Fall semester for the Emeritus classes just started. Found myself a bit rusty after not drawing for a few months . . .but nudity has a way of waking the senses .
As I posted these sketches I realized the model did not have a hair on his body ANYWHERE . . . except on his chin. Just goes to show how intently one looks at contours, lines and shadows when drawing, “nudity” isn’t the focus.
During the break in the life-drawing class a few of us talked to the model. She said most people had no idea what life drawing was and believed that nude modeling was akin to porn! When asked what she did for a living her answer was “posing for people who were learning anatomy”.
First, It never occurred to me that most people weren’t familiar with life drawing. Second, her answer made sense. When drawing a nude model students are intensely focused on the anatomy, the line & shading that emphasizes or de-emphasizes the muscle structure, the curve of the spine and the “personality” of the pose – not on nudity.
It’s a bit like reading an engrossing story. Your focus is on the plot line, the images created, the messages conveyed, not whether the” book” is hard-covered, paperback or on a tablet.
I was pleased with this sketch as it catches the likeness of the model.
Wasn’t so pleased with this sketch so I took out colored crayons and just scribbled. Still not pleased but it was fun!
New model – not an ounce of body fat on the boy. The majority of students are well into their 60’s. I made note of how many of the women asked him to return to model ! . . I myself prefer the models with a bit of ballast around their belly. Gives me more room for error.
This class I ventured out of my comfort zone, put away eraser and went for it with permanent ink and no preliminary sketch in pencil.
Notice the box? I keep trying to draw within the box so the figure doesn’t run off the page. Here’s my result!
My friend Peggy and I are working on a new project to share our stash of therapeutic strategies, tips and tricks on the internet. In my exuberance, “playing” with settings for the new web-site, I mistakenly changed the theme setting for this blog . . . and can’t figure out how to change it back again . So Curious to the Max has a new look, in case you didn’t notice.
And in case you didn’t notice we had a new model in class. All these sketches were 15 minutes done with water-color pencil.
There are two “fronts” and two “backs” (She was sitting on a poofy cushion).
AND in case you don’t see the connection between my blog change and my sketches: Clicking a button on the computer and irreversibly changing the blog template is like drawing with water-color pencil. I can’t erase or correct either of them.
(Well, not actually “worser” but I try to avoid trite phrases like “bigger and better”.)
In case you’ve not noticed . . . my drawings all go off the page. I don’t mind the aesthetics of that but I want to be able to do it “by design”. I try framing, measuring, planning . . . as the drawing progresses the limbs or head (or both) end up off of the paper.
The life drawing teacher suggested I get a BIG board to work on a BIG piece of paper to get the entire torso on the page. So much for bigger . . .
(Showing my hand on the paper to give you a sense of the scale).
Many, if not most, of my posts over the years have regaled you, my loyal readers, with bits of what I find interesting and curious. (ex. Two of my all time most viewed and informative posts were about Butterfly fish and the Singles Scene and Stoned Fish.)
Since I’ve been taking life drawing classes there are not many articles that go along with drawings of nudes that meet the G-rating of my blog.
In class the teacher has been talking about the skeleton of the body and today I found a very interesting article about a discovery of a new species of dinosaur in Australia that is in keeping with this instructional focus!!!!
“Paleontologists have discovered a new species of dinosaur in Australia. The wide-hipped, long-necked, four-legged plant-eater was about half the length of a basketball court, and its shoulders stood as high as the hoop.”
This model was a slim-hipped, long-necked, two-legged vegetarian who was the full length of my paper and her shoulders alternately drooped and stood high, depending on the pose.
“Savannasaurus skeleton is one of the most complete sauropods to be discovered in Australia. Based on its skeleton, it was probably about 50 feet long, with a long neck and a wide, round body — weighing in at 40,000 pounds, as much as three African elephants combined. Dinosaur fossils in Australia are exceedingly rare, and this discovery could help scientists understand how these massive creatures spread across the planet millions of years ago.“
. . . that would take one humongous piece of paper to draw it . . .
“If anybody wants me to say it, in one sentence, what my plays are about: They’re about the nature of identity. Who we are, how we permit ourselves to be viewed, how we permit ourselves to view ourselves, how we practice identity or lack of identity.” Edward Albee
Most of the models in the life drawing classes have been posing for a long time. They come equipped with props and pillows and strike dramatic poses that I defy anyone in “real” life to take . . . unless you’re an exotic dancer.
The young man, VERY young man, who was the model in the last two life drawing classes had never modeled before. He appeared to be shy and very unsure of himself.The first session he posed stiffly.
