Monday, December 20, 2010

The end of the semester!

It has been a long journey but here now writing this post, I feel like I really have accomplished a lot in this Life Drawing II class and just looking at the images above make me really feel good about what I was able to accomplish and how much my drawing skills have changed. Overall I really can see how this class has influenced my art in my other classes, especially pertaining to my painting III class which I'm now preparing for my senior show. I paint the figure a lot, and sometimes nude, and to be able to do that one has to understand bodily proportions fairly well to make the figure and space seem believable. By going through the skull and the skeleton so diligently, learning every bone (over Lifedrawing I and Lifedrawing II) I have been able to produce much better work.

The first drawing above is my skeleton drawing, in which we were supposed to pick a good angle and draw the skeleton in its entirety to get the proportions correct and learn more about the skeleton as a whole. I had to keep re drawing my skeleton smaller and smaller just so that it would fit on the page and the proportions would be accurate. I started out using a very light pencil, 4H, and gradually worked towards conte crayon for the darkest lines/ shadowed areas. My main focus on this piece was getting proportions accurate, with shading being the least important aspect in my eyes. I worked really hard on my cross contour lines in this drawing, making them very light but still visible up close, adding to the 3-d aspect of the drawing. I can definitely see an improvement in my cross contour lines over this semester and I'm happy that I was able to add them successfully in this drawing.

The other pieces I have displayed above are just additional ones I was proud of. I really enjoyed creating the portrait pieces, especially the one from the "unique angle" because they challenged me. I also really enjoyed the skulls from the different angles too because it helped me understand the skull as a form in space, a 3d object, moreso than just lines and shading that I saw in front of me. Only with understanding that was I able to create a believable skull laying on its side.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Critique on 3 finished portraits

We had our critique on Monday on our three portrait drawings. Although I had pretty much finished the portraits in class during the three hours a day we could spend on them, I did come to class about 30mns early to do some touch up details and view them all together next to each other on the wall.

Once we started the critique, some of the same comments came up over and over again. Some people had trouble with the hair, almost everyone had trouble with proportions of the features of the face at some point, and some parts of peoples’ drawings were flattened out with either a straight line, or no shading/suggestion of light and space. The drawings I liked the most were the ones that were unique, compositionally sound, and had a lot of movement in their marks. I felt that those drawings, even if some proportions were off, looked more like completed resolved art and were the most interesting to look at.

I think my critique went fairly well, and I think people could tell I was proud of these drawings. The one I had the hardest time on was the right drawing in the image above, because the angle was so strange! But to combat this, I used the box/cube technique and mapped out the shape and angle of the skull within this box before turning it into an actual face, which I think really helped me. However, because I was working on this one drawing for so long (this one took me the longest), I think out of the three it seems the least finished.

With all three of these drawings I started out with vine charcoal first to map everything out lightly, and then drew back in with conté crayon to up the contrast and dimensionality, and improve my line quality. Some of the things I heard in critique were: the delicacy of the lines in the hair was really nice, the sharp contrast looked good to create dimensionality, the forms seemed to be rendered accurately, the chin on the middle drawing seems a little disproportionate, and in the most right drawing the pillows behind the figure seem off/unfinished.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

being sick and drawing people

It’s always so nice to be sick and have to go to school. Haha. This year definitely goes on record for the most times I have been sick in a series of weeks. I’m finally off antibiotics for the first time in a month and half for the three bouts of Strep I had—THREE! (Don’t worry my parents bought me an air-purifier for my basement bedroom, which they think will solve the problem) But of course right after I got off my antibiotics my immune system was so down that I was immediately hit with this flu/cold thing that has been going around all of my roommates in my house. I was feeling so bad that I had to miss class on Wednesday and pretty much slept & took medicine all day long :( Its unfortunate that I had to miss class because we are still doing these portrait drawings and it is almost detrimental to miss class because these drawings have to take place in class and of classmates. It worries me because I don’t know how I’m going to be able to make up that drawing unless one of my classmates is willing to pose for 3 hours on another day of the week…

Our project is due this Wednesday, and I have one of the three portraits almost completed. On Monday last week I worked on my 3/4th front view of Missy, which was actually surprisingly a lot harder than I thought it would be. Above is how it turned out. At the end of class Amy showed me a few tips that will help me finish this piece, mostly having to do with the eyes and light and shadow. I think once I add those parts, this drawing will be done! I think the accuracy of proportions of the whole face is pretty good and it also doesn’t hurt that it actually kinda looks like her… !! :) I’m excited to pump out the last two drawings and see how everyone else’s turned out during critique on Wednesday!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Getting the Portraits assignment...

We officially received our next assignment this week- and this one is definitely why I chose to take Life Drawing II as my last Art Studio Selective. Because my artwork deals a lot with portraiture and capturing the likeness of a person, face and body, these drawings that we are assigned will be an obvious help in improving my accuracy in describing form. While the first half of the semester we worked mostly on rendering the skull and getting the proportions correct for that, now we can actually add hair and features and the shadowing of the skin. I think I'm really going to look forward to putting the whole skeleton together after this project, looking at the whole body's bone structure and finally being able to understand the skeleton from head to toe, and say that I can accurately draw a person from head to toe.

