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Friday, May 18, 2012

Observational Drawing


I want to share my impression of what it means when I say observational drawing.  
Many times people can get the idea that observational drawing means to literally observe every nook and cranny of the object or model.  Wrinkles, cracks, knuckles, follicles, pours, nose hairs or whatever can be seen is put into the artwork.  
I think there can be a place for such detailed type of artwork but when I teach the idea of observational drawing I teach the study of story telling through drawing.  That’s the most important part of it all.  If the drawing conveys story and meaning it’s that much more valuable as a piece of art.  
We need to connect with the meaning of our drawings.  If there's no story or meaning to the drawing that was supposed to be from observation then theres less interest by the viewer.  it becomes lines smudges and medium on paper rather than impressions of moments captured that evoke an emotion or reaction.
That’s my goal in observational drawing.  To capture a story or a meaning that makes you think or inspires you to feel something.  One thing I definitely do not do is force anyone into a particular style by forcing details into their art that don’t tell the story.  
the key is what are we observing?  the Story or literal detail that can add up to no meaning?
Don’t let style define substance.  

These one and a half second sketches were of my wife in P90x mode.  I tried to convey the energy in the effort and I thank her for letting me show these.  Frankly I should have joined her.  I could stand to loose a few pounds haha.


15 comments:

Stephanie J. Stine said...

Great post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on observational drawing. I need to remember that story is the most important aspect of drawing, especially since I'm aiming to be a board artist too someday.

Myke Bakich said...

These gestures feel soooo alive, Dave. Inspiring words and drawings. Thanks for sharing!

Team Diana said...

Oh my gosh that looks exhausting.

chromasketch said...

great stuff, these are some of my favourite, from what i've seen you post.

Mike Jones said...

Wonderful!
Great insight too, thanks!

James Bourne said...

Mr. Pimentel, I have a quick question: I love how much appeal you put in your drawings. They're so dynamic. Sorry, that's not my question. My question is when you look at a pose while drawing, do you have an emotion for the model in mind, or do you just think in terms of line or shape?

Dave Pimentel said...

Thanks all-
James-
Emotion is definitely first but its that emotion trying to be realized through line and shape to convey what's happening- so they are working in tandom with emotion fueling. I like to try and feel the emotion and even mimic it within myself- it's like method sketching. :-)

Jennifer Sese said...

I will keep much of this knowledge in mind when I work on my gestures!

Bosook Coburn said...

Love these gestures. Must learn!!!!!

tiffannysketchbook said...

these are amazing. i agree with you 100% on the goal of observational drawing. The problem with me is that I still get caught up in the details and I have to tell myself to knock it off, dangit. These are wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Benoit Therriault said...

These are absolutly stunning! I'm Spending a lot of time working on gestures and I love to read your very insightful post! Alll the best

Louise Smythe said...

cool, dave!!

Jimmy FauntLeRoy said...

Thank you! I SO tend toward style over substance, and want my forms to look "convincing." But rtsthe story does the convincing!

Tim Shirey said...

I'm glad I found your blog. Hoping to add some expressive life to my illustrations. Thank you for sharing!
I had to chuckle while looking at these sketches because I recognized which P90x exercise session she was following. :-)

~ Tim

3danimation said...

thanks for sharing great blog post. your thoughts on observational drawing.
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