Wednesday, February 25, 2009


This week I felt that the word with the most meaning and connection with all the classes was the world Duality. Duality fits in with the culture that we are currently talking about on more than one level. One example of duality is the duality of heaven and earth, or the measure of man to heaven. Another duality that came up with the drastic difference in life styles between the rich and the poor. This duality was relevent in all of the cultures that we have studied so far, and is present in todays society as well. One example of the difference between the rich and the poor is the rich were able to donate money to build chapels on the cathedrals, in return for donating money to the church they were given indulgences, which according to the church meant the rich could buy their way into heaven. "The monasteries and church officials wielded great power for they were wealthy, had extensive land holdings and could build profusely."(Blakemore 69) It is obvious in the society after the fall of Rome that money meant power, another example of this is that after the fall of Rome "during the period of Charlemagne's Frankish Empire the basis was laid for the feudal system"(roth 303). The feudal system was a way to seperate the different social classes from the church and royal court to the barons and peasents. In a sence the feudal system of the middle ages is a precedent for the social class system that we use today being the difference between celebrities, white colar working class and blue colar working class and so on. The duality between heaven and earth can be seen in the architecture styles Roman and Gothic. The Roman dome with the oculus represents the universe and the oculus represents the heavens

In the Gothic style they took the form of the Greek orders as a precedent and stretched them as high as they could to reach towards the heavens. They took building upwards to a new extreme with the Amiens Cathedral. Not only did the medieval style use Greek orders as a precedent. "From the collapse of the Roman Empire to the end of the middle ages, two international styles of art had the greatest import for medieval western Europe: Romanesque and Gothic."(Blakemore 68).

Precedents have been used for architecture from one culture to the next, after the fall of the Roman Empire was not the first time. "Both form and inorante Roman design was based on greek prototypes"(blakemore 67) and the Greeks used Egyptian architecture as a prototype for theirs. within medieval middle ages architecture "innovations in European castle design were inspired in part by what the crusaders saw of the fortifications around Constantinople and also from what they learned of fortifications built by the muslims" (Roth 307)

We can relate duality to drawing as well as to social orders and architecture. In class we did a drawing of our bedrooms how we remembered them. The duality being drawing from life as aposed to drawing from memory. It was hard to get some of the details and proportions right as well as perspective. When drawing the room we had to think of a specific moment and draw how we remembered the room that morning. Its easy to get the basics of the room down because you are so familiar with a room like your bedroom but to capture the moment from memory was really hard.

We also drew moments when we went out to various buildings. We had to draw various rooms and we had to make sure to add a scale figure to give it a feeling of presence and not just an empty building. Adding the scale figures really captured the moment because there is action and you can see how the various rooms funtion.
Along with drawing thumbnails we were told to draw the building in more depth, by drawing the buildings bigger we were able to capture the moment even better. When drawing the buildings bigger we were suposd to pick an artists work as a precedent and mimic their drawing techniques in our own. It was important to feel the presence of the artist techniques with out completly changing our own techniques.

One way of trying to capture a moment was when we were asked as a warm up to draw the teacher assistants. We only had five minutes to capture what they were doing, or to capture the moment which made it really difficult to add any detail, because i was focusing more on trying to get the proportions down.

One way that the Amiens Cathedral captures a moment is by having this piece in the center of the cathedral. It represents the Architects that worked on it and the archbishop of the cathedral. This captures various moments, it represents the time that each of the three architects worked on the project and the work that they did. It also gives a sense of presence in that the octaganal plank that the architects and archbishop are represented on will always be there.

The architect that built the foundation of the Amiens Cathedral used a metric system to lay out the floor plan. The floor was made up Roman feet which are 29.5 cm each. It was made up of tiles, in a very geometic pattern. Geometric patterns line the floors.

Overall this week I was able to draw a lot of connections between the Prompt words, our classes, and the world around me. There are examples of duality all around us, capturing the moment has a duality between real life, and memory. Drawing people in the moment, or having representations of people in a space gives the space or drawing a presense. There is geomety and the metric system present whether we measure in what our idea of a foot is or a Roman foot. And there are precedents present in every thing we do, whether its exterior architecture or interior architecture, or drawing.

