Saturday, November 22, 2008

the beauty of lines

Life Drawing has been a great reminder to me of how much I enjoy drawing and the beauty of lines. A drawing that in a sense looks unfinished is the most beautiful to me because of the raw lines and active mark making. I am always amazed that when I walk around the room and look at others drawings of how a simple element such as line can look so different and unique for each person.

Monday, November 10, 2008

debating the relevance...

So I found myself in a debate with my advisor about the validity of life drawing. I am currently taking life drawing as part of my drawing concentration. Technically, one is suppose to take Drawing III twice to have a concentration in drawing, but in light of finding out about that bit of information too late, and wanting to take life drawing it all worked out to take life drawing and drawing III to fulfill my concentration. I was discussing this with my advisor and found myself in a debate over why life drawing would be beneficial to me as future art educator. In my program we are not required to take life drawing because it is something we would not teach in the schools. I found this reasoning shocking because that would void many other things I am learning here at Stout. This is especially unreasonable when every school has different funding and therefore can afford (or not afford) different classes. For example, the high school I attended was in a well funded area so I was able to take art metals, ceramics, graphic design, sculpture and all the "regular" art classes. Plus, in one of my drawing classes in high school we did do a form of life drawing, but with a clothed model. One of the students in the class would sit on the table while everyone gathered around and drew him or her for the class period. After informing my advisor this I was still shot down because "only a few schools have such extensive funding."
I proceed to say how I have learned so much more at this point in the semester in my life drawing class than I did in my drawing I and II classes. I am learning how doing art starts with the position and composure of the artists body. To have a drawing that is full of life, a person needs to place him or herself in a position that conveys life. Being in an uncomfortable position that does not use the full extend of a persons arm is not the way to portray life. It is also important to stand far enough a way from the paper to not only use the full extension of the arm, but to also have a clear line of vision of both the subject and the drawing.
I also emphasized my own desire to draw the human figure well for my future students. I know that art projects I did in High School incorporated drawing people. This is a skill I want to be able to not only do well, but know how to instruct my future students so they can also draw figures properly.
It may be a class focused on drawing the human figure, but I have been learning about proportion, line variation, utilizing the picture plane, proper posture, how to reflect, and how to really look and draw what is actually there.
After explaining and expressing my numerous reasons, our meeting time ended with the reconsideration of how life drawing can be valid for a future art educator.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Manikin once over...

Looking back over my manikin I think the strongest set of muscles I have built are the group of spinal erectors. I think they are the most successful with proper layering and proportional size. The area that needs the most work are the lower leg muscles. This group of muscles need the most work because I have not been able to discuss these muscles with my group members. I have noticed that I am able to better understand the layering and placement of the muscles when I am able to converse with my group members. In the third picture (going left to right) I think the muscles are correct with the layering and position, but the proportion needs improvement. It is hard to tell looking at the book, and looking at sources online how thick each muscle is suppose to be. The second and forth pictures show a good view of the glutes and I believe I was able to build a nice shape!

Blog Reflection

I found looking at Marc’s blog attention grabbing because of all the cartooning he does of things happening in the world. It is fun to see how he draws well-known people and over exaggerates certain features of their face.

I enjoy blogging because it creates the opportunity to share what I am doing not only with fellow classmates, but my friends and family not here at Stout. I also enjoy the aspect that it causes me to take a step back and reflect on what I am doing and learning in my class. At the same time, reflecting is the hardest part about blogging. It is difficult to put into words everything that I am learning. It takes a lot of time, thought and consideration to articulate so much information.

My commenting on my fellow classmates has not been as frequent as it should. I find it difficult, like with blogging to develop sophisticated comments. It is a skill that takes a lot of practice, which I need to be more diligent in doing. I also struggle with responding to comments made about my own blog. It is harder to develop a response when few questions are asked, but I can always express my opinion to what they have stated.

If I could give one blog assignment to the class I would have it be about what inspires them as artists, and what made them decide to be an artist in the first place. It is always interesting to find out where people “got their start” and how they keep the dream going.

