Archive

Figure Drawing

All three aero-mods with reinforcing weld along the bend lines. The raised tabs (left & right top) are fortified with triangular wedges, and I extended the mid-plate with tabs (bottom of image) to grab the factory original holes on the bumper.
To bend the metal I cut a groove along the bend-line, then used boards and clamps to apply even force (so much force that I snapped off the edge of my workbench table top). Once bent these lines become brittle, and the vibration and wind-force could cause them to shear- the little bead welds rejoin both sides of the line without blowing out the thinner metal of the cut-line.
Burly male model. At L are 1 & 2 minute gestures in sienna, then run once more for brown, black, and white. 5 min at R.
10 min. x 2 The whole session seemed just on the verge of collapse, and I felt I barely made it out alive. The struggle is in not copying, but in responding to the form. This means seeing the architecture of the body within the multitudes of specific confusions, and modulating response of eye to hand with a subtle constant corrective. Sometimes this is a fun flow, and others it is a mental gymnastic that seems just behind physical coordination- while also being the inverse, a physical infirmity that lags just behind a vast intellectual problem.

A quicker set today, doing only two rounds instead of three- with brown for the first round, then black, and white for the second.
Our windstorm blew itself out and the day was nice enough to install/fit the passenger side aeromod. A bolt sheared off and needed drilling out and retapping- all because the hole in the plate was just out of alignment. All fixed.
Tomorrow’s job is welding on a few small reinforcing triangles. Along the lower drop line is a tab bent up to connect to the flange of truck undercarriage. The weld will ensure it doesn’t shear at the bend line. This is the third point of contact (held with a stainless steel bolt, not in place here, but you can see the hole), and although minimal, offers a huge amount of stability.

Putting lots of gestures on one bigger page, as I have a few old mostly used up drawing pads around. I like seeing the sketches all in relationship with each other. The gestures are 5 x 1 minute, 5 x 2 minutes, and 2 x five minutes; and then I break from the reality of life-model drawing and run the set twice more, so 5x3min, 5x6min, 2x15min. I do the initial set in a light h (hard) led pencil, the second set is an hb pulling out form, and the last set in b(soft) looking for weighted line and values.

I did the two longer drawings from this set in pen and ink, not picutred (and one from the set below)
I do like working one image per page, as the smaller size is constraining.
Big swooping gesture is particular to bigger drawing.
When a bigger individual piece is working, I may give it another five minutes- as in this 20min session.
A funny part of stopping when you stop, and not fiddling with it: the “sword wound” to his ribcage is a shadow from the original sienna sketch-up.
I removed R her arm as it hung straight down, blocked out her entire side, and deadened the composition. She moved just enough to catch the contour of her ribcage. 5 min
Here again her arm was blocking out the curve of the back and thrust of the ribs. 5 min.
30 min. Turned wooden with over-fidgeting after the session. My instructor note to myself: work on shape definitions internal to the figure via direct marking of contoured shadow as an essential expression of form.

The conte / color drawings are done on an easel out in the sunroom looking at my laptop, and the pencil drawings are done in the basement cast to the TV- I draw them on a little clipboard held on my lap which means lots of looking down and up with my whole noggin vs looking in one field with eye movement only. Artists use easels for exactly this reason; zillions of quick side eye movements that instantly transfer to hand vs cumbersome head movement with up/down eye movement causing reorientation with every move. Flow gets stuttered and drawings lose vitality. I’ll have to crowd the basement den with my old drafting table, in from the too-cold studio.

Afternoon doodles with Glen Vilppu’s draw-along-with-Glen; draw from the same pose and he discusses what he is seeing/doing- which helps me drop out information and focus on the core forms.

I stopped by the great little neighborhood art store this morning and picked up some toned butcher paper, conte pencils in sepia, brown, black, and white; two filbert style long bristle brushes (I’ve been using some ancient nubby cheapo’s from Michaels); canvas “paper” for more Zorn Palette studies; and Naples yellow light oil paint to add a bit more complexity. I tried out some conte pencil on the toned paper for an afternoon set.

5-minute gesture from my apres-Java early morning wake-up set.
2 hour Zorn Palette, expanded with blue and deep crimson.

I set up an artin’ station out in the sunroom, and have been trying out some of the 2-D sections from the online art school New Master’s Academy (I’ve been through most of their 3-D already). I’ve been working from the painting section with Joseph Todorovitch using the “Zorn Pallette”, which is limited to Black, White, Yellow Ochre, and Cadmium Red; this pushes color mixing while also simplifying for tonal cohesion. There is an instructor view of his painting, his palette, and the model (pretty small view)- but it is a great way to teach by example.

Working portraits got me to draw from life again; this is a nice medical-grade skull I picked up years ago.

Friday mornings are live-model draw-alongs with the elderly Glenn Vilppu- a great classical figure instructor. A life-model is in a studio at the college HQ, and he draws in his home studio on his computer with a view of his screen while dialoguing his process as he draws. I have him on my tablet, and the live model on the computer. A great way to amp up the drawing process.
Another two hour painting with the Zorn Palette.
There are timed life-drawing sessions as well, that I can cast to the big TV. Like any good life drawing session: many 1-minute gestures, then a slew of 2-minute gestures, a few 5-minute poses, 10-minute poses, and maybe a half-hour pose. This was a 10 minute.
Five minute.
I found a decent portrait in Wired magazine, and Zorn-painted on my own.
More skull doodles. E and I watched Ink Masters on Netflix, as it has a focus on creativity adjacent to fine arts. Lots of terrible skull tattoos out there, but some great ones as well. Watching ham-fisted permanent work being done on live human “canvasses” is a fun motivator.

My friend Jann Haworth is leading a group-made mural (over 200 people involved). Years ago I helped get another group mural of hers in SLC started (when I was director of SLC’s youth arts programming), and did 5 figures on it: SLC Pepper. It was a re-imagination/update of her grammy award winning album cover for The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Jann asked me to make one of the large figures for the front row of the new mural. I drew it out while in Montana at 2/3 life size, then had Kinko’s enlarge it to the mural jumbo scale.

A studio view of all the drawings leading up to and including the collage form. This view of the collage is the only shot that the camera didn’t distort the legs into tree trunks. When I dropped her off to Jann she confirmed that the photo had added at least 20 lbs.
Nearly 9 foot tall enlargement of the drawing on the R.
Beckanne Sisk of Ballet West, May 2013 She is now a (the) Principal dancer in the company.
I hung the image at the wrong angle, and tilted this image to about the correct gesture.
She is made from an Impressionism coffee-table book, and her hair is of Remington bronze figures.
E stands in for scale.
detail low. Cezanne, Van Gogh, Manet, Monet, Gauguin, Renoir
middle; same artists as above plus Cassat, Seurat, Remington,
The extended arm is all Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon on the Island of the Grande Jatte.

I just realized I did more work on her after this shoot, but anyway…Jann tells me it is “pure witchcraft”.