Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Inner and Outer World of Drawing




Wednesdays is always a fully packed drawing day at school, and I love it, though at times it can be frustrating and even a bit draining because of the intense concentration and frustration with my drawings. It's so maddening to see something in your mind and not be able to get it down on paper.

Wednesdays start out with Life Drawing with Scott Noel. Scott has been setting the bar high the last few weeks by having us first draw the skeleton and then later draw the model over the top of it. This frustrates many students, including myself, though this week I feel I did my best drawing of this assignment--though I am far from satisfied with the results. It requires you to plan ahead and the give priority, or to "privilege certain things" as Scott would say.

Here I overlaid the final drawing so you can see better what Scott is having us go for. You really have to make so many decisions when you proceed at this stage. There are a lot of places where the skeleton and the model just don't agree and then you have to try and modify, to make choices and decisions that try and merge the two drawings. Scott makes it look easy, but then again he's been doing it for 30 years. the great thing is he draws right next to us and call us over several times to give us demos on how to think and proceed. This is really a highly complicated type of drawing because you are not drawing exactly what you see--if you do, man, you'll have a car wreck on your hands.
Here is the final drawing, the 3 hour class flies by fast...

Again, I can't say enough good about him as a teacher, then guy is amazing, a dynamo, and he revs you up, challenges you, coaches, pokes and prods you all at the same time.

The class I have in the afternoons is Still Life with Michael Gallagher who I also love. We get along really well and have so many interesting conversations in class about the drawings we are doing, but also everything from Thomas Eakins to Norman Rockwell. I have to say Mike probably kept me from killing this drawing by making me stop. I am so used to 'finishing things" in comics and animation that I run the danger of freezing the drawings in school up, or just applying too much sort of closed form type finish that is what comics and animation is all about. It's what I do every day on my commercial work.


I have to do 4 more thumbs in class Friday and then pick one to do a black and white painting of.
Here is a study/thumbnail I did today in class of one of the new still life set ups that is about the size of a large post-it note, 3 x 4 or so. It's in charcoal.

8 comments:

Mr. Hawthorne said...

Awesome! We did that exercise at Tyler, way back when. Great job.

Mike

PamYla said...

Awesome drawings, I like your style!

Dave said...

I am sooo jealous Mike. I loved his class. It provides you with perceptual skills that increase you drawing ability by leaps and bounds. His class is less about drawing than it is about thought. I really liked that project as well.

alan said...

The skeleton drawign project is fascinating. So, you extrapolate the skeleton beneath the posed model, then draw the visible surfaces on top? Challenging. The progress on that was great. And the still-life has turned out beautifully too

Mike M said...

Thanks Mike, who was your drawing teacher there?

Mike M said...

pamyla, Thanks.

Mike M said...

Dave, yes, you are so right, Scott's class is really about thinking and the language of drawing.

Mike M said...

Alan, yes, it's about building the figure from the inside, out. Finding the planes and trying to learn to privilege things like form over lighting or value. The Old masters do this, great figure drawers do this in their drawing. Degas, Sargent, Cornwell, you name them, they put emphasis on some things and reduced it or eliminated it to make the drawing work beyond a mere copying what they see.