Very brief album:
Some of the most insightful things I learned from Kim Jung Gi's lecture/demo. Honestly, I think it is sometimes difficult for masters to distill what actually makes them work in a way that is useful to amateurs, so the very useful tidbits were sparse, but for what it's worth, here's what I got from it:
- Perspective, perspective, perspective, perspective. He explained that the first few lines he draws set up the eye level and vanishing points, and that every single mark he makes thereafter is drawn in reference to those initial lines. For complex organic shapes like characters, he imagines boxes around them and ensure that those boxes have the correct perspective. His ability to draw lines that converge to vanishing points far off the page is absolutely insane. It's as if his pen is magnetized to an invisible perspective grid. He really hammered on this. Repeated it a hundred times.
- He's never formally studied perspective/measurements. Instead, he emphasizes an intuitive understanding of perspective based on observation and recall.
- When he was young and learning to draw, he would draw things that he was into obsessively from memory. If he wanted a bike, for example, he would observe bikes while he was out, then draw tons of bikes when he got home, rinse and repeat until he could actually draw bikes from memory. He really emphasized the drawing from recall thing. He did mention that he did some life drawing and learnt from that, but honestly, it really sounds like he's drawn from memory his entire life.
- When he was first learning to set up entire scenes in three dimensions, he did a lot of one point perspective drawings. This makes a lot of sense to me. Having the vanishing point on the page is like having training wheels. Eventually he got good enough to have the vanishing points off the page and still draw converging lines.
- Although he says he collects reference, he does not encourage drawing from it, but rather studying it for understanding and then drawing from recall. If he tried to draw something but couldn't, he would look up reference, study it, and then later be able to draw it. He never did master studies.
These are all interpreted through me, so take with a grain of salt.
My main takeaways:
- Drawing = perspective. Perspective isn't just something you occasionally use to draw buildings or whatever, it's the essence of drawing. Every single mark should be drawn in accordance to the eye level, the horizon line, the vanishing points, etc. I already knew this (from Loomis, Robertson, Mateu-Mestre, etc.), but always good to reiterate.
- Practice drawing from memory A LOT.
- Build an intuitive understanding of perspective through memory and observation. Start by building scenes in one point perspective and slowly build towards more complex perspectives. It's theoretically possible to draw believable perspective without lines or measuring, although maybe only if you're a prodigy like him?