This second session he began to soften, wrapping his arms around himself as if to create a bit of comfort or perhaps protection. It may also have been that it was cold in the room . . . even for those of us wearing clothes.
Art teachers explain that drawing isn’t about what the hand is doing it’s about training our eye to see what it actually sees rather than the internal image of what we THINK we see.
Right now my drawings are about trying to learn to view shapes and shadows, lines and limbs . . . and hopefully have my hands follow. Someday, it would be nice to say the same thing Edward Albee said . . . that my drawings are about the nature of identity.
New semester for art classes just started. Here are my best sketches (you didn’t think I’d post my worst, did you?). I particularly am pleased with the first as I managed to catch the likeness of the model.
I knew about people who do travel sketch books – instead of taking photos they sketch. I knew about plein air painters who set up their easels and paint nature. I didn’t know about the groups of artists who take to the streets all over the world and sketch.
They call themselves Urban Sketchers. The supplies need to be portable and compact – small sketchbooks, pencil, pen and watercolor seem to be the main tools of the trade. People and buildings are the main focus.
You have to be fast and just capture the essence of what you see. People move, get up, leave. Sometimes I draw the arm of one person on the body of the other, furiously freeze a tiny moment in time hoping people don’t get up, come over and demand I stop staring at them. Then I “clean up” the mini sketches – erase lines, add a splash of color.
At the POP (Painting on the Patio) gathering yesterday I couldn’t get inspired to paint so I pulled out my mini sketchbook and “cleaned up” some of my sketches:
Can’t call myself an Urban Sketcher cuz I don’t sit on street corners or stand by light poles. I sketch people while I wait for doctors’ appointments, get my computer fixed or tires rotated.
Since I live in the suburbs it seems a bit pretentious to call my self a suburban sketcher. Stealth Sketcher is much more like it.
Did you know you can train your brain not to wake you up at night to go to the bathroom? When you get the “full bladder” signal in the middle of the night ignore it. Trust me you won’t wet the bed. In about 2 nights your brain will stop signaling you that your bladder is full.
If you don’t trust what I’m saying, try painting your floor!
Dear Westerfield, “. . . The art class I am taking is taught by a . . . woman . . . who is sucking the life and joy out of her students. She has already separated me from a nice woman I met there. No one is allowed to talk . . . I once, shall we say, talked back to her and I felt like I was Norma Rae. Hence, I will be sent to the principal soon, I’m sure. I hate going to the class but I want to stick it out for myself. She is always tense, tells stories, LONG, boring stories (multiple times) about herself and even the barrette that she wears on the side of her hair is annoying.
She is a good artist but as a teacher, HORRIBLE. I am sticking it out . . . [because] it took me years to sign up, to push myself and I am proud of me doing it.”
My heart simply went out to Laurie. She’s landed in a creativity-killer-class. I say she should ask for a refund with added reimbursement for creativity abuse.
Every serious artist I’ve met who went to art school tells tales of how stressful it was. Teacher critiques were at the best uncomfortable and at the least brutal. Now I’m not down on art school – wish I had the opportunity to attend one. I am down on teaching methods that take the joy out of creativity.
Famous MAJOR artists play! – splashing paint (Jackson Pollock), abstracting images until they were “childlike” (Picasso), put together surreal elements (Joan Miro) and all explored and experimented outside the “technique of their time”.
Art should be fun, art should be pushing your own limits with curiosity and adventure not with the goal of doing it “right” or for someone elses approval. Creativity is “PURE PLAY – ” no thought to outcome, function or future”Eric Anderson
I’m in love. Unfortunately I’ve not made time to spend with the object of my affection. Fortunately, my paramour has lots of other lovers and doesn’t miss my attention. I pine alone.
This video made me realize that if I am going to feel good about my love affair, attention must be paid.
“There is a reason why art has served as a means of soulful self-expression for centuries upon centuries. All forms of art, from painting to dancing to music, are very personal and emotional experiences — both for the artists and the viewers.
While it is a common experience to fall in love with a certain artwork, scientists now have evidence that shows the brain reacts similarly when viewing artwork and when falling in love. New research by Semir Zeki, Professor of Neuroesthetics at University College London demonstrates that viewing a beautiful work of art creates the same chemical response as love. Both experiences trigger the feel-good chemical dopamine. So if you’re missing that special someone, perhaps partake in a daily dose of art inspiration.”
And even if you aren’t missing “that special someone” take in a daily dose of creative expression.