Monday, December 21, 2009

Life Drawing Course Summary

Life Drawing has revitalized my drawing abilities.  I came into this course a little rusty from having been out of school a couple years, but I quickly rediscovered the skills that I feared were long gone.  Now that the course is at its close I am being asked again to evaluate my strengths and weaknesses since midterm.  I’m also being asked to summarize what I have garnished from the curriculum, and how it will be used in the future.

As far as my weaknesses are concerned, I am aware that I, from time to time, place an excessive amount of lines on the paper.  The root of this is a feeling that the drawing isn’t going very well and that more lines can resolve the issue.  This action results in the person looking older than they actually are or at the very worst an unintelligible tangle of heavy marks.  I guard myself from this way of thinking now, and try to not be reactive.  Rather, I try to keep my mind a step ahead of my hand and impulsive line making in check.

Example of an unintelligible tangle

Example of a more restrained approach

My strength is mostly my fluid mark making.  There has been progress with proportions and muscle attachments but I’m not sure they are yet strengths of mine.  I have often been told that my fluid line quality is distinct.  I believe this to be true, and find it to be quite an enjoyable way to draw.  Lines that an artist puts down can be a documentation of his or her own body in time.   Pressure, speed and grace are all evident through line weight, length, orientation, and association with other lines.  It feels like dancing.  This approach not only breathes life into the drawn subject but also into the artist.

As I stated earlier, I believe I made progress in the areas of proportion and locations of muscle attachments.  This is probably the most important knowledge I could take from the course.  Also, the shape of the muscle bellies is another bit of knowledge that has benefited my drawings greatly.  A common theme in my artwork is family photographs.  Knowledge of bone, muscles, and typical plane changes will help me make a drawing from a photograph more life-like.  Regardless, the human figure appears in most of my work so I see figure drawing sessions as essential practice.

Portfolio since midtermz:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Faces are hard

Last week was great if you had a lot of homework in other classes, but bad if all you needed to do was draw faces better.  Im hoping Amy is still planning to actually lecture on the skull, since its the lectures from which I benifit most.  Josh's demo was helpful however, and my drawings improved slightly because of it.

 I am still making my subjects look like they're over the hill in my face drawings.  Part of the problem, I believe, is that I am adding as many cross-contours to the face details as I would any other area of the body that I draw.  Perhaps the facial recognition ability of the human mind is too strong for this approach.  There may be only 4 or 5 lines that are actually necessary to portray a face, and a maximum 4 lines if the face is young.  Its a simple game.  Lines on the face are either bone structure, openings in the skin, or wrinkles.  The lines of the former two are essentially universal with little variance, however the lines of the latter increase in abundance with age while placements vary with demeanor.

These two drawings were from the Thursday class that was sort of cancelled.  Linnea, Jon and I took turns posing and drawing for 20 minutes.  The faces that I drew are not attrocious in their own right.  However, they look nothing like Linnea or Jon.  I drew Jon's nose too long, and I drew Linnea much older.  Bummer.  I need to draw faces until I can get it right.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Practice is good, for lack of a witty phrase

Class was canceled this week, but I was able to supplement my drawing education by attending both open drawing sessions this week.  I have mixed feelings about my drawings as of late.  Im happy about how much I am able to tackle in a short amount of time, yet I am struggling with proportions all of the sudden.  I feel I have fallen a step backward and my drawings are starting to get away from me.  Im hoping that some instruction in class could straighten this out.  Here are three longish poses from the last several sessions.  I seem to have success with the legs but the chests need to become more dimensional.

20 Minutes

30 Minutes

30 Minutes

Sunday, November 29, 2009

funny looking drawing

When I drew this in open drawing last week, I was fairly pleased with it.  I was amused that the drawing was really skewed.  This may be because the right deltoid is huge while the left deltoid is absent.  The jaw is a little too far off center too.  Oh well, its only practice.  Im happy with the line pressure and the variation is thickness.  Also, I think I was able to get pretty detailed for a 45 minute pose.

