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EF Academy New York’s art bootcamp

As an extension of the IB Visual Art curriculum and the after school Art Portfolio Club, I, Ms. Jessica Eddis conducted an intensive art workshop during the morning of PSATs, when Seniors were free to participate in academic opportunities around campus. We have been having this intensive workshop for the past few years, and it has been an excellent occasion for students to have a large chunk of time to develop their technical art making skills and delve into both the form and concept of a project. 20 seniors who are applying to art schools and universities for the fall of 2018 were invited to attend.

After eating doughnuts and coffee, the students warmed up with quick gesture drawings of hands and feet in different poses. Then, we went over certain portfolio requirements and application deadlines to a multitude of art schools including Pratt Institute, Rhode Island School of Design and California Institute of Arts among many others. Following this application review, students were placed in one of three zones in the art classroom where they embarked on different projects, each using a different medium. The three zones were: drawing giant self-portraits in charcoal, oil painting a still life object, and carving linoleum for eventual printmaking. It was very exciting to see the students pushed outside their comfort zones as they embarked on the challenge of learning a new medium and skill set. I am very happy that I could give them a three-hour block of time to both improve their portfolio for their applications and give them a taste of the intensity of art school.

– Jessica Eddis, IB Art Teacher at EF Academy New York

We started to work in the art room at 8:30 in the morning, and I chose to use charcoal as the main medium. The first thing we did was to draw our hands from observation. During this exercise, we switched gestures after one minute to practice drawing a variety of angles and poses. After filling up one page of our hands, we started to draw our feet. It was challenging to sketch the structure of the bones and to add shadow and light on it, but this was a really helpful way to practice our drawing skills.

After that, we divided into three groups, which were printing, giant drawing, and oil painting. I was in the giant drawing group. Each person in my group got a huge piece of paper hanging on the wall and we used charcoal to draw self-portraits. This was my first time drawing myself on such a huge scale. I was holding a mirror, observing my face carefully and drawing all at the same time. The artworks we made that morning are really helpful for both the IB process portfolio and my portfolio for applying to art school.

– Yiwei Dai (Yarina), former student at EF Academy New York

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