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introduction to drawing

with sue blackshear

In this multi-day workshop participants work their way through various drawing techniques and exercises. Students will gain experience in blind and modified contour drawing, gesture drawing, elements and principles of composition, shading, self-portraits, and perspective. Each day, students will receive feedback from the instructor, as well as their peers. Our instructor believes that group feedback is important to a productive learning environment and improvement as artists. Students will work with a variety of drawing media, including pencil, charcoal, and pens. Students will need to supply their own materials.


This class is limited to ages 18+. The minimum for this course is 5, and the maximum is 9. If the class does not meet the minimum, participants will be refunded. Tickets are non-refundable once the registration deadline ends.

Please email Mary Bell, Program Director,  at with any questions. 

Kentuck workshops are non-refundable after the registration closes. If you would like to cancel before the deadline passes, please email or call 205-758-1257. If the class does not meet the minimum by the registration deadline and the workshop is cancelled, all participants will be refunded their registration fees.

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Dates: May 10, 17, 24, & 31, 2024

Time: 1-4 PM

Location: Kentuck Art Center's Georgine Clarke Building classroom

Tuition: $150 

Ages: 18+

Needed Supplies:

-Inexpensive 8”x10” drawing pad (newsprint)

-Pad of quality drawing paper (for example, Strathmore Bristol, 9”x12”, 20 sheets)

-Drawing Pencils: HB, 2H, 3H, B, 2B, 3B

-Kneaded Eraser

-12” Ruler

-Paper Towels

-Mirror for Self-Portrait

Optional Supplies:

-Micron Pens #01, 02, 03, 005

-Compressed Charcoal: black, white, and sanguine

-Pastel pencils

This workshop is made possible in part by grants from Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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meet the instructor

Sue Blackshear

"I was born in Tuscaloosa, grew up in Montgomery and New Orleans, lived in Germany, New York, Iowa and, more recently, California. Drawing and nature were my earliest passions. My subjects were generally people, animals, landscapes and architecture. My first art work to receive wide recognition was pencil portraits of my second grade classmates for a school wide exhibition. In college and graduate school I studied biology, German and then history, later returning to art and eventually concentrating on painting. My art and academic training were at Sophie Newcomb College and Tulane Graduate School in New Orleans (BA zoology, MA history, BFA ceramics); the Goethe Institute in Murnau, Germany (German language); Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany (1 year of medicine); University of Alabama Graduate School, Tuscaloosa (painting); and Maharishi International University, MIU, in Fairfield, Iowa (MA painting 2000.) I work mostly in oils but also watercolor, gouache, pencil, and pen and ink. My subjects continue to be landscapes, portraits, flowers and other natural things, although I also still enjoy architecture. I am intrigued, among other things, by water, reflections, distortions, and by extreme light and shadow. Some of my work, describing inner visions, is more abstract. The process of drawing or painting is a great source of joy for me. It’s a learning experience (my research). I translate what I see or feel into a language of paint or line. The process reveals truths to me and gives me energy and a feeling of fulfillment. In general my work celebrates my experience of the beauty and mystery of life. In recent years I’ve also done botanical illustrations for scientific journals as well as other nature-related book illustrations. Over the years my work has been in countless group and solo shows in museums, galleries and other venues, mostly in the Southeast and Iowa, but recently also in Italy and California. My paintings and drawings have received many awards and are found in collections throughout the United States and in Germany."

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