Their striking self-portraits have been taking shape on glass this term as International Baccalaureate Visual Art students learn techniques that upend traditional drawing and painting processes.
Indooroopilly State High School Year 11 students Zoe Pekerti and Magenta Ryder-Hoyte are among a group of IB artists who have been immersed in a time-consuming, three-step project that starts with a self-portrait using charcoal on white paper, from which a painting on glass is created, then repeated on black paper.
Visual Art teacher Noel Herberg said charcoal was a traditional drawing medium, but students were using it in a way that was more like painting.
“They’re applying the charcoal and working back into it with, with sandpaper, rather than using hatching or cross hatching, which are traditional ways of doing drawings,” Mr Herberg said.
“They apply and remove, apply and remove, until they get it right. It’s a good way to begin to get to get an understanding of what painting is about.
“Then we go one step further and we use a sheet of glass. Once again, they’re using a traditional medium – this time it’s oil paint – but they’re applying the details first, rather than the underpainting.
“They’re working backwards from the details, painting out the details as they go. So they really have to remain focused because there’s really no room for error.
“The next step is to do another painting, this time on black paper, rather than the white paper, and using tones of grey and white. So once again, they’re working on the highlights rather than the structure. They’re making the paint for it using a very old northern European Renaissance technique: grinding the pigment, mixing it with eggs, Damar resin, water and boiled linseed oil, and we’re adding lavender oil to preserve it.
“When you’re painting with egg oil tempera, you’re using drawing techniques because by its very nature you can’t scumble with it like you can with oils, so you have to hatch like you would with a drawing. It’s got an inner glow to it; it’s a beautiful technique.
“Hopefully, by the end of the three-stage process, they should develop an understanding of how to make an image and it becomes their own, too, because there’s no precedent to fall back on. There’s no tradition in learning this kind of stuff; it’s totally them.”
Year 12 IB Art students will hold their graduation exhibition on Sunday 29 September at Metro Arts Centre.
Indro Arts Festival
Indro Arts Festival, the showcase of Senior Arts student work, will be hosted at Metro Arts in the city on Wednesday 16 October, from 6.00pm. In the style of a carnival, the Indro Arts Festival is a cumulative representation of Dance, Drama, Music, Film and Visual Art works. Site specific Drama work, Film screenings, an Art exhibition, Music performances and Dance works will be presented over three levels of the building. Tickets are $5 per person through trybooking.com (https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=549884&), which will allow entry to all locations as well as the canapés available at the Visual Art exhibition.