Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The End and The Beginning

Please feel free to check out my work from Life-Drawing 1 at my flicker account. (Link below)
                                     Click here to go to my flicker

Well this is it, my final blog post for the class. Let just try to get through this with out any tears. Over all I found this class to be incredibly insightful and a good step forward with my drawing skills. The semester has simply flown by but it has still given me a good amount of time to think about the strength and weaknesses in my drawings.
Well let’s start of positive, I feel that I am good at observing the form and realizing when I have things wrong, which leads to a lot of erasing. I also feel I have gotten pretty good at judging the size I need to draw to fill up the page effectively, reference my self-portrait on my flicker (link above). However with all good things are the bad. I feel I am slow at drawing, while that might not seem like a bad point necessarily it would think it is if you only have 2 hours to draw and if you were the model trying to hold still that long. I draw too lightly as well, this mean it is hard to photography my drawings and it is hard to see detail from a distance. Lets not forget about my issues with proportions, I need to work a lot more with scale, but I have come a long way.
            As for the manikin at first I thought it was just a side project to have something more to grade at the end of the class. Oh how naive I was, building all the muscles onto the plastic bones of the manikin has helped me learn how the body moves, I incorporated this subconsciously almost. With this knowledge I knew how to draw parts of the body and the whole body better so I know not to “break” any part of the body. I learned ways that the body can’t move which was greatly helpful in drawing.
            I feel that my drawings have improved greatly over the semester, and not just drawing human figures.  This is because life drawing isn’t just about moving ones hand across a page, it is also about training our eyes to see changes in the form and how to capture that in a two-dimensional representation. Since there was this training of the eye it will help me in future drawings to see what I need to address in terms of changes across forms and how to transfer them to paper.
            Finally I will use the skills and techniques that I have learned in life drawing in the future as I progress in my major at Stout and eventual profession. I know for one good example that I will be able to use life drawing extensively in modeling humans in 3-D programs, which I am planning on taking a class for next semester. Furthermore I will use these techniques with other art classes that I will have to take and how to layout 2-dimensional designs even by “faking” 3-dimentional spaces to add depth and interest.
            So where does this leave me? I feel that this class has helped me grow as an artist a will be something I continue to reference as I move forward in my time here at Stout and in life.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Long time running

            Well grab your box of Kleenex because this is the last normal blog post of the semester… I believe. Anyway this week was all about the long drawings. He only did a few gesture drawings this week, which felt a little weird, but was a great change of pace, at least for me. Personally I like longer drawings more, but that is because I am too slow at the gestures.            
            If my memory serves me right, on Monday we started to work on a longer drawing of the head. This took up the entire class period. It consisted of part of the shoulders and up. We all tried our best to get our proportions correct, which was rather difficult for me. In the end I felt it went rather well, but I can really see how slow I am compared to my classmates when I look at the amount the finished in the same time.
            On to Wednesday we did a few gestures and then continued the portrait drawing from Monday. Even after this additional time I still felt like I could have gone for longer on it… oh well time is restrictive. I cannot say how many times I erased and re-worked a section. I think it helped me see the figure in two-dimensional form though.
            Finally the last Friday of class came, and it was an interesting one. After a few weeks of focusing on different parts of the head we returned to the whole body. We started a full body pose that will take us into Monday. I felt rather annoyed with the angle I choose, I could have changed it but the part I was stuck on I worked on last, so I didn’t notice the difficulty until much later, oh well, it will get worked out. While this was happening Amy was pulling students over to take a final look at the clay manikin, sadly I didn’t get to go on Friday and so I have to wait till this Monday to get final feed back before pictures are taken for the final portfolio. Any way this week is going to be pretty hectic so I need to go prepare for the battle, I will probably have to post a final blog post about the entire class so look forward to that, other wise thanks for sticking through it all.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Facing The End

This week was the second week in a row with only four school days it in. Furthermore there is only one full week of class left in the semester. This is an exciting fact and also a rather nerve racking fact, because it means it is crunch time to try and get everything done before the school year ends.
            After our last week of drawing the skull, we started fresh on Wednesday, since we had Monday off this week, on drawing facial features. The features we focused on during Wednesday’s class were the eyes and nose. Both of these things are much more complicated to draw that I had ever anticipated. I mean I knew that drawing facial features wasn’t a walk in the park, but after Amy’s lecture about the eye I saw how true that really was. She showed us how to add depth to the eyes and told us about how they weren’t just simple circles. Overall it was rather fascinating, but slightly intimidating. After the lecture we broke up into groups of two or three to draw each other’s eyes and noses. Few things in the world make one more nervous when drawing as when they are drawing their friends and know that they will want to look at it afterwards.
            Thursday came and went and then it was already Friday. In class on Friday we learned about the ears and mouth. Again we sat down and listened eagerly to Amy’s lecture about each part respectfully, and yet again I was suppressed at the complexity of each part respectfully. After the lecture I felt like I had been drawing faces all wrong my entire life, which I probably had, oh well. We had another round of pairing up to draw each other, except this time instead of getting into pairs me and five of my friends decided to draw one of us. I volunteered to go first, and I have to admit I have a new respect for our life drawing models. I had to sit still for only thirty minutes but it felt like an eon when I couldn’t move during it. I got to for a while after that, which ended the week.  I am not sure how many blogs will be after this one, but keep checking in, but try not to be disappointed if there are only one or two, and thanks for reading.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Trying to get my head arround it

