Instead of hatching a plot, hatch a pumpkin with the Benton!

Magdalena Pawlowski, a studio art graduate student at UConn demonstrates hatching. A free live drawing workshop on Zoom was held by The William Benton Museum of Art. Photo provided by author

The William Benton Museum of Art offered a free live drawing workshop on Zoom with Magdalena Pawlowski, a studio art graduate student at the University of Connecticut, on Thursday evening. 

The event began with a brief presentation by Pawlowski on the different types of hatching, an art technique used for shading that dates back hundreds of years. Pawlowksi said the origin of the method is unknown because sketches were often painted over. However, early sketches, such as those found in the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, suggest that hatching has been around at least since the 14th century. Hatching has been used to create sculptures and etchings, Pawlowski said. Etching is a type of printmaking that involves creating incisions or indents in a surface, filling the indents with ink and then wiping the surface clean.  

Pawlowski showed examples of artwork, including some works featured in the Benton, that demonstrate different methods of cross-hatching. She then listed a few different types of hatching, including cross-hatching, contour hatching, linear hatching, scribble hatching and patch hatching.  

“A few things to consider are line weight, the thickness of the line and light source,” said Pawlowski.  

Once the presentation was complete, Pawlowski began demonstrating the techniques she described in the live drawing workshop portion of the event, while a live question and answer session was open for the audience to ask her questions. The workshop consisted of sketching a still life drawing of two small pumpkins. The pumpkins were lit from above and placed on the table next to Pawlowski’s drawing pad.  

A lovely sketch of two pumpkins demonstrating shading techniques. The William Benton Museum of Art held a free live drawing workshop on Zoom on Thursday October 29th. Photo provided by author

Pawlowski began with what she referred to as an initial drawing, which she defined as “a quick gestural drawing done in pencil.” 

Pawlowksi talked the audience through her initial process of drawing, which included looking at the composition of the pumpkins and their placement in her drawing. 

“Don’t start thinking too much about this, just start putting in your marks,” she said to the audience. “You can always erase.” 

After the initial sketch, Pawlowski began to gradually flesh out the drawing and used some of the hatching techniques she spoke about earlier. She used contour hatching to create the illusion of shading along the edges of the pumpkin, along with cross-hatching to darken the shadows below the pumpkin. By the end of the event, Pawlowski had created a complete and detailed drawing of the two small pumpkins. 

The Benton is offering free Thursday evening events until Nov. 19. They are currently accepting suggestions for the next drawing workshop, which is planned to take place in December.  

The Benton is also offering a poetry and spoken word open mic on Zoom next Thursday at 6:00 p.m. in partnership with UConn’s Poetic Release and UConn Collaborative Organizing student clubs. Attendees will be required to register in advance and will have the option to either listen in, or submit poetry to to have their work read.  

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