Sunday, May 12, 2013

Disconnected drawing

Usually when we draw, we go through a cycle of looking at a model's head, then our drawing pad, sketch sketch, look back at the model's body, look down, sketch sketch sketch, look at the arm, sketch sketch....etc.  This may be a problem.

Obviously we need to look at the model or subject to sketch, but I'd like to impress that we are impressionists and not realists when it comes to our sketches.  

Looking up and down TOO much can lead to disconnected shapes.  

We concentrate on a head, a torso, a leg or any part individually and forget about the gesture as a whole.  The truest example of this is when the time is up and the model has moved and we only have a partial sketches done.  

What I believe is happening is the brain is trying to capture shapes of the body in segmented thinking because we worry about the correct shapes of anatomy and it bogs us down.  We should be starting with large shapes that cover the whole pose first then work over that trajectory with more detailed work.  

Remember the gesture is the whole complete idea of a pose.  It's not a gesture of an arm then a gesture of a body, then the legs.  It's everything in one!

My advice is to record a complete mental picture into your mind by studying the model or subject for a moment.  Then go down to the paper and draw until you've forgotten that mental pic and go up for more info.  This will help you draw your impression of the whole pose and not get caught up in segmented sketching.

I was at my son's first Tball game yesterday and sketched a few pieces.  It was so rewarding to experience such young kids playing America's oldest past time.

Coaching the batter

Assistant Coach

Paying attention to the game

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Remember it's ART.

I carry a sketchbook with me just in case inspiration hits.  Long ago I used to draw randomly and aimlessly in my sketchbooks believing that it was the shear act of doing it that would make me a better artist.

I was pouring out little sketches all across the page.  All the poses looked similar and none of them had any spark.  They all blended into one another in a way were not one sketch commanded it's own presence.  It also took forever to fill a sketchbook and the pages didn't seem like they were important because there was no focus on anyone sketch.

One day I worked up enough courage to show Glen Keane one of my books and he was kind enough to look.  After a few flipped pages he stopped looking and told me that my images were hard to focus on because I had way too many small sketches on the page.  He kindly spent time sifting through the book and looking for some sketches he liked, but I felt he was really stretching as he complimented.  In the end his advise was to draw one drawing per page and really focus in on what that one pose was trying to say or do and really study it.  He said,  "remember, each page is a piece of art!"

Glen's advise made me realize that every sketch is one that you can learn from, it deserves it's time from you. each sketch needs your focus and study. 

Each sketch is "ART" and it deserves it's own page!

When we focus in on one drawing per page that sketch becomes so important.  The choices become more definite.  The lines become very directed as the emotion and attitude illuminate from the page.

With that said mistakes are more evident- but you learn more from your own executions with each page you fill.  When I buy a new sketchbook I can't help but look at the page count and think that that's how many sketches will be in that book.

Gone are the days of unfocused sketches that randomly sit on a page.  Every page in my books now have become valuable to the sketch that sits on them.  Even if I don't agree with that sketch it still deserves it's day to shine.

Boldly give it a go!  I think you'll find great challenge to the approach.

The first four pieces are from Starbucks the other day and the last gesture from a lacrosse game on tv.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

High noon happy accident!

About a week ago I was walking into work a bit late and ran into a rugged mean looking cowboy  He had on a black hat, black vest and black villainous mustache.  It was the gesture model John Tucker who most of you know or have heard of on my blog or twitter feed.  

Then moments later a western saloon skirted, high heel boot wearing girl came down the hall and she was very excited to model in the class.  This was Rachel Bailit, one of the most bubbly actress' I know.

I was a bit nervous at first but quickly figured we had a happy accident of having two models pose this day.  Which of course I loved!

One tip I'd like to share about two models in gesture drawing is: Remember the beginning of the sketch is all one big mass shape.  You are definitely trying to capture two different subjects but when you approach the building of the sketch
you want to draw them together as they relate and connect to each other.

Sometimes we start drawing the sketchy gesture lines for only one of two models trying to figure out how they're posed and time is ticking away.  Suddenly the models have moved on and we're left with half a sketch or a ghosty image of the second model that doesn't really allow for a true relationship expressed between the two models.

In the few minutes we give ourselves to get the sketch done we really need to encompass the whole pose in the first few lines of trajectory.  It's not easy!  The challenge is tough but I know that you are passionate and are ready to take it on!  

Here are a few inspired quick sketches I did after noticing that even though these two models never met before- they hit it off like they were old saloon pals.

two minute pose (on twitter I said one minute because I started drawing late into the pose. let's break even at about a minute and a half)

Two minute pose 
Five minute pose