Well, everything is ramping up to a close now. We have just about three weeks of class left referencing from the beginning of the week only about two weeks as I am writing this. In terms of the semester in life drawing we have begun work on the skull, being the last thing to cover I believe. This week was a four-day week, so we only had life drawing twice instead of the usual three times.
            Starting off the week on Monday, we continued to work on hands. However, this time instead of just drawing the hand in a relaxed normal position, our model had her hands on a bowl. This added another level to drawing the hands, because now we were drawing them interacting with another object. It was tricky at first, and it is still kind of hard to draw the hands, but after some guidance from Amy I feel that the drawing turned out pretty well.
On Wednesday we were told that we would be working on the skull, but instead of her giving us the usual lecture about the part she told us to just try to draw it. We all set up our drawing horses and easels around fake skulls that were lying around the room. We just spent the entire two hours of class drawing. At first it was really hard and frustrating, but by the end I was having some fun with it. I am a significantly slower at drawing than most people, so while I could tell that some people were getting bored with their drawings or onto their second or third, like my friend, I was still meticulously trying to figure out how everything fit onto my first one. There are a lot of subtle plane changes with the skull, which makes drawing it rather tricky. It seems to require gentle shading, just like trying to draw a sphere.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Quite the handful

Well then, now that the fear of mid-program review is very much behind me I can now prepare for the nearing of the end of the semester. The main point of this week in life drawing was moving on to the hands. The hands are really hard to draw, in my personal opinion. There are so many tiny little things that they can do to change their position and how they appear to the artist.
            After the lecture on the hands that Amy gave us, we all started off on our quest to draw hands. We had two options, the first option was to draw a skeleton hand that she hand on hand… and the second option was to draw the models live hand. I figured I would work my way up by drawing the skeleton hand first before I got into the complexity of muscles and skin on top of the bone. Over all it was enjoyable to draw the skeleton hand, but I have to admit I went way too slowly, I don’t think I even got the full hand done by the time the class period was over. I was measuring every little angle and trying to figure out how the bones connect, and ultimately erasing the things I screwed up on over and over and over. Eventually something came out of it that I am fairly happy with though, so it wasn’t I didn’t totally fail.
            Pressing on, the next class period I took on the brave quest of drawing a real human hand. Today we had two models so there were four live hands to chose from. I picked one that I would be able to draw without getting in anyone’s way, since the room was in chaos with skeleton hands set up and then room for two live models to sit with both hands visible to as many people as possible. So I was jammed near the door, almost in the way for people to get out. It was a tight fit, but it didn’t inhibit my drawing very much. The live hand was hard to draw as well, though now I didn’t have the comfort of seeing the points where the bones connect and change direction as easily. On top of that the model had to take a break after a period of time, which we can’t blame them for. Still it made for and interesting week of drawing class.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Of success and busy arms

             I am sorry to keep all of my avid readers in suspense. The ramp up to mid-program review was intense, a lot of running back and forth and getting my nerves up. The review itself wasn’t too fun an experience, it was basically me in a room with three to four of my teachers looking at my work and not holding back on critique. The critique was heart pounding, as they told me what I really needed to work on and what they thought I should do from here on out. Even though I thought that I didn’t do to well in the review I passed. Though it didn’t feel like the victory I thought it would. I have a long way to go it seems before I am ready to impress anyone. But I digress, back to the art portion of this blog.
            The week went by in a haze of confusion and nerve-racking preparation, as I explained above. The gist of what we did in class was trying to fit everything we have learned so far into some gesture drawings; this is a rather difficult feat. I am to slow generally to even fit in the ribcage, pelvis, spine, all together, let alone the arms, legs, hands, and feet. So my arm was moving crazily as I tried to fit everything in as the timer counted down from thirty seconds. Although, I do feel that I have gotten a better grasp on how gesture drawings work since the beginning of the semester. Not only that, but I am starting to become faster as seeing the position the model is in and how that would translate to a two dimensional piece of paper. Not to say I am a master, as anyone could tell by my drawings, but to say that I have improved. It has been a bumpy ride, and I think it would have helped if we were able to slow down the weird, twisting gestures a little bit, but over all the class is helping.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Good by to a Goat, hello to a panic.

Monday started off well because it was a chiller day in life drawing. Those of us who didn’t finish our clay manikins over the weekend were allowed to work on them in class and those that did were able to draw. I was in the category that was working on my manikin. Excuse me while I divert for a moment. While Monday started off well it actually turned out to be one of the worst days of the week. The reason for this is I found out that I missed e-mail back in February telling me that I was up for Mid-Program Review and that I had only 2 weeks instead of 6 to prepare. I will get that worked out though I think so don’t worry too much, but back to art.
It finally happened, I had to destroy goatman’s goat face because I ran out of my red clay and I want to avoid switching colors as long as I can. I will probably put something else on its head, just for personality and personalization. In terms of drawing we are now working with the arms a bit and trying to cover as much ground as possible. I am still having some trouble getting the proportions right in my drawings. I think that my main problem is that I draw the ribcage first and then add everything else as a smaller scale so that the torso looks too big. I guess when I am moving fast I forget that the ribcage doesn’t go all the way down to the pelvis, and that there is a gap.
I will continue to work on that, I am sure though that I will get better in the last few weeks of drawing. I already feel that I have been improving so there is still hope. I guess that is all for the week; I will keep you updated as I finish go into Mid-Program Review. Wish me luck.