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