RISD Pre-College

Design Foundations / Drawing Majors

Urban Frottage

Summer 2019

In art, frottage (derived from the French word frotter, "to rub," refers to the automatic drawing method employed by surrealist artists such as Max Ernst.  Students place a sheet of thin paper on surfaces such as trees, picnic tables, benches, stone carvings, etc.  Our class embarked on the adventure in an urban park in Providence, RI.  Our lesson plan for the day included pattern and texture.  Getting out of the studio and into the environment engaged the students and activated their creativity in a public space.  Using the method of rubbing graphite and charcoal across reliefs of the urban setting resulted in immediate sketches, aleatoric in nature, that would then be used back in the studio for further development.