Drawing and Painting

Monday, January 29, 2018 - By: Grace L, Allard ‘19; Photo by Luis M, Privett '18

Drawing and Painting is no doubt one of the most popular art courses at Brentwood, for it is a course where art enthusiasts can spread their wings and polish their art skills, and athletes whose usual habitat is the field can spend a quiet hour splattering paint onto a white canvas in a quiet classroom, with the misty, tranquil panorama of the Pacific Ocean visible through the windows. 

This is a class that I always look forward to because through art I have learned to use parts of my brain that are often unexercised. As the students listen to Mrs Mannion’s playlist (Jack Johnson and Norah Jones are some of her clear favourites) we all scribble lines that are completely unlike thesis statements or complex calculations, but raw manifestations of our creative mind. It is always the perfect relief after a full morning of academics, a safe haven for us to unload all the stress from school and other practicalities in life. This is the very reason why drawing and painting is loved by both proud artists and clueless beginners and embraced by both girls and boys - nobody is worried about meeting criterias or reaching a certain grade on a project. Brendan G, Rogers ‘18 describes the class as a “relaxing and peaceful community”, and Nasha F, Allard ‘20 thinks drawing and painting is “A place where her creativity comes to life”. Every stroke of colour is equally celebrated. 

During the first term, we eased into the course by drawing with pencils and charcoal. We learned how to draw animals and shoes, which later became part of an exhibition themed Journey. There is no feeling quite like the sensation of walking in the Arts Building and seeing your own work on display. In November, we started a unit with coloured chalk, and each of us was encouraged to draw a reproduction of a famous work by Van Gogh. 

Currently, we are exploring the wonders of water colour. Each class begins with the quiet chattering of students about the long days they have had, which gradually turns to creative silence as we all are absorbed into the the sunsets, green hills and indigo waves of the ocean that we are amazed to find ourselves creating. With Mrs Mannion demonstrating each step with clear instructions paired with her soothing music, most of us have grown comfortable expressing ourselves in the form of abstract art, which at one point seemed intimidating but now unfolds beneath the very paint brush we hold. 

Grace L, Allard ‘19

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