Saturday, December 11, 2010

Skin & Bones

So this week we started it off with a critique of independent study student work. It was a photographic series based on the injuries and allergies of one active young man! We also got a chance to discuss the details of our exhibition on Monday! The class has collectively decided on the name 'Skin & Bones' since we have both portraits and skeletons. Great name, I love it. I've been working on posters for this event (I've included 2 versions below). The first one was meant to give an older, life drawing 'masters' feel to it. I really like how it turned out and I think it's simple and to the point, but eye-catching. The second one is more contemporary, but I was just kind of messing around and having fun with type and imagery in Photoshop! As I said before in a previous post, this poster designing is always a welcomed obligation. It's also a nice break from the other reading homework that too often bores me. After posting both posters on facebook, searching for feedback, and talking to Amy, we've decided to print off the 'masters' one. I'm really pleased with that decision so look for us on December 17th from 4-9pm!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Life-Size Life Drawing

So the room is crazy! A little caotic. I'm also finding that this whole drawing, done well, will take a LOT longer than class time is going to provide. Ugh! Good thing I have gen eds this semester so I'm not as swamped with projects at the end here. I hope everyone else is coping well, balancing extra curriculars, other classes, and work on top of this massive drawing! Good luck.

We also began talking about a potential exhibition for our Life Drawing II class. We're thinking of hanging up the portraits and the life-size skeletons for people to look at while walking in and out of the applied arts for the Senior Shows on Friday, December 17th! I think that's such a great idea. Most often, all the drawings and hard work put into projects for classes goes relatively unnoticed or unrecognized in the end. And everyone loves a show! I've been a part of a few shows in my college career and had a blast doing each one!! It's so exciting to see your work professionally displayed for others to admire. I can't wait. I've offered to do the posters, but I think we'll just end up discussing this next week or another time in the future. We have a while and poster design is fun so it'll be a welcomed obligation. More updates to come on that!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Break Time

Not a whole lot to report this week since break took Wednesday from us and I was bed-ridden with a cold Monday. We did finish the critiques on the long portraits which I think turned out so well. I love seeing the different drawing styles of each individual. Now we've introduced the newest project that will take us until the end of the semester. As expected, Life Drawing II will render a full-scale drawing of the skeletal structure. WHAT?! This project is going to be crazy! We received drywall for everyone to mount their pictures on, cut that to size and mapped out the room for each person's drawing space. Having only one skeleton for the entire class of 20+ people to crowd around with massive boards ought to be quite interesting...

Break was great though and extremely relaxing! Get ready to draw!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Crit on long portraits & the longer one to come..

The most constructive concept I took from the Long Portrait Critique in Wednesday's class was the style and overall look of all the finished projects. Each one had it's own line quality, line width, and value to finish it off. I kept my portraits planar and sketchy, with little line variation. I most enjoyed the portraits with great dark to light contrast to enhance overall three-dimensionality (thanks Dan!) of the model on a two-dimensional piece of paper.

So now we proceed into the large-scale skeletal structure. With so much time spent on one drawing, I'm concerned most with becoming bored or uninterested in the subject matter. This will unmotivate me to continue. With that said, I have briefly researched other life drawing styles on Google--sorry it is too cold and wet out for me to venture to the library.

This first one is done by Stephan Perreault. I enjoy it because the silhouette of the actual form and body is clean and concise. I enjoy the shading of the background being dark and the highlights of the picture being colored in white charcoal. I think this one is most reminiscent of my style of work because of the simplified, slightly cartoonish-style; clean, soft lines and angles:

This next one is pretty interesting based on the simplification the artist is representing. There is enough value information to recognize a form, however the details have been lost seemingly to preserve anonymity of the individual models. The almost non-existent outline of the bodies still reveal a sense of the form. I enjoy the use of value in this one. The treatment may be similar to what I transfer on the painting we do in the coming weeks.

The shadows of this last one is perfect for the value I would like to include in my long-portraits. I love that soft, blurred style where the figure or object seems to be sitting in a shadow.

This last one I included simply because I LOVE pastels. I've worked with them for 9 years now and I can't get enough of them! I'm almost thinking now that my long-portrait will be one drawing instead of two, but the finishing touch will be to go over and redo the value with pastels to get a more realistic piece. What are your thoughts?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Long Portraits

So for two weeks now we’ve been working diligently on long portrait drawings. We will complete three all together, spending three hours on each of them. Originally I thought this would be overkill for a portrait, but honestly it was a lot of fun. The half hour breaks made things very manageable for the artist and the model. Plus, these past few weeks I did not hear complaints about drawing. Everyone seemed to enjoy the project. I loved the detail I was able to get while observing the model for such an extended period of time. Each half hour I tried to focus on a different landmark or feature of the face and neck. Since the views were mostly ¾ front or back, there seemed to be a definite silhouette line that I loved to begin with. That outside edge set up everything for me. It gave my face shape and even definition for recognition. If that line was proportional to the face I was drawing, most likely the whole drawing would be relatively proportional. I really enjoyed how the drawings turned out, although as an artist I feel my work is never done and can always be revised or improved. For now, I have decided not to dwell on the drawings for fear of ruining them. I'll post all three drawings next week after the critique, for now here's the latest portrait of my friend Brick:

Returning to my statement about the outside line actually giving recognition to the model in front of me, I think of the number one rule of graphic design: Simplify. In logo design the basic idea is to convey a message or embody a company’s theme with as little substance as possible. To take any object and simplify it to its most basic structure, while still preserving that message. I love this idea of defining a person by that outside silhouetted line. I think for next time I’ll discuss how the critique goes on Monday and then during the week so various experiments in attempt to capture individuals with as little detail and features as possible. I’ll post more later!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Self Portraits in a Nut Shell

I've recently been researching Max Beckmann, an "expressionist" painter of his own sense. He is one of the few artists who have numerous self portraits, next only to Pablo Picasso. Beckmann believed that "profound emotions were transmitted by the articulate composition of the human form", the self-portrait in particular. I find it odd to take this concept and mix it with the idea of an artist painting another artist. Are we putting our own emotions into the portrait of another? Can each portrait be truly representational of another if our own impressions are still present when we draw?

I enjoyed this specific self-portrait of Max Beckmann because the craft technique reminded me most of the charcoal drawings we are experiencing in class, however this was made with dry point. In particular, I enjoy the nose quality and definite plane change from the bridge of his nose to the vertical front of the forehead. I like the plane definition of the under-eye lid as well as the hatch-technique shading. Here's the piece titled Large Self-Portrait, 1919 Max Beckmann

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Long Portraits

This week we've started our long portraits, about 2-3 hours of drawing. Our groups' first model was Evan and I think it turned out great. Enjoy!