For this project we are given 4 separate days in class to draw the face from 3 different views, with the fourth day being one where we pose as the model. The 3 different views are from 3/4th back view, 3/4ths front view, and then a “unique” position where the face is at an awkward angle to challenge you. We talked about proportions of the neck and head and reviewed things we learned in Life Drawing I about eye spacing, nose and lips spacing, and plane of the face, to help us get back and comfortable into accurately drawing the figure. What is so different from this then when I paint the figure is that in my paintings I just focus on light and shadow and color as a way to describe the face. I really think these 4 drawings will influence my paintings I produce from now on greatly because without knowing it I think I will instinctively measure out things in my head for accuracy based on the principles I have learned in this class.

(Above are just 3 portrait pieces that I really like because of their overall composition/allure AND accuracy)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Skulls in Space

This past week we worked on really memorizing the form and shape of the skull. I thought I had been learning that all along since we had been drawing skulls, but was quickly brought to the realization that I don't know anything on Monday during class! We had a quick draw pre-test which basically meant we had to draw different views of the skull from memory. I failed miserably. Then we later corrected our drawings to help for our test that will be happening this Monday where we will do the same thing. I paid a lot more attention to the rises and falls of the skulls shape and the placement of certain parts of the skull, and I hope this will help me for the test.

Wednesday we started drawing skulls from other angles. At first I drew a skull that was titled on it's side, and it was probably the most horrible drawing I've done of a skull. The proportions were off and it was so bad I am not posting it on here. After we fended for ourselves for a little while on the angled skulls, Amy gave us some tips on how to correctly position the skull on our paper so that we could see the difference between what our drawings looked like, and how the skulls should actually feel in space. I used the box technique in the two above drawings to figure out the planes of the skull in space. I think it really helped me a lot because they now feel like they are in a distinctive place, in 3d, and my drawing and revisions of my drawing to make sure it was accurate give the drawings a sketchy quality. I really like my top drawing above with the two skulls because I think it has a good composition as well as accurate depiction of how the skulls feel in space.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

More Skulls and other things

Last week Wednesday we had four drawings due. These drawings were a step up from our first three skull drawings, really focusing on mark making, making the whole skull look like one living moving drawing, and also making it look like it was alive and 3-d in space. To help us focus more on the actual shape of the skull we omitted the whole face and just looked at the cranium itself, the shapes and grooves that made it up. I found these drawings extremely challenging but also very rewarding because it forced me to look at these at first simple circular skulls, and turn them into complex shapes and planes. Instead of just looking at the lines of the skull I tried to think of the skull in planes and small shapes that sort of fit together like a puzzle piece.

I think I was successful in some areas of my drawings and not as successful in others. I’m really proud of my back view of the skull because I think I was really able to capture the 3-dimensionality but still keep movement and complexity in my marks. Also, comparing it to my last back view skull drawing, I can see a definite improvement in my understanding of the shape of the skull.

During critique I asked people mostly about my cross contour line drawing of my skull because it was the one I was least happy with, and I know I struggle with cross contour. Some drawing I and drawing II classes learned how to do cross contour drawings early on. I, however, never learned how to do them in my classes, so therefore I’m completely new to the subject. Even in Life Drawing 1 I struggled a little bit with the shell and bone cross contour assignments. Some suggestions I got about this cross contour skull drawings was to try to vary the angles of my marks (not having them all stem from the top of the head) and make sure that they all connect with each other in a way that makes sense. Also I got a comment of never having a cross contour line go fully horizontal or fully vertical, which I thought was interesting. I think cross contour will always continue to be a struggle for me and I will just have to keep working at it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Three Finished Skulls

I really enjoyed this project a lot because it allowed me to get back to the basics of observation and drawing. Trusting the shape of the skull and my knowledge of the skull, and not necessarily what my brain was telling me what I saw, was definitely a challenging but worthwhile study. These three skulls here are a culmination of three different drawing sessions of about 3 hours a piece, where I set up a skull in front of me and drew from it. I tried not to focus too much on shading, but let my cross contour lines intersect in many places, especially ones in shadow, to give the illusion of depth. I think these three drawings are pretty successful, but of course there is always tons of room for improvement. I wish I didn’t darken certain areas as much, but with using conté crayon, once you darken you really can’t erase. I also wish I would have left more of my mistakes and process in this drawing to give my skulls more movement, because in critiques I noticed the stronger drawings left their mistakes in the drawings, where in mine, I have erased most of them out (or they are too light to notice clearly.)

My favorite out of the three drawings would have to be my side view. I think the proportions are really accurate and I threw a few cross contour lines in the drawing to emphasize the 3-d part of the skull, and I think I did this successfully! Cross contour has always been a difficult concept for me to grasp, so I was happy that I was able to some lines without flattening out my drawing. I also am happy with my back view because even though I struggled a little bit with it, in the end I didn’t give up and I think it does look pretty proportional.