At this point of the semester I think my blog is doing very well. My images are a great quality with non-distracting backgrounds, good contrast, and vibrant color. My writing quality can always use improvement, but I have been doing an acceptable job of expressing my thoughts. I believe my writing is acceptable in a professional manner. It is well organized, to the point, but still visually appealing.

My comments to the other students could use a greater improvement with its quality. I am working on not be so general or vague with my comments, but striving to say something that would be beneficial to my peers. This is something I need to work on because I am going to be an art educator. By dedicating more time to helping my other group members with their artwork will help me perfect helping my future students with their artwork.

I like creating my own blog postings that are not assigned because I find it easier and more enjoyable to simply sit down and write. Something that I would like to post a blog about that I have not done yet is how life drawing will improve me as an artist overall and not just with my figure drawing skills.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Best Gestures

Gesture Drawings #1 and #2

Gesture Drawings #3 and #4

Gesture Drawings #5 and #6

One area I find myself to be strong with is including the whole figure on the picture plane. I can use the space effectively without exceeding the boarders. In gesture drawing #3 and #5 are both exceptional examples of using anatomical landmarks. In drawing #3, it is easy to see the pelvis landmarks of the pubic bone, and top of the iliatic crest. The rib cage is also laid out well because of the understanding of the hour glass shaped formed with the bottom of the ribs and the top of the pelvis. In drawing #5, it clearly shows the sacrum triangle and glute outlines to create an understandable gesture drawing.
In all of the drawings except for drawing #6 the long axis lines are dominate. I particularly favor drawing #1 because it has no outlines, and minimal long axis lines, but the models position is still able to be comprehended. Drawing #1 also has good line variation. The lines in the head of the figure show a range in value by having a dark line on the right and lighter lines on the left. Drawing #6 also has a great range of line value. The lines in the front are the darkest and gradually get lighter as the figure moves deeper into the picture plane. Gesture drawing #5 has the greatest line variation overall of sharp, soft, long, short, fast, slow, etc. The vast variety of lines gives this gesture drawing a good sense of life.
Drawing #4 show good exaggeration of the models pose. The long spinal axis has a great big curve which helps show the viewer that the model was bending over and bracing herself on her knees. Drawing #2 also has a exaggerated spinal column to show how the model is leaning to her side.

Long Pose #3

The focus for this 30 minute drawing was working on foreshortening. I choose this drawing as one of my better longer posed drawings because of the success I had with the foreshortening. I feel that I did an excellent job of showing the model going back in space and still giving her correct proportions. This first drawing I did to practice foreshortening was inaccurate with the angle of the torso. I had exaggerated it too much causing the model to looking like she was on a very steep slope. I was able to use my mistake from the first drawing and apply what I learned about angles to this drawing. Using negative space, and taking my time to really look at the model before drawing helped me draw a more realistic figure. From an anatomical perspective I think I was able to draw a rib cage that has breath. The line variation and the position of the head and neck helps to put life into the drawn figure.

Long Pose #2

I found this drawing to be strong because of the line variation of value and thickness. I did a successful job of portraying a realistic figure because of how the line value creates a sense of depth. This drawing struggles more with proportion, which is seen in the left arm. When I go back and look at this drawing I notice more now how the left arm seems much to short for the size of the body. The best area of the drawing anatomically would be the pelvic area. I think I did a good job with getting the angle of the hips and shape of the glutes.

Long Pose #1

I found this long drawing to be successful for many different reasons. One of the first reasons is the accurate proportion of the drawing. I did a successful job especially in the abdominal area of making sure the width of the area is consistent. I also excelled with anatomy. The position of the rib cage and the distance between the body of the rib cage and the top of the iliatic crest is realistic. I also was able to incorporate the abdominal and oblique muscles. I feel I was successful with having a variety of line weight all throughout my drawing, but could have made the depth perception stronger by being more deliberate with the line values. I still need to work on making the lines that lie deeper in space lighter than the lines that are closest to me. What I find most interesting about this piece is the abdominal area. I worked hard at giving the figure a sense of life and making sure everything was in correct proportion.