Have sketch book, will travel

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

EAST ROCKINGHAM — Denise Pittman is an artist on the go.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Denise Pittman shows students the parts of an owl drawing she completed for which she does not particularly care.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Denise Pittman shows students the parts of an owl drawing she completed for which she does not particularly care.

With sketch book and drawing pencils in hand, the 55-year-old East Rockingham woman is willing to travel where ever necessary to teach aspiring artists the techniques needed to go from average to good, or from good to great.

Lucky for Pittman, though, there’s at least one day a week she doesn’t have to go far at all. On Wednesday, Pittman opened a series of Sketchy Art classes aimed at 7 to 11-year-olds (4 to 5 p.m.) and 12- to 18-year-olds (5 – 6 p.m.) at The Hive Recreation Center, a locally owned recreation facility right in East Rockingham.

The 4 p.m. session was nearly full this first Wednesday; the second class was comprised of only two students, but that allowed Pittman to offer more individual attention to each student. They seemed to take her instruction well.

The cost of each class is $6 per student, or $20 per month. Each student is required to bring a sketch book and buy from Pittman a set of drawing pencils, a combined investment of approximately $22. Armed with the tools and knowledge, pencil drawing is something she hopes her students “have a love to do this for the rest of your life.”

There are virtually no limitations to where an artist can sketch, she said. There is no significant amount of equipment to carry, no metal detectors the sketch book and pencils can’t get through.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

“I can do it where ever I want to,” Pittman said.

So, too, can her students. First, however, Pittman suggested they begin with a value scale to start learning the different shades of gray between light and dark. Depending on sun light and the position of each person, a view of a chair sitting in the sun, for example, can look quite different when considering the value scale. For each vantage point, there can appear to be different points of light and dark.

To be sure, being an artist is an individual event.

“You two are not to be comparing yourselves to each other,” Pittman said to her two middle school-aged students in the 5 p.m. class. Instead, she said, compare your work only to your previous work.

Feedback is good, too, at the right times and in the right doses.

“You want to get accolades from people but you also want to get critiques,” Pittman said.

The Hive Recreation Center, located at 107 Mill Road off U.S. Route 1 one block south of Highway Business 74, has both class and fitness areas and hosts a wide variety of courses of instruction, including Tae Kwon Do, genealogy, dancing, open gym and more. Owners William and Sarah Ferguson opened the facility in March.

 

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