Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Week Fourteen

Here we are, the final week! I feel like I’ve learned SO much this semester. I can’t believe it. I can really see an improvement in my drawings since the beginning. I think one of the most valuable things I’ve learned this semester is how to find planes on the body. Just because the body is organic and has many curves doesn’t mean you can’t find planes to help draw contour lines which then help give the body volume and depth. I really like that the class was broken down into body parts. I was glad we got to spend one week on the hands, and one week on the skull and so on. It would have been too overwhelming to attempt learning them all at once. I did struggle a little today to put all I had learned together when doing the whole body but all I need is a little more practice.
I’m also happy that we got to do the ink washes. Adding value to the shells was a learning experience. I had practiced value drawings so much in drawing 1 and 2 but it was so different this time. It was more organic and we had more freedom. I really like the effect and all the imperfections. It adds interest that more purposeful shading just can’t do. I feel like I got a lot out of this class. All the different tools were very helpful. I struggled the most with my manikin but even though it’s not great it was still a great learning tool. I feel like I learned more in this class than any science class I’ve ever taken! Probably because I’m a hands on learner and this class definitely incorporated that. I wish I was going to be here another semester to take life drawing 2 so I could continue my drawing skills!

To see more of my work see my final portfolio at http://www.flickr.com/photos/sbaskasblog/

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Week Thirteen

This past week was a busy one! In life drawing we practiced drawing the hands and skull. We also handed in our shell drawings.
I’ve always thought of hands as the hardest thing to draw EVER. Amy’s lecture helped a lot though. Learning how to trick the eye or slightly add drama to what you see makes a world of difference. I have attached my attempt at drawing a hand. It came out better than I thought but I have a long ways to go if I want to draw a hand that looks believable.
I really enjoyed drawing the skull. I was quite pleased with my drawings. I wish I had taken a photo of these to post but I did not. Maybe in my next post I can include an image. I usually struggle most with proportion but for some reason it clicked when I drew the skull. I specifically asked Amy about my proportion and while it wasn’t perfect, it was closer than I’ve ever been before. I found the cranium to be most challenging. Simple outlining it made it look flat but there wasn’t a whole lot of detail to add that would give it some volume. I tried my best but was struggling with that. I really enjoyed drawing the face of the skull, it was so interesting and angular.
As for my shell drawing, my classmate critique gave me some good tips. There were certain areas they really enjoyed, particularly where I had little to no ink wash. They wanted to see more shadows under the shell to ground it which I completely agreed with. I’m hoping my next shell drawing can maintain the good qualities my current shell drawing had while improving its flaws.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Week Twelve

I’m home sick today so I figured I’d make my blog post. On Tuesday we did no drawing but we did go over the last sets of muscles and got work time in class to do them. There are so many to do! It was overwhelming but after working on some in class they seemed to be going by somewhat fast. It seems so tedious but it does look cool when they’re all done and together. I have included a picture of my arm and hand muscles so far.
We also found out that we will not be doing a self portrait for our final project in this class which I am ecstatic about! I was so very relieved to hear that. This way I’ll be able to put more time and effort into my shell drawings with the ink wash. The examples we were shown in class look so cool and I hope both of mine come out looking the same. Things are frustratingly busy right now that it’s hard to concentrate on classes but only a few weeks left and I cannot wait to be done! I am anxious for the final day when we get to see everyone’s shell drawings. I am mostly interested to see the different colors people chose for their ink washes and examine how they affect the drawings. Some might have a completely different mood just because of the ink color that was chosen. For now I’ll keep trucking along on the muscles and my shell drawings. I might try to go to open figure drawing one night to practice drawing the portions of the body I’m missing out on today.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Week Eleven

