18 January 2010

Figure Drawing - Fall 2009

A few recent figure drawings. The top drawing was done at home in 2 hours from a photo. The other drawings were from a life-drawing class taught by Erik Gist, also done in 2 hours. Aside from model vs. photo, the main difference was that at home I was able to step back from the easel and take a good hard look at the reference photo and the drawing. I caught drawing inaccuracies earlier, saving more time for the finish. It's hard to step away from a drawing when you have a limited time with a live model, but it may produce a better result. I'm going to give it a try next life drawing class.

I recently watched Morgan Weistling's newest instructional DVD called "Painting for the Impatient". One of the points made was how over-modeling can ruin the illusion of form in a painting (or drawing). Over-modeling here simply means using an excessive number of values, making the form look lumpy and distorted. After I mapped in the general shapes in the first drawing above, the image looked busy and unconvincing. I knocked down the value range with a light charcoal glazing over the entire figure, then went back in and picked out light areas selectively with a kneaded eraser. The effect was to unify the overall form. Something to try if your figure looks like a group of disconnected shapes, rather than a single unified form.

The photo reference for the first drawing came from a book called Art Models:Life Nude Photos for the Visual Arts 2, which comes with a CD containing high definition images of all the poses in the book. There are 4 books in the series. At the publisher's website you can also download a variety of individual poses. Much cheaper than hiring a model for a photo shoot.

Final note: The images above were drawn in 2 hours with a Conte Pierre Noire 1710 B charcoal pencil on 24 x 18 smooth newsprint. Erik worked up the torso areas on the 2nd and 4th drawings, and the model's foreshortened right arm/hand on the third drawing.

13 January 2010

John M. Mora at typos.daylight.fate

A quick note about a blog I follow and enjoy...typos.daylight.fate. Distinct from the type of art I post, but compatible. John M. Mora is a photographer who shoots candids with his BB around Manhattan. Aside from just being fun to look at, I find the abstract compositions in his photo library to be a rich source for ideas and inspiration. See a few of my favorites below (hope you don't mind, John). John also does photo montages or "quilts", and just posted one made by sampling my "Emma Zorn" master study. It's allowed me to see that image in a new way, and gives me some inkling of the appeal of artistic collaboration.

Look through the photos in some of his older posts...find some favorites.