Sneak Peek: Adventures in Drawing


In spring 2018, we’re offering a new drawing class, Adventures in Drawing, for beginners and experienced artists alike. The class is a mix of creative exploration and technical training; students will draw from life and the imagination, both in the classroom and out in the wilds of Depot Park and around downtown Gainesville.  We caught up with Jessi Hamilton to find out more about Adventures in Drawing.

What kind of work will I produce in your class? By the end of the class, what will I have to show?

Students will create a frenzy of studies and sketches, as well as polished, finished drawings. We’ll draw indoor and outdoor scenes, the human figure, and an assortment of geometric and organic objects. We’ll sketch and doodling, explore texture and form, and draw from imagination. You’ll leave this class with 7 to 10 finished drawings, a bundle of sketches, and the knowledge, confidence and skills to render complex objects and spaces. We’ll also create a collaborative zine, with contributions from all members of the class.


How will we spend time in class?

We’ll work both in and out of the studio. In the studio we’ll draw and sketch life studies, look at other artists’ work, and have spirited group discussions and critiques. We’ll leave the studio to sketching in nearby Depot Park and around downtown Gainesville.



What’s an example of an assignment you might give?

Texture Scavenger Hunt: How many textures can we collect as a class? With a partner, traverse the local landscape in search for compelling surface textures. Find 5 objects—one of each characteristic—fuzzy, ruffled, slick, grainy, scaly. Draw your 5 objects, zoomed in, so the focus is texture. Take up an entire sketchbook page for each, letting the texture and form of object inform your mark-making choices..


How would you describe your teaching approach or style?

My teaching style is friendly, calm and conversational. Drawing is so rewarding, but it can be challenging, too! This is why I offer lots of one-on-one instruction and demonstrations. Through patient conversation, I guide the student to unravel their individual struggles with any drawing and gain confidence.


What’s your work or professional experience? What about that experience made you want to teach this class?

I’ve taught a variety of drawing and art-related at Santa Fe College and the University of Florida. And I’ve been part of SAW’s comics community, in workshops and summer sessions. I see ADVENTURES IN DRAWING as an extraordinary tool for both personal expression and also for rendering the kind of accurate, clear drawings that allow any comic narrative to sing. SAW’s comics community is a great place to learn these skills.


How many hours a week will I spend on this class— just the in-class time, or should I plan for extra time for homework?

You should plan to do lots of fast sketchbook drawings outside of class, but the brunt of the work will be done in class.


If I’m new to drawing and comics, can I still take this class?

You certainly can. ADVENTURES IN DRAWING places all skill levels on the same plane, from

beginner to advanced. There will be plenty of challenges for those seeking it, and

plenty of help and instruction for absolute-beginner students.


No, I mean REALLY can’t draw very well… I’m a total beginner. Can I still take this class?

Do not fret! You have to start somewhere. This is the right place!


If this class was a sandwich or a song or an animal, what sandwich/song/animal would it be?

Drawing sometimes feels like a long journey to the oasis, so this class is a camel. You’ll work hard, travel far, take risks, and face challenges on the way. This class--like the camel’s hump full of water-- equips you with the proper tools and knowledge to arrive at the leafy, luxurious reservoir, where drawing is fun and easy.

Sign up for both Sessions or just take 6 weeks:

Sessions I & II

Twelve classes starting February 1. 

Sliding Scale pricing options: $144.50, $255, and $365


Session I

Six Thursdays: 6:30 to 9 pm. February 1st, 8th, 15th, & 22nd; March 1 & 15.

Sliding Scale pricing options: $85, $150, and $214


Session II

Sliding Scale pricing options: $85, $150, and $214

Six Thursdays: 6:30 to 9pm. March 29th; April 5th, 12th, 19th, & 26th; May 3rd.