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Being as we don’t have class today I will once again write about Tuesday’s class. We went on a field trip which was a nice break from the usual routine. We started off the day at the Walker Museum in Minneapolis. I drove by myself and arrived at the Walker only to find that the rest of the class was still waiting for the bus in Menomonie. I found a few other students who were also waiting for everyone else to arrive and we engaged in a nice chat till the others showed up. The thing that stood out the most at the Walker for me was the Yves Klein exhibit. I had heard of his work in other classes so I was excited to see what this blue color was all about. It was a very striking blue so I give him credit for that.
After the walker we went to the Bell Museum of Natural History on the U of M campus. I briefly walked around then found a moose to draw. Once I was burnt out on drawing I walked around a little more. I found it interesting that they preserve all these animals but at the same time it creeped me out. I never grew up around hunters or had to truly prepare my own meat so just thinking about how a taxidermist does their job everyday was weirding me out. I’m definitely a wuss when it comes to that stuff. It was also a different experience drawing an animal. I tried to start it the same way we would in class, I drew the spine and imagined what the rib cage might look like and the torso. My drawing was not very good though, I felt it looked like a cartoon. I’ll still to drawing people for now.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Week Ten

This past week was shortened to one day as Amy was gone on Tuesday. Thursday involved hardly any drawing which was nice to have a day off. Instead we started the day by doing a quick contour drawing of our shell which we would later try putting ink on. We spoke a long time about what these next two shell drawing would look like. The idea is that we will do a cross contour drawing of our shell, still putting in about 5 hours of just cross contours and observing closely. After that we will apply an ink wash to our shell. It will be a change from what we’ve been doing as far as atmospheric perspective goes. Up until now we have been drawing thicker, bolder lines where the shell is closes to us. However, when we apply ink wash we are to put the darkest areas when the shell has a depression or is farther away. It will be complete opposite but hopefully not too hard to pull off. The ink will inevitably wash away some of our lines but that is ok. We did a little practice with ink in class on Thursday and I’m glad we did. I started very light, adding only one drop of ink to my water and it did nothing but color the water. So I added a few more drop and still nothing was showing up on my paper. I started to layer the ink wash on my page and it started to faintly show up which was nice. I then added more and more ink to see how deep the color would go. I also tried my best to get a feel for how the water moves down the page which was tricky to keep it in the lines where I had intended but then again that is just part of the assignment. I am excited to give this a try and see how everyone’s comes out!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Week Nine

Class will only be held on Tuesday this week due to Midprogram review so what we did today was all there was to this week. We started off the class by putting up our shell drawings and getting into small groups to critique them. My group did not have  a whole lot to say although they did say that I had improved a lot since my last shell drawing which was nice to hear. They felt that my diagonal was especially better and I represented space better as well. This drawing did a better job of taking up the entire page and they also liked my line weights for the most part. After our critiques we learned about feet and then we practiced drawing them. I’ll get back to that in a moment but while we drew feet our professor went around and left notes of what she thought of our drawings. Amy really liked my use of space but she felt I could have added more cross contour lines which I agree with. She mentioned that the viewer should not have to guess what is going on in the drawing and I see exactly what she is talking about. The front of my shell gets a bit confusing as far as planes go.
Now back to drawing feet. I’ve always known drawing hands and feet are particularly difficult but once I got the hang of finding the planes I feel my drawings were more convincing. I still have a very long ways to go to make my feet look realistic rather than round cartoon drawings of feet. The human body always seems so soft and curvy but I find drawings to be more realistic when I purposely angle things or make them more blocky.
Here is my shell drawing:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Week Eight

For starters, I cannot believe it is already week eight. This semester is definitely picking up the pace. This past week we spent a lot of time doing gesture drawings and more long drawings. On Tuesday we were taught the structure of the knees and more of the leg. Therefore that is what we focused on drawing this week as well. On Thursday we spent a considerable amount of class time working on a long drawing where the model was at a level that allowed us to focus on the knees and legs. I have posted my drawing of that below. I have noticed a reoccurring problem with my proportions is that I tend to draw the torso too long. I managed to do that same thing once again today. That is why you can see where the legs were originally positioned until Amy came by and showed me where the tops of the thighs should rest on the page.

As homework this week we have been working on our next shell drawing. I have put in a few hours as of now and plan on doing a few more to put some finishing touches on it. I feel more confident in my shell drawing this time around in most ways although I am still struggling with a few things. One of the biggest things I have noticed is that I am better at taking my time when drawing. My lines are more delicate than they used to be because I am taking more time to observe the shell.