Friday, April 18, 2008

I have an objective eye and subjective hands.

We had a couple days of lifedrawing on top of regular assignments in one of my classes this week. I love lifedrawing. I love drawing people. I love figures. I love the beauty and metaphor that I can find in a curve of a spine, the fall of light on a cheekbone, how the thigh meets the hip when folded just so...

Anna (instructor) told me a couple years ago that I should take the lifedrawing courses offered at our school, that I belong in them and would enjoy them and so forth. She repeated that, two or three times, this week. It amused me. I also got a couple "Kate, you suck!" comments, which always make me feel quite the ego boost (it's a compliment and they say it with a grin). Somebody get the needle for poppin'. Our class had a few really good people on it (Lori Clark and Bill, for instance, were doing gorgeous ones. Lori's especially were like little finished quality pieces all on their own).

Anyway. Monday, we did a lot of gesturals and then a longer sitting which was broken up by the model taking "breaks" which I hate, because they never return to that pose they were in at the start no matter how they were marked out with tape. The woman had a very unhappy face, but lots of interesting pudge and proportion to work with. Anna had wanted us to start with contour drawings of the entire basic shapes in colored pencil. I, rebel that I am, blocked out the shape of the head and shoulders and fist and then started establishing rough facial features -- in CarbOthello pencil! Hahaha. I'm wicked. By the time Anna came around the first time, I'd established her down to the belly folds. Anna asked me to correct the face, shave some off the far side of it and pull the nose over. I nodded and went along with it, and then ignored the advice when she moved on. lol I know what I know, and I knew that when I'd started, the model had been facing that way, not the way Anna thought. And I knew I didn't want to move or change her, so I didn't. Later, Anna wanted us to fill in values with colored pencil in actual fleshtone. Rebelling again, I went for a greenish-yellow, an whiteish-yellow, a blue, and a pale rose in NuPastel. Hahaha, I cannot be stopped! By the time Anna came around again, I had most of what I wanted. She admitted that it looked great and she didn't advise any changes -- even though I hadn't changed the things she'd asked me to! I love Anna, she's a great instructor and very knowledgeable. But I'm of the opinion that agreeing with teachers all the time just because they're teachers/authorities in the classroom? Is dumb. Sometimes you go with your gut, and you should be able to be happy doing so.

Wednesday's model was a native american (I think) man. I really really really wanted to focus on his face or his feet because they were very neat (he had a funny tic in one foot too). But when we got through with gesturals and moved into the longer sitting, he had his back to me and I couldn't move to a spot where he didn't. Anna wanted us to do subtraction method with oil pastels for that drawing, so I threw down a layer of bright orange on dark blue paper (osnap, complimentary contrast, woo!) and went at it with the x-acto. I haven't tried that method before so it took a while to figure out. When I realized I could use what I scraped off to add back into the image, that helped a lot! I got a few more "Kate, you suck" compliments (hehehe), and I didn't get to see anyone else's (except Lori's, which was of course freaking awesome because she's wonderful like that).

I hate oil pastel. My hands are still a little bit orange. Ugh ugh ugh, itchy.

I think it's worth noting that these were done in the dark, because we have to keep all the blinds and doors closed when nude models are present to prevent issues with people from outside the class, and the lighting in our classroom SUCKS.