Dome Image found at

Amiens Cathedral image found at

Friday, February 20, 2009

Precedent Analysis


i chose to do the ryman auditorium because it is a building with a lot of history. It is the home of the famous grand ole opry, and still has many musical guests come play there. Its located in Nashville TN. The Ryman auditorium was the home for the Johnny Cash show. It was built by Thomas Ryman, a riverboat captain from Nashville

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


We have been been focusing on the idea of Archetypes, prototypes, and hybrids. This idea is present in the relationship between the different cultures that we have began to study, mainly the transition from Greek culture to Roman culture and their arts and architecture both exterior and interior. "While several races were prominent among the settling peoples of the Italian peninsula, two in particular were instrumental in shaping the arts of the Romans, the Etruscans and the Greeks."(Blakemore 45). The Romans started to use the Greek buildings as prototypes for their own buildings. They used the idea of the Greek Orders. The Greek orders are the type of columns that they used throughout their architecture, these include Tuscan, Doric, ionic, Corinthian and composite. 

The orders were used in one of the most famous Roman buildings, the Colosseum. The Colosseum was modeled after the theaters of Greece, however they created the the teared seats which made it a Amphitheater. This is considered to be a hybrid because they used the theater of Greece as a prototype and added onto it their own ideas. The Greek orders Corinthian, ionic, and Doric all decorate the outside of the Colosseum. The Romans focused a lot of their attention on surface decoration which is why they had three different orders on the outside of one building. "The Romans were expert in the manipulation of three dimensional space, this is noted particularly in public architecture" (Blakemore 51) like the Colosseum.
The Entourage of Roman arts and architecture was payed a great deal of attention. "The Roman temple, templum, based on Etruscan prototypes, was similar to the Greek Temple and was eventually embellished with Greek orders and architectural detail.(Roth 250). The Romans focused a lot of attention on interiors as well as exteriors. They used groin vaults and vaults to make the bathhouses which were then decorated with mosaic tiles. Every part of Roman architecture had a strong sense of design with a lot of inspiration from Greek architecture. Even the courtyards of homes were surrounded by Doric columns to give good aesthetics.
One of the most famous buildings in Roman culture is the Pantheon. "The Pantheon was the culmination of important experiments that had been pursued for over two centuries" (Roth 259) which would make it a hybrid building. The Pantheon was not a whole temple, but rather the front of a temple with a plain building behind the entrance. The Pantheon was a prototype for the famous dome shape in architecture. The dome represented the universe because the Romans had a lot of faith in their gods. They were a polytheistic culture like the Egyptians and the Greeks.
"The Romans not only used ideas for architecture from the Greeks, but they also used the Greek Gods as a source for their own Gods. "After contact with the Greeks, the Romans invested their civic, or state, gods with much of the character of the Olympian Gods, so that Jupiter became nearly the same as Zeus." (Roth 250)
The way that the Romans used the Greeks as a source for their Gods, and their Architecture relates to our drawing class, in that we were asked to find examples, or sources, of other artists scale figure drawings. We were then supposed to use the styles that we found to go out and try it on our own. Although I used different artists styles for inspiration my scale figures had their own style completely. It was just helpful to look at other examples to help get the proportions right. Also after being asked to do this, we were asked to find examples of different styles of buildings, both exteriors and interiors, and again even after looking at the different styles, i still came out with my own style combined with the examples that i found, which would make my drawings somewhat of a hybrid.

     Another way that we used sources was looking directly at something three dimensional rather than looking at a photograph. I found that drawing other peoples hands was a lot more challenging than drawing my own hand. Also drawing other peoples feet was difficult. The more detailed drawings of the hands are ones i did of my own hand, while the less detailed ones are ones I did of other people

     Much like drawing hands and feet from a three dimensional source we were asked to draw thumbnails of buildings from looking at them in 3D rather than from photographs. I found it really difficult to add enough details without zooming in too much, and also drawing a scale figure that small was challenging.

In class we were asked to make drawings and watercolors of different Entourage Vignettes. When painting these I tried to focus on the details of the surroundings of the people i was drawing.
Overall what we are learning about the Greek and Roman cultures, and the different aspects of architecture and art are all interrelated, weather it be my attention to detail in my drawings, or the Romans attention to detail in their wall coverings, and exterior arches and orders. The idea of Archetype, prototype, and hybrid fit into the relationship between Greek and Roman culture, and the relationship between one persons art and the next, as far as using sources to create something new.

