesking

Michael Buesking

Fearless Experimentation Prize
charcoal & collage on paper
“As one of the year’s daily drawings, this self-portrait was an opportunity to loosen up a bit and allow for some chance occurrences from the collage medium. Especially important to the complexity of the image are the partially discernible figures in the pieces of black and white photocopy, taken from other artwork reproductions. Additionally, the torn edges alternately break up or reinforce edges of the portrait features. I created some tonal variations on white paper by applying black spray paint through scattered bits of shredded paper. Black charcoal over the drawing paper and the photocopy approximate the look of the gradations of the spray paint, while not being exactly the same. Charcoal provided a means to create descriptive passages, and also served to unify portions of the collaged paper that might otherwise have seemed too disjointed.”
Charcoal Portrait Drawing by Lucy Springall

Lucy Springall
United Kingdom

Star Student Prize
charcoal on paper
Charcoal Portrait Drawing by Jo Price

Jo Price
United Kingdom

Honorable Mention
charcoal on paper
23″ x 33″
“I made this self-portrait to practice drawing with charcoal and to experiment with different mark-making techniques. Working with this medium on a large scale allowed me to draw freely and quickly to make a bold, energetic image and to really explore the qualities of charcoal. I was able to create a variety of effects using line, smudging and erasing which gives the image texture, contrast and depth. However, more contrast on the face between light and shadow would add to the drama of the drawing as the subject has quite a serious expression on her face. (of concentration not grumpiness!) I really enjoyed the challenge of making the drawing and learnt a lot about how expressive charcoal can be; I plan to explore this further in future work.”
Charcoal Portrait Drawing by Cassie Cohen

Cassie Cohen

Honorable Mention
charcoal on paper
Charcoal Portrait Drawing by @bronwynne_art
Charcoal Portrait Drawing by @bronwynne_art


Massive Improvement Prize
charcoal on paper
“I decided to enter the September Art Dare because I wanted to do a self-portrait. I started with sketches. I chose one sketch and set up a mirror to help me draw my charcoal self-portrait. I sent Prof Lieu my first draft and got an abundance of feedback!  She talked about cropping, the background and lighting. Cropping made a huge difference. I also added something of interest to the background, in my case, the window in my studio.  The light and dark contrast was the most work.  Prof Lieu suggested I get better lighting. I took the shade off my lamp and moved the light closer to my face. Then I spent several hours intensely working to make the light and dark contrast until it was finished.  I posted it and then framed it so I wouldn’t fuss with it anymore!”
Charcoal Portrait Drawing by Caffrey Fielding

Caffrey Fielding

Tremendous Ambition Prize
charcoal on paper, 40″ x 49″
“This piece has truly been a reaction to the identity struggles that I have had during the year. I feel that my personality has become very split between people that I talk to, and I wanted to create a piece which represented this dramatic split in my mind. The idea behind the final drawing was not to directly represent the split, but to show the feeling and anxiety that comes along with them.”

Art Teacher's Prize

Carol Haggerty, Art Teacher
Millis High School

“As a veteran art teacher, I have instructed students in charcoal portrait drawing for years but really appreciated the way Prof Lieu pulled it all together as she demonstrated each step in her tutorial (however small) along the way. Especially helpful was the way all of the common beginner errors were mentioned, along with ways to avoid such pitfalls – a key feature for this mixed level high school art class. I played a few of the short tutorial videos a day, and then set the students off to work. Then I was able to circulate and offer informal critique and encouragement citing and reinforcing steps that we’d just watched. Just take a look at the results – amazing, right?

For our class video critique prize, it was very interesting to see which works of art my class chose to have critiqued. I made suggestions, but ultimately gave them the final decision. This was exciting beyond words and watching the critique as a class was such a gift!  Prof Lieu found a way to honor and celebrate each piece, and each individual student artist. Her commentary offered analysis and asked questions that urged deeper thought. Each student received concrete suggestions and ideas for moving their art forward. As their teacher, the amazing gift to me was the resource of learning to model my assessments after a highly skilled art professor.  We all learned so much and I will screen this critique with all of my studio classes going forward – so much of the information is relevant to all. My students and I are so appreciative of this opportunity!”

Selected Entries

Roshan Antia, Emily Patterson, Vanessa Landolt, Lana Gloschat

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