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!


Saturday, June 30, 2012

lifedrawing log - 06.30.12

Today's pose was a long one, so I decided to return to an approach that made sense to me.  Since I had more time, and knew the pose was bound to shift between breaks, I made my first page a "cheat sheet." This not only helped me troubleshoot the major problems, but gave me something work from on later pages after the model had descended the stand.

Stuff that was important to me :
-her arms draped over the stool and the lean of her body to the left -- I knew these were things I'd need to exaggerate to sell her "at rest" quality, lest she appear too bolt-upright.
-the strong crease at her waist, and the corresponding stretch of her belly
-her hands hooked together  (Crazy difficult -- could have spent a whole session on this)
-Her hair (the darkest aspect) cascading down her chest seemed the least labor-intensive way to show the planes of her shoulders, sternum and breasts. Drawing it as it appeared (frayed and hanging straight down) would counteract the desired three dimensional look.
-The fact that I'd drawn her foot off the "portrait" twice told me I needed a "landscape" canvas orientation.

I applied these notes on my second page, but lost the 3D quality of the stool due to background darkening, and an eagerness to pop her body out against the drop cloth (because that's what I was seeing).  The darkness competes too much with the darkness around her head, which is meant to be the focal interest.

My third  drawing (the one I'm happiest with) pushes the left-leaning angularity, and uses her hair as a framing element for her head, which I tilted away to expose her neck.  I wanted this to say "pretty" rather than "drowsy."  I also took liberties with the shape of the drop cloth, using it to eliminate the edge of the model stand, which didn't serve my composition.

It was a poor choice, however, to place that stray hair on her breast.  Distracting.  Betrays form.  Even though something like that *was* happening, it's an example of how being faithful to what's there isn't always the best way to make a picture.

Now that I've called out a few of my own failings, here's where I see others going wrong :

-pencil-measuring proportions
My guess is that Seattle's atilier schools teach this.  While it may have some merit as an occasional fact-checker, using it to construct a figure rather than a gestural underpinning assures a dull, lifeless result.  Precise measuring is no substitute for thinking and feeling, at least where art is concerned!

-filling the page from top to bottom, condensing the body in order to fit it all in 
Congratulations.  You've just drawn Brick Woman.

-overstating creases by the nose, mouth and under the eyes
Their intent is to show likeness, but all they do is transform a pretty young girl into an old, ugly ape.


Sean Evans said...

Really awesome breakdown Paul. Keep pushing it man!

Sonya Wolfram said...

Seriously awesome workflow choice. You are the man.

Dave said...

Great to get an insight into another artists thought process. Really enjoyed reading your post.Thanks for sharing!