This blog...

...was initially for pieces done on a computer, but has since become a free-for-all. Here you'll find process work (digital and otherwise), sketch pages and studies, sometimes with commentary.

You can see the rest of my work here.

Remember kids : if you can't make pretty designs, at least make pretty lines!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

lifedrawing log - 11.05.11

Yesterday I was privileged to attend a day-long Dr. Sketchy's lifedrawing function called "Nerdgasm" -- chosen because of the various "nerdy" costumes the models wore, and because all us "nerdy" artists were meant to cream ourselves as we drew.

We're talking "high brow" here.

Output (full res) :

Observations :

-Glenn Arthur is the most enthusiastic moderator of any lifedrawing function ever. He's also quite the draftsman. Go to the Anaheim chapter any 2nd or 4th Sunday and experience his charisma firsthand!

-The models got progressively inventive/attractive throughout the day, culminating with a girl who went by "Phoebe L'amour." Several of you who were there probably heard me gushing about her over-the-top "zingy"ness. It's ironic how so few lifedrawing models possess such liveliness. ((Side note : my favorite moment of the entire day was seeing her nibble the tip of a magic wand.)))

-The places I wanted to draw the model from were often the same places people needed to be walking back and forth between to reach the booze and/or bathroom.

-Lots of effort was made to *photograph* the models, less to actually draw them into pleasing pictures. The function needed to be documented for some upcoming magazine spread, so this made more sense than usual. Plus, most of the models were simply wearing more than could be drawn, even in the longer poses. I severly doubt the people painting in the 3 hour outdoor session were able to depict a fraction of the steampunk junk piled onto "Apoca-lips."

-btw, don't you love all these fake, Roller Derby-styled names? "Hi I'm Krystal. KRYSTAL X CHAOS."

-Amateurs go for the incidentals -- the "stuff" on the costumes, irrelevant shadows -- and forget they're supposed to be drawing a beautiful woman. The result is labored and dead. Makes me think of that line in Napoleon Dynamite "It took me like three hours to finish the shading on your upper lip. It's probably the best drawing I've ever done."

-Pros (or at least people who know how to make the best use of their time) go for gesture and get their girls looking cute right away. The result is direct and fresh. Look at Shane Glines, Otto Schmidt or Bill Presing. Their drawings are all hot, five lines in. There were a few people at this session who understood this, but most were FAR AWAY from this critical realization. You can argue with me all you want, but "beautiful" should really be the end goal.

-All that said, it wasn't supposed to be art school. It's the self-proclaimed "anti-art school" -- no rules, no pressure. Drink a beer, eat a brownie. I'm sure everyone got something beautiful out the experience, even if it was only a memory to "nerdgasm" to at a later time.


Anton said...

How come you still go to life drawing? Don't you know the ins and outs of the human form at this point? What do you glean from it?

Or is it just conveniently located/free?

Howard Shum said...

Interesting observations. You're stuff always looks good.

Paul Richards said...

Anton -- That's like asking "How come you still play with your genitals? Don't you know them pretty well by now?"

To answer more seriously, I still have a ton of preconceived notions about the figure, as well as a bad tendency to flatten it out and not obscure it with anything. Every session I try to notice trends, create effective shortcuts and form opinions that will carry over into my imaginative work. I want to be as real as possible with myself about what I'm seeing, and where my drawings fall short. The logs show me exactly where I'm at, what I'm still doing wrong, what I'm doing better, etc. In tandem with anatomy/animation books, lifedrawing is the most powerful learning tool I've come across -- not just for learning the body, but for planning composition and gaining a sense of deep space.

Further, it's awe inspiring to be in the presence of the model. The possibilities are endless. It never gets old. My dream is to wind up with someone who'll let me draw her in the comfort of our own home, but until then I make the weekly treks, $15 in hand, ready for some new secret to reveal itself through experimentation and observation.

The model helps, too.

Stacy LeFevre said...

Oooh you're observation about pros vs. amateurs has got me thinking. And I agree with you Paul, regardless of how many times you go to life drawing, there is always something new to learn and observe. :)

Paul Richards said...

I never regret either!