03 September 2009

Figure Drawings - Summer 2009




It's a good idea to keep your drawing muscles in shape, even if your primary medium is paint. In painting classes, students who can draw seem to have a definite advantage over those who can't. Often when there's a problem with a painting, it can be traced back to the drawing. So as I transition into painting, I continue drawing classes to maintain and improve my skills. This term I'm taking 20-minute figure lay-ins and a figure drawing class taught by Jeff Watts. Jeff is a gifted artist and teacher. He's brutally honest, in a nice way, so you always know where you stand.

Jeff has made it clear I need to work on anatomy. Good figure drawing requires some understanding of it. To shore up my knowledge, I've started to study/copy drawings from Bridgman's Complete Guide to Drawing from Life. At the moment, I'm focused on legs. I figure I can "practice" legs now or I can spend time correcting poorly drawn legs later. I choose practice. A warning that some beginning students find Bridgman useless, but as your drawing skills improve you begin to understand what an incredible resource this book is for the serious figurative artist.

As my basic drawing skills improve, I find I can focus more on aesthetics, like using cross hatching to energize tonal shapes and edges. I tend to draw smooth tones into my shadows, which can be dull and static. The texture of cross-hatching, added on top of a smooth tone, is a huge improvement. It's most obvious here in the first and third images.

The images in today's post took approximately 2 hours each, drawn with a Conte 1710 B charcoal pencil on smooth 24 x 18 newsprint. Jeff worked on the elbow area of the top image and the knee area of the middle image.

10 comments:

  1. honesty is so important in art, great examples, expression and dialogue

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  2. Thanks, John. Your comments are so positive. There is probably someone out there who disagrees, but fortunately they don't post comments on blogs.

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  3. Candace, these drawing are spectacular. I particularly like the bearded man. Just excellent! My drawing skills are so rusty but seeing your examples encourages me to break out the pencils again.

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  4. Thanks, Gwen. Again, you are too kind.

    I think the image works in large part because of the model, Van. He's got a certain flair that makes the drawing much more interesting. Good models...so important.

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  5. Why do you say it is fortunate that anyone who disagrees with you doesn't post? Doesn't a little disagreement sharpen your vision and clarify your ideas?

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  6. Enkidu, Thanks for your thoughtful post. My focus was dishonest people, not those who disagree, but my meaning was lost by a poor choice of words. Your disagreement with my comment led to clarity.

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  7. wonderful figure studies. I think you are getting the hang of it quite nicely.

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  8. So correct, no matter how wonderful a painting drawing issues will stand out like a sore thumb. Great post and nice work, Candace.

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  9. Amazing work! I really enjoy seeing the color charts, too. Impressed by your dedication to study and palette explorations. Your figure work is beautiful.

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  10. Gary, Tina, and Liz. Thanks to all for visiting. Glad you've found something to pique your interest here. Appreciate the kind words. Best regards.

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