The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Community members learn to draw from the masters

Editor’s note, Oct. 21, 1:15 p.m.: This story has been updated throughout.

Local artist and professor Ian O’Brien first learned how to draw from the book, How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way. Now he’s teaching SMU students and Dallasites how to sketch the paintings hanging on the walls of the Meadow’s Museum.

The museum offered it’s second Drawing from the Masters class of the fall, Sunday, Sept. 27. O’Brien led the class in drawing Gaspar de Grayer’s large oil painting, Equestrian Portrait of the Cardinal Infante, in the Virginia Meadows Galleries.

“I like to teach using shapes, and something that everybody knows how to do,” O’Brien said. “If you can take a complicated object that somebody might be intimidated to draw, and then they draw the shapes first, then they feel more confident.”

First-year Olivia McKnight's sketch of Gaspar de Grayer's Equestrian Portrait of the Cardinal Infante. Photo credit: India Pougher

O’Brien is an adjunct professor of art at Tarrant County College. He’s taught the Drawing from the Masters class for five years and finds that it not only acts as a fun Sunday afternoon activity, but also a driving force in the museum’s membership program.

‘Whatever your membership level is, for that year, every two weeks you get a drawing lesson with a college professor,” O’Brien said.

The class, which is offered every other Sunday, is free for SMU students, faculty and staff and materials are provided. Visitors can find a full list of upcoming dates on the Meadows website.

Sunday’s class included about 11 students from all ages and areas of the community. Couples, museum members, students and friends showed up to learn and practice drawing techniques for an hour and 30 minutes.

“A lot of people from the community come in and it gives them an opportunity to learn about the artwork in a different way, by doing something hands-on,” O’Brien said.

The instructor, Ian O'Brien, shows his sketch from Sunday's Drawing from the Masters class. Photo credit: India Pougher

He greatly appreciates the people who come to his classes, and has gotten to know many of them over the years.

“I’ve gotten to become friends with a lot of the students, the regulars I know by name, and it’s a real fun kind of lighthearted atmosphere,” O’Brien said.

SMU first-year Olivia McKnight took the class for the first time Sunday, as part of an assignment for her DISC 1312 class.

“When I first walked in I saw the painting and I sort of freaked out because I was like that looks really complicated, but then he was really good at breaking it down,” McKnight said.

She even suggested students take the class as a means of relaxation after a hectic week.

“I think it’s a really great way for you to just take a break, and
also just sort of see what you can do,” McKnight said. “No one knows
if they could be a great artist or not.”

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