Art: Art Camp Musings and Figure Drawing
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Thread: Art Camp Musings and Figure Drawing

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    Art Camp Musings and Figure Drawing

    I am currently a drawing and painting major, studying in Southern California. I would like to start posting stuff from class and workshops; the CA community seems very helpful in terms of comments and criticism. Here are some drawings from this past week. The poses are all between 10-20 minutes. I feel that I am starting to get the hang of shorter poses but anything under ten minutes is still inconsistent. I struggled a lot with mark making these past few weeks. I find myself spending too much time on the shadows (too dark, too much information)...Ultimately a mistake I keep repeating and having to correct. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Also, here is a link to my sketchbook thread: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...23#post2613823

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    Hey welcome, nice drawings! These are definitely a good start, especially for 10 minutes, but like you said you spend too much time on shadows instead of getting the form down first. I find myself doing the same thing sometimes. You should just try to remember, this is paraphrasing Mentler, someone who you should definitely check out, he has a sticky called the Book of Bones in this section, but understanding the form underneath is more important than rendering it. Now that may seem a bit odd, but if you think about it, its not. If you dont understand what it is that youre drawing then you wont really know where the proper place to place shadow is and why, even if youre drawing from life. Also, if you understand what youre drawing and what is underneath, you can begin to draw these things from imagination.

    One thing to help you with understanding the form underneath is Ecorche, not sure if you guys have a class on this, but im sure uve got an anatomy class. here are 2 sites with great images to learn the musculature of the body.

    http://www.posemaniacs.com/

    which also has tools for timed drawings
    and

    http://www.reybustos.com/04er/er.html

    happy drawing! post more!

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    Your line control/consistency and proportions are both looking very good.

    What are the time limits under 10 giving you problems? 2, 3, 5 min poses? If so, I recommend drawing smaller at first to give yourself some leeway on completing the drawing; honestly, at 2 or 3 min, I just concentrate more on gesture and work on defining some contours if I'm lucky.

    Instead of shading in areas during your time limit, I recommend only mapping out the shadow areas using the Reilly Method (see here for examples) and fill in shadow areas later on.

    Good work - looking forward to your future posts!

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    Application to Florence Academy of Art

    SweetPea: Thanks for the feedback and the links (good stuff). I totally agree with you. I took artistic anatomy last semester...It definitely helped my drawing, but I think understanding anatomy is an ongoing thing rather than something learned in 15 weeks.

    burning_chrome: I go to a weekend workshop that starts at 1-2 minute poses and usually increases to 5, 7 then 10. I think gestures are a general weakness of the Fine Art students at my school. My current figure drawing teacher learned with the Reilly Method and has us starting off class with 3 minutes poses. Everyone seems to have improved just within these first 2 weeks. I guess I always feel torn between getting down the whole gesture, or just indicating it and then picking out areas to emphasize in contour. Our Game Art and Animation students have pretty amazing short poses...They hold a gesture workshop on the weekend as well that ranges from 30 seconds to a few minutes.

    I got an acceptance email last night from the Florence Academy of Art. I will be doing the year long drawing intensive program starting this fall. Here is the portfolio I submitted. These are drawings were done over the course of Fall semester 2009. The first portrait was from photo and the rest from life.

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    Woman!

    Hello my dear!!!!

    So glad you're on CA. Welcome!!!!

    Post more stuff...... your work improves every day. Just don't stop. You're going to have so fun in Florence. Keep an eye out for me, I just might crash your class.

    H

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    I dont really see much problems in your shorter poses despite what you said. i dont think in ten mins you are supposed to capture any more than you have now. The gesture is more important in short poses and you have done well.

    The pieces you submitted to FAA are amazing !!.. The elbow in the third drawing looks abit weird but the other part of the drawings is awesome.

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    Weekend Workshops

    Thanks guys!
    I went to a long pose workshop Friday night and did this painting. I was happy to get that much down in 3 hours; I tend to get stuck in small spots or make decisions that don't necessarily further the progress of the painting.
    The drawings, in order, were 2's, 7's, 10's, and then 20 minutes each for the last two...... I was moving a lot slower today but was trying to really understand what was happening with the figure and how best to translate it. My spot was unfortunately back lit, so I didn't go into shadow shapes on most of the poses.

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    Michelle,

    Your quick sketches capture the gesture very well. You show admirable line control and an impressive ability to capture gradation in value in such a short time. And if Hope is your teacher, you are certainly in great hands. Please post more, and keep up the good work!

