Thursday, November 15, 2007

Halloween Figure Drawing

This charcoal drawing was done at my friend James Lipovac's studio up in north Philly at a sort of Halloween/artist party. Our fave model Shanna who we've all drawn so many times came up and we got to mix friends from DCAD where both James and I teach and our new buddies at PAFA. That's always cool when you can do that. I think this drawing is interesting, though not great as I think the Coronas were having an effect and my concentration was a bit off, but it's evocative and has a sense of space in it's smearyness. This is something I have been very much working with and dealing with at school, especially in my class with Scott Noel. How can we create a space, use a space, is it a evocative, moody space? Great artists all create an amazing sense of space in thier work, Degas, Antonio Garcia Lopez and Jack Kirby. Crazy, fractured space, intimate space, deep space? How an artist breaks up this space can have everything to do at times with how the drawing or painting succeeeds or fails in pulling you, the viewer into thier vision, their world, their emotional tempature and state. This is a concept I am becoming more and more concerened with in my work at school and I think it's something I deal with as well, but in sometimes a different way in my comics and animation work. In both of these venues I think SPACE amnd the use of it in the sense of perspective is essential to give a dynamics to supeheroes and help flat drawing create a sense of depth. I'm interested to try and add the poetic sense of space I am learning and working with in my peronal work at school to my commercial or comics work.

This drawing in my old way of thinking would not be finished enough, I would want the entire figure rendered well, distint, the background finished to a high degree. But I have been really challenged and forced to consider space and mood, in a more poetic sense and less in a literal or almost journalistic, by-the-numbers way. My first way of thinking used to be that the figure would be dominate in attention and the space secondary. Though not a great drawing, this piece has more a sense/concept of space as a poetic enviroment that the figure is a part of and not nessecarily the most important or dominate statement.


J Gilpin said...

Howdy Mike,
Interesting points you make here...I'm not sure I am comprehending it all, but that's OK. In terms of integrating these concepts into commercial work I tend to think of Geroge Pratt (Enemy Ace GN) and most stuff by Kent Williams. But I'm not sure as a comics reader I always enjoy that foggy, misty indistinct type of rendering. I think it works for certain parts of a story but not the whole treatment. Glad you had a fun Halloween - mine was spent chasing a three year old around our neighborhood streets!
Best2U, JG

Mike Manley said...

What is the purpose, the point of a drawing? I traditionally thought of most of what I draw as figurative and figure centered; mostly it's comics and storytelling and so the figure is usually the most important elemnt, the dominent point. But exploring drawing as a vehicle for expression still in a representational fashion as a vehicle for an idea, thought or mood/emotion the figure can be just a compostional element and not the one.

So the drawing could be more about space and not about the figure dominent.

In terms of the artists you mentioned I am more familiar with Kent who does a lot of art in this fashion outside of comics and brings that more fine art tradition to his narrative comics work.