Saturday, December 18, 2010
This week we finished the skeleton drawings and prepared for our show "Skin and Bones: A Life Drawing II Exhibition." I attended the opening of the show, which was a little slow due to the senior show exhibitions, but the skeletons and the portraits looked great as a class. We were able to make the room look quite presentable as a gallery space. The food was good and it always feels nice to exhibit work that's had long hours put into it with positive results. It takes a little bit of extra work, but it's worth it.
I am very proud of my skeleton drawing. I enjoy the energy it has with evidence of my process. I think it shows my progression this semester in being able to break away from my traditional techniques and explore figure drawing through a more expressive approach. Most of my drawings are very tight and clean. I was determined to keep it as an expressive structural line drawing since my ability to over render is evident in the rest of my work during the semester. I think I was successful in capturing the posture of the skeleton and I have a much better understanding of the bones as structural forms. My focus was to get away from drawing what I see and adding a little bit of what I know of the form to the actual drawing. Drawing the planes of the bones definitely made for a much more successful and coherent skeleton. The incorporation of contour lines also greatly benefited my overall drawing. Looking back to my portraits, I wish I would have depended less on shading the form and more on the linework. I think my initial skull drawings are my favorite pieces from the semester. They showcase my understanding of the form through line and little shading. It is interesting that I enjoy the pieces from the beginning of the semester, which are usually much less successful than the work from the end of the semester. I think I was able to obtain a sort of aliveness and freshness in the skulls that I wasn't able to show in the portraits and the skeleton. This could be due to my schedule with three studio classes and an overwhelming amount of projects that wore me out as the semester progressed. Overall I enjoyed life drawing II as a kind of academic break in the rest of my studios and I am happy with the work I have created and the things I've learned. I plan on taking Life Drawing II again next semester as an independent study that will hopefully enhance the work I am creating for my senior show. One more semester, a senior show, and graduation! How time flies!
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Unfortunately I was only able to work on the skeleton once this week. On Monday I worked on the femur and completed it at the end of class, only to notice that it was a little too short. This drawing is quite frustrating. Wednesday I was feeling under the weather and chose to rest up, pump vitamin C, and keep myself from getting anyone sick before finals. Fortunately, I feel better and plan to work diligently on my skeleton over the weekend. I have requested off work to allow myself plenty of time in the classroom one on one with the skeleton. I have two final projects due on Tuesday so I am thankful that I will have class time on Monday and Wednesday to work as well. Ah the beauty of finals week...
This week we began our large scale skeleton drawings. On Monday I taped two pencils together for extra reaching ability, and I began to sketch the general form. It was quite difficult to get each area of the body proportional while trying to develop a successful composition as well. On Wednesday I continued to map out the general form and by the end of the class I began to refine the bones. I found myself being too confident in my mark making. I make a dark line and am forced to erase it shortly after. I think I need to be more tentative with the complexity of the skeleton form. I am happy with the way the drawing is turning out thus far. Amy visited my drawing at the end of class and we decided that the rib cage is too short and the skull needs to be higher...more erasing! I hope it shows the process in the final drawing, but at the moment, it's looking a little messy.
This week we reviewed the skeleton and prepared our drawing boards and paper for the large scale drawings. I was absent on Monday, but I went back to my sketches from Life Drawing I and reviewed the basics. It was useful to look back on my notes since my memory was a little fuzzy after drawing skulls and the face for so long. On Wednesday Amy and Evan took a trip to fleet farm to buy the drawing boards. After carrying them in, I trimmed my board to 6ft and cut my paper to fit accordingly. I am a little intimidated by the large drawing. I feel like it is looming at me and I'm not sure how to go about drawing at the top. This is the first time I will be working this large and I hope it will be successful. I enjoy the "looming" aspect that a large scale work naturally gives off. I think it will be a challenge but I look forward to working on it next class.
Monday, November 29, 2010
This week we critiqued our final portrait drawings. My drawings were talked about near the end of class so feedback wasn't as abundant as those discussed in the beginning. The class enjoyed my use of charcoal and the likeness of my portraits. My suggestions for improving the portraits were easy fixes. My value transitions could have been smoother and less dark in some areas like under the chin on the neck.
For the most part, I am happy with the outcome of my drawings. The most interesting and difficult drawing was my non-traditional view. My boyfriend posed as my model, which I found quite difficult to draw. It was much more challenging to draw someone I am close to and see everyday. I found myself more focused on making the portrait look like him as opposed to paying attention to the structure of the face. I enjoy my treatment of the hair in all of my drawings. I chose to leave it mostly unfinished to keep it from taking away from the face. I also enjoyed returning to vine charcoal to add value. I have exclusively worked with pencil and conte for the entire semester. Diving into the value drawing with my fingers and the charcoal was refreshing. Overall, I would like to go back and tweak the drawings with my feedback from the critique. I am pleased with my improvement from life drawing I, but they will hopefully improve more after I revisit them.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
This week we continued to work on the in-class portrait drawings. We were given the week to finish the three drawings and revisit some of the models. I posed for the unusual view on Monday since I did that drawing outside of class due to my time absent on the field trip. I posed for the full three hours, which was once again very uncomfortable, but beneficial to my classmates nonetheless. On Wednesday I drew the back 3/4 view of Lauren. She was a bit of a sleepy model so the drawing was a little more difficult, but I'm sure she has her hands full as a new mom and I can't blame her for nodding off! I feel like the drawing process went much faster in this view being so familiar with the form from the skull drawings. I put emphasis on the ear and left her hair with no shading to show some of the process. Overall, I am happy with the outcome of my portraits and I look forward to getting feedback on Monday!
Sunday, November 7, 2010
This week we continued to work on the portrait drawings. I posed as the model on Monday, which was nothing short of a bad neck ache. I missed class on Wednesday due to an all day field trip with my aesthetics class. We visited MCAD, the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, and the Walker Art Center. This was my third time taking this field trip and it was once again, a very pleasurable experience. It was a non-managed field trip and it was refreshing to connect with the work without having to do some sort of assignment. This was my favorite visit to the Walker. The Yves Klein show was an array of his International Klein Blue pieces, but I enjoyed his fire paintings the most. I was mesmerized by the living installation Naked. The piece engulfed the viewer with an eerie sense of death and I revisited the work three separate times while we were at the museum. I also found immense tranquility in the James Turrell piece located around the back of the building. I laid on the benches and stared through the hole in the ceiling and into the sky while my eyes began to shift in and out of focus creating an illusion of spacial boundaries. I enjoy his celestial works and it was exciting to be able to directly interact with once of his pieces. All in all the field trip was a success, but I lost out on class time to finish my portrait. This weekend will have plenty of work in store for me!