Monday, December 28, 2015

A whole lot of life drawings

Hey everybody and Happy Holidays!

Haven't posted in a while but that doesn't mean I've been totally idle with drawing. Indeed I have been doing life drawing again and I should consider renaming this accordingly 'cause it seems those are about the only things I post here...

But I must say (and a lot of professionals and artist veterans agree) that life drawing really is the best drawing training you can have. Observations and lessons learned can be applied to so many other subject matters, styles etc.

I'm gonna post a lot of stuff now and in a way the chronological order might be interesting because I really have realized that "Janne K, you know nothing". One must unlearn to learn and nothing is better than throwing yourself off balance to maybe be able to shake of some mannerisms and stylistic shorthands that prevent you from seeing things and from being downright lazy.

We organized recently through the Animatricks animation festival a life drawings course from the perspective of animation. We were fortunate to have Samantha Youssef giving us a lecture for 2 days that somewhat differs from traditional life drawing. It was very inspiring, eye opening and also depressing in the way that I realized how much I have to learn. The latter is obvious for everybody. I just thought that I had some touch for it but the fact is that I was gettin too content with the way I was drawing from life. I wasn't looking carefully enough. I was doing too much just to achieve a fun line or graphically interesting picture and neglecting lessons in front of me about actual anatomy, volumes and sense of direction etc.

So what I'll post here is now before the lessons, sketches from the lessons and then from a life drawing session after the lessons. Starting from the topmost drawing (click for bigger view):

The first drawings also are another example on how switching the medium makes you rethink and struggle. I hadn't drawn with charcoal in many years and I was completely lost for a moment with the medium on how to take advantage of it and what is useless to try with it etc. Then I also just switched to pencil and I was drawing like before, just drawing quickly how I saw the pose, volumes etc but really doing too much of contour drawing and playing around stylistically.

The first drawings from the lessons are fast scribbles of 15-30 seconds poses but during that time one should be already able to get the essence of the pose which will prevent the further elaboration making the drawing too stiff. Then we started to add more thinking into the basic masses of the body ie rib cage, the hips etc, eventually moving into even skeleton and muscles. This started to seem like an overwhelming amount of information to have in a drawing that was max 15min. I totally felt slow and crappy after the lessons! I barely finished one pose properly... *sigh

But then on the 1st life drawing session after the lessons (the male model ones) I forced myself to first look for the main line, directional axis, weight line, rib cage, hips etc. I was definately falling back to my old tendencies and skipping those aforementioned essentials but just observing them more and being concious of them while letting the pencil move I think I made some advances in the way I drew.

BUT nothing comes for free so it'll just mean more and more life drawing to get better at it and after all if the day comes that I'd feel that "yeah Janne K now you know your shit" then it's time to take another lesson and forget all those foolish thoughts that just prevent you from being an artist stuck in a groove.

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