45  Minutes

Monday, November 23, 2009

Its Done

I feel that this drawing is visually appealing and meets the requirements of the assignment.  I was not sure whether or not it was a finished drawing Sunday night.  The decision of when to stop has become difficult for me.  I was afraid of drowning a decent drawing in unnecessary lines.  Monday after work I felt some inspiration to forge ahead with final details.  Im glad I did.  The drawing isn't overloaded.  There is still space to let planes fall into the background, and allow the "knobs" to come out at the viewer.

Some comments made in critique were that I had interesting line quality, yet the bottom of the shell drawing seemed flat and confusing.  With this comment I agree.  I am dissappointed in that area of the drawing.  Once you draw it on this paper though, its written in stone... henge.  yeah, corny, I know.  Amy applauded my restraint in blacking out the background yet wished that I had placed the entire shell in the middle of the paper.  This idea wierds me out.  It seems to go against all my notions of composition.  An object floating in a blank space, in the middle of that blank space, is not something that excites me.  Since she's the teacher, I'll trust it and try for that composition if we draw these shells again.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Is it Done?

Heres my attempts so far at the huge shell drawing due Tuesday.  I first noticed a view of my shell that somewhat resembled a turkey.  Thinking this was amusing, I began my drawing with much enthusiasm and giddiness.  I even had a turkey portrait theme song thanks to my cold medicine.  Damn Robitussin.  It didn't turn out very well.  My turkey drawing was flat and boring, much more so than the song, much more.  The endevor needed a new course, so I ran to PenCo, traded my gold tooth for a new sheet of Stonehenge, and chose a new view of the shell.  This time there were no festive themes, less enthusiam/giddiness, and iTunes took care of the music.  Should have stuck with the winning combination in the first place.  The second drawing is faring much better.  Less lines and a less confusing view point.  However, I am struggling with part of the drawing experiece where you decided to stop drawing.  I seem to go too far and pile on lines until the contours are confusing and ugly.  Maybe this time I should err on the side of being almost finished.  Yet, I spent much less time on the second one.  So, is it done?

First Attempt

Second Attempt

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rollercoastering skills

Im a bit frustrated with a couple of my drawings this last week.  Every once in a while I would make a hidious tangle of clumsy lines which could not be called a drawing.  It seemed that I would just go into gestural fits/siezures whilst holding onto a stub of conte.  Cathartic perhaps, but ugly definitely.  Here's the evidence from my awesome evidence-taker.

This is a mess


Thankfully there were some highlights for the week.  I was able to make a couple nice drawings when I calmed down, focused on structure, slowed down, and reduced the number of lines I used.

10 Minutes

20 Minutes

1 Hour

Closer view of the former

75 Minutes

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Shell Drawing Numero Dos and Others

Progress has been made in my cross contour line drawings.  My figures are getting more spatial and proportionately accurate.  I find more and more cross contour lines in my regular in-class work.  To bring it a step further, I think I need to be not so heavy with my line work right away.  Having all those lines crossing one another can suffocate a drawing.

Specifically, my shell drawing turned out to be quite interesting.  My first attempt at the assignment had me in Como Park last Saturday.  It was gorgeous outside, yet cold enough where I had difficulty keeping my muscles warmed up.  I decided to hold off and wait until I could draw my shell in my warm house.  I'm glad I decided to quit at Como.  I was rushing through the compositional stages because I was afraid of getting too cold.  When I got home I could look at my new shell from all angles and thoughtfully compose my drawing.  Looking for human forms in the shell, I discovered an area that looked like a female torso.  The theme interested me, which is important when doing a long drawing.  The piece turned out well I believe.  It is very dimensional.  Below is said drawing, followed by in-class drawings from the last couple classes.

