Friday, January 27, 2012

Tin Time In The Studio

There's a strange winter garden growing in the studio. A catfood can garden.

After burning away hours/months on my Wordpress website, I've decided that my humble Blogspot blog is really very nice, and that I should drop the mantra Right after the website is up, and just get back to blogging.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Negative Space In The Drawing Class

When drawing from life, it's just as important to see what is NOT there as it is to see what is there. So, in tonight's drawing class we focused on Negative Space. Those spaces between the things we normally think of as the objects that fill our world.

We all know what a chair looks like. You can probably picture one clearly in our minds eye. But, unless you develop the ability to see the negative spaces between the legs and runners, you will always struggle with drawing from life, because you are only looking at half the story.

In Kevin's drawing above, you can see how his focus on the spaces between the chair legs transforms the drawing, turning the chair into an empty void.

This seeing technique flattens the world into 2 dimension, which makes it easier to capture the relationships of ALL the elements in front of you. These relationships; positive and negative, are the building blocks for the construction a solid pictorial composition.

Next week, we explore making marks.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Walking With Ants At The Creative Arts Center

In each of the Drawing Fundamentals classes I focus on one element of drawing. In this second class, it's Contour Line drawing. This, the most common type of drawing, focuses on the outline of an object. So when drawing an apple, you end up with basically a wobbly circle. When drawing a lemon, you end up with basically a wobbly circle. When drawing a pear, you end up with basically a lopsided wobbly circle.

This generalization of course fits right into the brain's massive backlog of symbols, which in turn means that instead of really looking at THE apple, your brain simply projects the symbol of an apple, basically a wobbly circle.

Think about an apple, one with a bite taken out of it...

Does it look juicy and delicious, or more like the logo of the computer you might be reading this blog on? Which one is clearer to see in your minds eye? For this class we are derailing those backlogged symbols by taking the ant's eye view of the world.

Exercise #1- Blind Contour- Place your paper so you cannot see it while you are drawing. Look at your left hand (your right if you are left handed). Now imagine you are watching an ant crawling slowly along the contours, cracks and creases of your hand. Your pencil is the mechanical recorder of that ant's travels. When the ant goes up, your pencil draws a line upward. When that ant traverse your life line, your pencil continues to record that trail. Do not cheat by looking at your drawing!

Ants are very slow, the recorded path pictured above took 30 minutes. Try it out. Repeat twice. How did that make you feel? Did you sense a shift in your perception? Was it hard to draw so slow? Did you look at your drawing before the time was up?

Other drawing adventures followed, filling our night with undulating, descriptive lines. Next week we'll be looking at the spaces that are not there. Negative Space.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Teaching Drawing at CAC

Very excited to find myself teaching Drawing Fundamentals at the CAC.  Due to a dramatic prequel,  I only had a single day to prepare for the class, so I grabbed my dusty copy of Drawing On The Right Side of The Brain AKA Learn to live like a Dyslexic, and pieced together a rough curriculum. (I'll be fleshing it out this week)

For this first class, I leaned hard on the Left - Right brain theory, believing that the most common problems in learning how to draw is turning off that hyper critical left side so the creative right side can take some risks and start to really see the world around us.

So, a few exercises to derail the left side and feed the right, such as the drawing above. It's a copy of a drawing by Degas. And yes, it is upside down because it was drawn upside down. Doing this allows you to more easily see the lines and shapes as simply lines and shapes, and not as a head, right hand, left hand, buttons, a pocket... all of which the left side already knows what those things look like, so it's going to draw what it knows and not what you are really looking at.

Next week, we'll be looking at blind contour drawing...

PS- And a big Thanks to the CAC for thinking of me when they needed help.