Sunday, April 21, 2013

Creating in the Style of Ryan Travis Christian

The Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh is presently holding an exhibition of artworks by Ryan Travis Christian, entitled " Well, Here We Aren't Again." Christian is a Chicago-area artist who enjoys working with graphite and ink. In his work you can view abstract elements, comic characters, and cartoon iconography.

The students viewed his work and loved his use of graphite and ink, as well his use of cartoons. We decided to create our own compositions using black sharpies. Students created stencils of their favorite cartoon character and found a way to incorporate the image in their design. We were also free to incorporate our favorite images from Christian's work.

This project gave us the opportunity to review the concept of Line. We discussed how a  straight line tends to make our eyes run along its length. In analyzing Christian's design, we saw how horizontal lines tend to be calmer and vertical lines tend to be more bouncy and alive. In Christian's Xs, diagonal lines can move in and out of the picture plane more than horizontal or vertical ones. In Christian's work we saw how lines can be real or implied, thin or thick, straight or jagged. 

This student used the charactr of SpongeBob and the X-Men logo in his composition
He incorporated images from Christian's works: We're coming to poke you in the eye,  Infinitely Unrealized Comic Potential, and Noisy Neighbor

Ryan Travis Christian, We're coming to poke you in the eye

Using rulers to create a checker board design. 

The student incorporated the logo and symbols from the cartoon character Ben 10
Some of the imagery is taken from Christian's works Handlers, Noisy Neighbor  and Infinitely Unrealized Comic Potential

Ryan Travis Christian, Infinitely Unrealized Comic Potential

Scooby-Doo and Jerry (Tom and Jerry) were the chosen cartoon characters for this composition
We can see elements from Christian's works Noisy Neighbor, We're coming to poke you in the eye and Infinitely Unrealized Potential

Ryan Travis Christian, Noisy Neighbor 

The angry bird image together with the image of Ferb from the animated comedy Phineas and Ferb 

Ryan Travis Christian, Handlers

SpongeBob, Jerry and Mickey Mouse together with the images found in Christian's work Handlers, We're coming to poke you in the eye, and Infinitely Unrealized Comic Potential

Tom from the cartoon Tom and Jerry and Scooby-Doo are sharing the composition with
targets and the poking eyes and the Xs from Christian's works.

Students incorporated successfully the scribbles found in some of Christian's works

Students were successful  in using a variety of lines to create interesting compositions


  1. Very wonderful art works in the Style of Ryan Travis Christian !!!
    Good morning and have a nice new week !!!

  2. This style is so 'different'. I think I may give it a try!
    Your students did some wonderful work....I don't think I have ever considered an implied line before!

  3. Lovely compositions full of fantasy, very interesting!