Alberto Russo

As my school year is getting ready to gear up, I was doing some writing and reflecting on what teaching during a pandemic, when students are learning at home and supplies are limited. I realized that as a teacher of artistic behavior (TAB for short – please see their website for information on what that means), I am uniquely positioned to teach art remotely.

The supplies artists use don’t matter. When it comes down to it, you can make art using just pencil, pen, charcoal from your fireplace, rocks from your garden or even clay and pigment found in nature. I resolved to share artists during the duration of our remote learning that are using simple materials like these, with amazing results.

Alberto Russo is the first of these artists. His work in pen (both black pen and one of those “select a color” pens) is absolutely stunning. Russo is an illustrator and drawing teacher living in Switzerland. Perusing his website is sure to provide plenty of inspiration for a budding young artist! Take a look at the work below and read the excerpt from his profile on his website, then check out the discussion questions at the end of the post. Enjoy!

All Images courtesy of Alberto Russo on Instagram or his Website

Here is Russo describing his background and how he came to art. Since his site is in Swedish, I thought I’d help my readers out by using Google Translate!

I am Alberto “Sting” Russo, illustrator and drawing teacher living in Lussery-Villars, Switzerland. I teach traditional techniques (pencil drawing, charcoal, colored pencils, ballpoint pen, acrylic paint) as well as digital painting (painting on computer using a graphics tablet and a stylus ).

I started drawing, like any child, very early on. From the start, this activity literally fascinated me. “Crunching” teachers’ faces in my notebooks was a common occurrence throughout my schooling. Then at the age of 16, the world of “graffiti” crossed my path and it clicked! From then on, the need to draw (on paper or on the wall) became vital. All my free time was devoted to it. I would draw “projects” for hours in my room that I would then paint with spray paint cans on the walls of my city: Lausanne. I signed these first murals under the pseudonym “Sting”. When I was 17, I sold my first acrylic paintings.

At 21, after a first training as a machine designer and a preparatory year in art school, I began training as a graphic designer in a communication agency. And there, second click: drawing on the computer! The switch from the wall to the screen seemed obvious to me. Following this training, I founded in 2000, at the age of 26, my own graphic design company: Area Design, focusing on the creation of visuals, mixing illustrations and typographic treatments. I had the chance to create album covers for Swiss artists such as Stress or Sens Unik and to count among my clients: Nike, Puma or Absolut.”

-Alberto Russo

Discussion for Kids

When sharing Russo’s work with children, I suggest using the following prompts to encourage kids to take simple mediums like pen and change their perspective on their usefulness in making art:

  • Use a pen and mimic the lines, dashes and other marks that Russo uses in one of his drawings. What do you think of this drawing technique?

  • Do you have colored pens in your home similar to what Russo uses? If so, experiment with layering colors! You need not make a recognizable drawing, just play around with this and have fun!

  • Russo shares that he sold his first paintings at age 17. Clearly he is talented, but consider also that he was constantly practicing his skills. What skills and techniques do you enjoy practicing this much?

  • Digital drawing is another technique that Russo uses often (these can be found here). Take a look at his portfolio and pick your favorite! What about the image caught your eyes?






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