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    Still Life/ Portrait

    I did the first still life a few weeks ago in two sessions. I think I could have worked more on transitions, especially on the avocado. The second still life was done yesterday in class. With such simple objects, I always get a decent amount finished and have trouble moving on after the "Now what?" point. I especially feel this way with more laid back instructors. There are no defined expectations of the painting, so I'm the one calling the finish. For me it is always a battle of unfinished/ overdone.

    The portrait was done today in my intermediate/ advanced portraiture class. It is 18x24, charcoal on white paper. The class has been kind of frustrating thus far. I think it is my instructors first semester at my school, but much of his approach seems really outdated to me. He has more of a spiritual approach to drawing and painting (feeling out the essence of the lines, that kind of thing.) We were doing A LOT of blind contour drawings and quick gestures the first few weeks of school... really scribble-y gestures...I just feel like this: Look at the 30 second gesture of an animation or game art student. There are probably less than 15 really well thought out lines that allow you to understand exactly what the figure was doing. So all of the scribbling seems really impractical to me, especially when you are left with a tangled mess of lines that I've rarely seen amount to an understandable gesture or pose. I'm kind of digging the blind contour stuff; it is quite fun, and seems helpful in catching subtleties that your mind would reason with your to exclude in a drawing. I just feel like at this level, there will be nowhere to place those little lumps and bumps if you can't properly construct a head for them to rest upon.

    The studio for this class is the worst on campus. To get decent lighting, the teacher shuts off all of the overhead lights and illuminates our working area with the weaker spotlights. That leaves us students with something pretty close to candle light (I'm not exaggerating.) Apparently our school has acquired a new property (more studios for Fine Arts!), so hopefully the use of this room will no longer be necessary. I've been stressing about this class since day one. I just want to go in and draw portraits, and not worry about the lighting or if the teacher knows how to correct my drawing. When I looked at the portrait at home, the values were WAY lighter than they had appeared in class. I think I captured the likeness, but the structure still seems off.

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    Ugh the tp paintings were soo hard lol!
    I know what you mean about not having a set "goal" from the instructor, but I kind of like having less direction, in that it gives more of an opportunity to be experimental with my approach. It's weird but I sense your frustration in your latest portrait.. it just seems a bit weaker than the work I've seen you do. I hope that class gets better, I know first hand how disheartening it can be to have an instructor you don't jive with. Oh and btw studio 14 has the worst lighting!!

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    I really like how your TP turned out

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    Portrait Workshop

    I am currently taking a portrait workshop outside of school on Wednesday nights. We had a demo the first week, so last night was our first night of painting. I was pretty nervous because we tend to take things at a slow pace in many of my classes. Also, this was my first portrait from life using color; We had done a few in monochrome last semester. The class was three hours, and I was really happy to get this much done. I think my color is a bit saturated in some of the flesh areas and the lower part of the cheek is definitely lacking in transitions. Also, I may have cut the back of the head off a smidgen.

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    Hi Michelle,

    I believe we might actually be in the same portrait workshop...?

    You've done a good job with the portrait, by the way. You have nice, expressive brushstrokes which emphasize the forms and planes. That's something I need to work on... Looking forward to seeing your next studies!

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    The portrait looks great! The blue in the collar really does a lot for the flesh. I wish now I had thought to put that in. Yay for firsts!

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    Drawing on Toned Paper

    Thanks guys :-)
    Prufrock27: I think if you are going to put in bold colors like that of his shirt it has to be done in the beginning...Otherwise it may skew the rest of the colors you have down.
    Bkkm: I posted on your thread yesterday...Just saw the Zorn copy you put up. Good choice.

    Here is a day pose on toned paper. I keep hearing that the toned paper goes fast but I still feel awfully slow. I think the toned paper makes me too cautious (it is expensive for us students!) I'd like to try and be a little looser with my marks in the future. When the day was up, my teacher suggested I think about composition next time. It would have been stronger if the chair had a definite shape and if I had included another of the dark shapes on the other side of the page to balance things.

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    Really nice work Michelle! I don't have much to offer as your quite a bit more accomplished than I am already. You mentioned spending too much time with shadows - one thing I like is laying in with vine then using a half-stick of compressed to just broad-stroke them in. I think I have one recent example in my sketchbook. Just something to try maybe if you haven't before.

    Aren't animators a kick to draw with? They would prefer the model just move in slo-mo all the time!

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