Greek Orders image found at

Thumbnails of Foust

When doing the thumbnails i found it really hard to make a scale figure that looked like an actual person, so i focused more on the size of the figure rather than the detail in order for it to express the size of the space that the figure was in. Thumbnail drawings are actually a lot harder than i thought that they would be

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Compare:Contrast Opus

We have been focusing a lot on comparing and contrasting, we took a look at the difference between Khufu's, great pyramid at Giza, a pyramid built for a man, and Hatshepsut's temple of Karnak, a temple made for a women. Both were constructed in a giant scale, however one is a tomb and one is a temple. The tomb has no main entrance, while the temple has a giant entrance with a staircase ramp leading you to the entrance. Both of them show a sense of Unity, the pyramids because there are three large ones, and three small ones that are all the same shape. The temple has pillars that line the border, the even spacing between them give a sense of unity to the buildings exterior.

After going over Egypt, we moved on to Greek architecture. Greece was within traveling distance to ancient egypt which explains why there was a lot of influence from Egyptian architecture in Greece. Like the Egyptian mastaba "the private houses of the Greeks generally were small and unelaborated." (roth 226) The scale of the private housing to the more important public housing had a massive difference. "The largest Greek public buildings were open to the air and included theaters and stadia for athletic events." (roth 227). The most important building in Greece was the Parthenon. This was a temple that only the Deity's were aloud, common people were not aloud to worship in it. This is one of many examples of the hierarchical scale in Greece at that time, another example would be the fact that only rich citizen males were aloud to vote in their democracy. One way to compare and contrast Greek and Egyptian culture was "Egypt's greatest architectural remnants are buildings dedicated to funerary practices" (roth 188), and Greeks most important buildings were dedicated to worship. This is a similarities in that the only reason why the funerary purposes in Egypt were so important was their strong belief in the after life, and their belief in their Gods.

The architecture in Greece has a lot of qualities that many prehistoric sites have. The columns placed in the early megaron were along the outside of the building in straight lines spaced apart to be visually appealing, much like stone henge and Carnac. The columns are to re enforce the boundaries to the megaron, much like the stones at Carnac and stone henge were placed to represent the boundaries of the site.

In the construction of the large scale buildings such as theaters and stadia they did not have as tight of boundaries as the smaller buildings. "It was fortunate that the generally benign Greek climate made it possible to build theaters in the open for there was no predictable way to cover a building seating fourteen thousand people." (roth 229)

The Greeks had a main focus on making everything perfect, or ideal. They strived for perfection in the construction of all their buildings. "The aspects that have made the Parthenon so special from the time of its creation include the extraordinary precision of its construction and the subtleties and refinements used in its design."(Roth 237)"Each component block or column drum, each piece of narrative sculpture, was crafted to perfection in the best available materials(roth 242) when constructing the Parthenon. The Parthenon was also built in a large scale to make it stand out and look more impressive, "It measures roughly 101.5 by 228 feet and the order rises 45 feet to the top of the cornice." (roth 236)

We have been doing a lot of vignettes in class, and out of class. we had to go out to public places and draw people and the things that surround them. I found it very difficult to make the people look realistic, so my people are some what stylized. This reminds me of the stylized people from the paintings of Egypt, because they were not realistic, but they are shared the same style.

When we did our vignettes were talked about really trying to get the proportions right, one of the exercises that we had to do was draw 50 scale figures. This was difficult for me because i could not get the hands or faces to look right even after i saw the examples from the website.

Another thing that i found to be really hard was trying to draw someone sitting down in front of you. i could not get it to look realistic at all.

After talking about furniture in History, and how the stool was the most important piece of furniture in the Greek culture, we had to design and draw a stool, or chair of some sort. We had to do many different drawings including a section.

photo found at

Scale Pencil

Pats Chair

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Me and some of my friends always go to jimmy johns togethe when we get food. we decided to go to jimmy johns so i decided to draw. i found it really hard to add a lot of detail, but i was able to incorperate forshortening in the vignette.