Shell Drawing #2, 2009, conte and charcoal on paper

In-Class Drawings Nov. 5th

Cross Contour, 1 hour

1 Hour

In-Class Drawings Nov. 10th

20 Minutes

20 Minutes

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Highlights from mid Oct. to early Nov.

Here are some of my highlights of the last month (mid. Oct. and late Nov.)  in Life Drawing I.  They are generally 5 minutes to 20 minutes in length.  I have labeled the ones where I remember the length.  I'll fill in the blanks soon.  I have tried to draw more of what I imagine to be the bone structure underneath what I see.  I hope that it will help me with proportions.  Im also trying to make my lines not so "jiggly", and a little more graceful.

5 Minutes

5 Minutes

Maybe 5 minutes

Maybe 5 Minutes maybe longer

This is actually from Sept.  I put it in here because it wasn't allowed for Mid-term review
aprox. 15 Minutes

Another Sept. drawing that wasn't allowed for Mid-term review
aprox. 15 Minutes

5 Minutes

5 Minutes

5 Minutes

20 Minutes

Maybe 5 Minutes

5 Minutes

5 Minutes

20 Minutes

10 minutes

1.5 hour

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Summary of knowledge gained and knowledge lacking.

Life Drawing One has been an exciting challenge as I re-enter school.  There has been fast progress as I learn the guidlines and appropriate them into methods of my own.  Yet, there seems to be a vast amount for me to learn.  We haven't even begun drawing the upper-body. 

The open-drawing sessions seem to have helped me in my progress, but these sessions are most benificial after a lecture on a specific body part/area.  The lectures give me the information and the tools to use in the drawing sessions to make a more accurate and dynamic drawing.  For instance I could have attended a dozen open drawing sessions at the begining of the semester, but without being taught how to build a drawing starting with the spine/ribs, I would still be making akward outline drawings.  Once I started establishing the body's structure in my gesture drawings, I felt like I had advanced at warp speed.  All of the sudden, I could more accurately communicate depth, weight, and volocity.

A major frustration for me has been the pelvis.  I think I have been struggling because I am not yet practiced enough at drawing the muscle attatchments and other landmarks of the pelvis.  I feel that I was doing better earlier in October when I was approaching the pelvis intuitively without instruction.  When I attempted to understand and draw the pelvis factually, everything was jarred.  It wasn't until I had a few pelvis drawing demos, and several open drawing sessions, that I finally began to portray the pelvis more accurately.  Maybe drawing from the Maniken could get me used to the muscle attatchments.  I hope to attend some more open-drawing sessions to synchronize knowledge and muscle memory.  That act is something that I love about art.

Check out my work so far

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thigh muscles for the Maniken

The thigh muscles are finally complete and I have photos to share.  I found this really sweet tripod to take photos which helps alot.  My pictures can be a little fuzzy still, but that has to do with the digital zoom more than anything.  These muscle groups took a long time to make.  I would average it out to be about 45 minutes per muscle.  Working with clay is pretty relaxing actually.  I don't mind it as much anymore.  Hopefully I appropriately named the last two views.  Please correct me Amy if I didn't.

Lateral View

Medial View

Posterior View

Posterior View

Anterior View



Saturday, October 10, 2009

In Class Drawings for Oct. 8th

I'm glad we were finally able to draw on Thursday.  It had been a while since the last drawing session in class, and due to Monday Night Football and a model failing to show up for open drawing on Tuesday, I wasn't sure if I became rusty or not.  I'm satisfied with my progress so far and I feel encouraged by these drawings I worked on in class.  No complacency allowed, though.  There are always areas to improve.  What follows are all of the drawings from last class period, begining with 30 sec. gestures.  I thought it would be cool to post the the progression of gesture drawings to longer drawings within one class period.  The focus of that class period was the spine plus the rib cage, which is where everything begins when it comes to life drawing.

30 Seconds

30 Seconds/1 Minute

1 Minute

1 Minute/3 Minutes

25 or 30 Minutes

25 Minutes

25 Minutes