I went to winston over the weekend and because it was so nice out we went for a walk arond town. We found a really awesome building that had been tagged all over it. This is my friend jason sitting on the front stoop of the house. The way i didnt add the face makes him look a lot older than he is, and i had no idea how hard it was going to be to add color to the graffiti and make it look realistic.
Me and some friends were all hanging out so i decided to draw my friend Steven. The way he was sitting made it really awkward to draw him, also it was really hard to draw the things around him because they dont really look like any sort of recognizable object

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Scale Human Figures


This week our words were illuminate, materials, idiom, and {commodity firmness and delight} We started using new techniques such as water color, and gesture drawings of people. The gesture drawings are a type of idiom in the sense that idiom can mean a distinct style or character in music or art according to another definition that was mentioned in class was a "a characteristic mode of expression in music or art.
The gesture drawings show a sense of style and characteristic because when some examples were shown in class after doing the exercise all of them looked different and showed personality. It was interesting to see that some people made them really small and some people drew the figures larger.
Not only have we begun to draw human figures, but we started using new materials, mainly water color. Last week we drew illuminated artifacts, which ties into this week because one of our prompts is illuminated, when i think of the word illuminated i think of light. In drawing class we got into small groups and talked about some of the vignettes we did. we picked a few that expressed good light and good composition. One of mine was chosen as a good representation of good light. We talked about leaving white on your paper which adds to the overall composition. When we had to do vignettes of our classmates wearing their artifact i left the color out of Wes's face and i like the way it turned out. Only having a lot of color on the hair makes it look more illuminated.

Experimenting with the new materials like water color, colored pencil, and markers to see what gives the best effect relates to the materials that were used in Egypt. The more they experimented with the materials the better the architecture became. The Egyptians made a lot of decorative paintings in the tombs and temples. One of the materials that they used as a base for the decorative paintings was plaster. They used the materials that they had available to them. "The annual deposits of alluvial sol in the Nile Valley provided substantial amounts of raw material for plaster. (Blakemore 8). They also used gypsum plaster and whitening plaster as bases for the decorative paintings. "Beyond plaster, wood and stone each served as a ground for painting. (Blakemore 8) Lime stone and sand stone were the most popular stones in ancient Egypt for building.

The famous pyramids at Giza were made out of sand stone. The pyramids are a good representation of Wotton's three criteria, commodity, firmness and delight. The delight in the pyramids comes from not only the exterior, but also the interior. The pyramids were made in a large scale, the exterior was made white and shiny and the tip of the pyramid was made of gold which glared in the sun, blinding anyone who would look at it. The inside of the pyramids were decorated and filled with riches. The reason for this is because the pyramids were used as tombs. Ancient Egypt's greatest architectural remnants are buildings dedicated to funerary practices (Roth 188) The interiors had decorative paintings, hieroglyphics, and furniture. The afterlife was more important than human life, so they sent the dead away with all the goods and riches they would need in the afterlife.

The commodity of the buildings also tied in the the religion. The Egyptians were very religious people. "In practice, Egyptian religion was polytheistic. Gods were associated with different towns or regions." (Blakemore 2) Because the Gods were so important to them they built massive buildings that reached up towards the heavens. In Mesopotamia the Ziggurat, which is the prototype for the Egyptian Pyramids, the most important part of the building was the top center, which was the closest to the heavens. The pyramids also had different functions that were built into them. Because they wanted to protect the dead they built booby traps into them so that any intruders would be stopped. The decorative hieroglyphics also had a part to play. They told important stories, and also are a good example of firmness.
Not only are the pyramids still standing thousands of years later, but the hieroglyphics are still readable. Because the Egyptians believed that you live in the afterlife for eternity they wanted their buildings and scriptures to stand the test of time, which they did.

Another good example of commodity, firmness and delight would be the Hypostyle Hall, "A roofed chamber filled with columns and lit by clerestory windows (Roth 206) The hall is made of massive columns that are decorated with hieroglyphics and paintings. The fact that it is still standing today shows how good the structural integrity is, which is amazing considering the lack of technology and tools when it was built.

Pyramid image
Hieroglyphics image

Monday, February 2, 2009

Plan View for Pats Chair


For my artifact i made glasses that had a flap to represent the essence of my story "the singing bone" the essence was the truth is always revealed in the end, and someone is always watching.