Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Here's a couple pen and ink doodles. I've worked as a caricature artist at Valleyfair in Shakopee MN the last two summers, and I've gotten an earful from many a customer about making them too fat, their nose too big, buck teeth, colossal ears, etc, and the list goes on. I did the first drawing after getting a drawing returned from a rather obese woman who had no reservations about telling me where I should stuff the drawing. But these very instances are a great learning experience. We as artists, or in whatever we are doing, have to be able to defend our work, and sound competent while doing so. But at the same time we have to be open to criticism. I definitely wont be taking advice from a visually illiterate carnival goer, but when someone has something of value to say, its important to listen.
Well, my caricature woes aside, I thought I'd do an Obama and McCain. Election day is coming up soon, and I hope everyone ready to exercise their democratic rights. As they say, vote early, vote often.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
The first image was an hour long pose. The last couple of poses that we have done, I have been trying to make a special effort to concentrate on the long axes. I spent the majority of the hour doing just that. After those were in rather loosely, I started drawing the individual bones. I found this to be a big help in rendering the muscles correctly. It makes it easier to see where they attatch and what not. Not to mention, I think my proportions have gotten better because of it. With about 15 minutes or so left, I started rendering some of the muscles. I didnt really have a good vantage point for a lot of the muscles that we've studied so far, but it wasnt hard to figure out and approximate the muscles that we havent learned.
The last drawing was a ten minutes pose from the skeleton. I found it very helpful to go from drawing the skeleton to the live model. I had all the long axes lengths, shapes, and angles in my head before starting the live model. I hope to do more sketches from a skeleton either in class or on my own. Anyway, I started to use a good variation in line weight and value, but I think I just went over some of the lines one to many times and it started to look to much like an outline. I tried to exaggerate the curves of the spine, and I think I did a good job without it getting too out of hand.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
For anyone thats been keeping up on the Presidential race, (or Presidential rat race the way all the mud slinging is going) here's a couple political cartoons. Obama's tax plan is very much involved with the phrase, "spread the wealth" giving tax break/credits to those making less than $250,000. As soon as McCain and Palin were done calling Obama an unpatriotic terrorist, the next logical step was to call him a socialist. Although parts of the thought of spreading the wealth might seem to have roots in socialism, but then again, I do recall a some $700 billion dollars of taxpayers money being used to support and pretty much nationalize banks. But enough of politics. The first drawing was kind of a fun piece to do. Although Karl Marx is quite dead right now, I'm not sure Barak would have gotten an endorsement from him.
I also felt it necessary to do a drawing of "Joe the Plumber." McCain seemed to talk an awful lot about him at the last debate, bringing his name up some 20 times or so. By the way, there's way to many Joe's in this race: Joe Biden, Joe six pack, and now we have a Joe the plumber. Maybe next Joe Camel will stop in, or best case scenario, Snoopy drops by as Joe Cool.
I got started off with the gluteus minimus and medius. It was hard to place these two at first since parts of them are buried under the gluteus maximus. But once I got them in place, it was easy to see how this muscle group has so much volume to it. The IT band and gluteus maximus were equally hard to place on the mannequin. I used the muscle poster in the lab a lot to figure it out. I enjoyed working with these larger muscles. I've had some difficulty drawing all the mass and musculature around the pelvis, and after sketching my model a few times, I've gotten a much better understanding of where to place each muscle. Its become easier to pinpoint some of the landmarks on the live model when drawing.
Ryan- Seperate the longissimus, and try to make it a bit thinner, as it is one uniform band, rather than a flat sheet like you have it now. Try to round out some of the spinal erector muscles, either by trimming the edges, or by adding little leech-like bands, and smoothing them out around the form. You could probably go without some of the minute details of the muscle fibers and strands because it tends to flatten the forms as we view them. It might be more beneficial to just be viewing the structure of the muscles, and to imagine the strands and fibers are there.
Mark- Try to use your tools to clean up the forms, and round them out so we can clearly observe where they meet and how they relate. The muscles in the upper neck get a bit bulky. Try to imagine skin over some of these areas and how they would be protruding and how you can make it seem to be one structure consisting of several forms, rather than a bunch of different objects. Take a good look at Amy's model and some reference material, and observe the proportions and relationships especially in these very complex and difficult areas like the spinal erector set.
General Note- The spinal erectors will now be referred to as the erector set...
Jake- You should thin the muscles out in the thigh and lower back in some of the areas where it seems to get a bit bulky. The external oblique should meet the ribcage, and the abs should meet the obliques in a more gentle and less geometric and clumsy fashion.
I want to say my ten minute pose is the more successful of the two drawings. I think the overall structure of the drawing is okay. I have a variety in line weight and value, but I didn't get a chance to render those lines correctly over the ten minute span. The left shoulder is a much darker line than the closer right shoulder. If I had a couple more minutes, I could have fixed that. The long axis of the rib cage wasn't angled quite as much as the model, and I wish i would have exaggerated that a bit more. Something that I want to start doing more of is disregarding the outlines of the figure and concentrate on the long axes, rib cage, and now the muscle groups. That has been the goal of the course so far this semester, but I find it hard to get away from drawing the outlines after I loosely draw in the long axes, rib cage, and pelvis. Something I'll be working on.
In the second drawing, I think I could have done much better on the overall structure of the figure. I attempted to show some foreshortening especially in the right leg and foot. It got way too long, so the foot and lower leg look rather awkward. There are also foreshortening problems in the torso and hips. One thing I do like is how I rendered the rib cage. I feel like I got the correct angle and foreshortening. As for the technique goes, I used a good variety of values in the lines, but it might have helped to use a greater variety of line weights to help push the head and shoulders(not the shampoo) further back. Over all, this was a very challenging angle for me to draw, and I hope I get to take another stab at it soon. I think I could do a much more naturalistic drawing.
I really enjoy doing the longer poses, but I don't these two drawings reflect that very well. The 10 minute drawing looks much more relaxed. The 50 minute pose looks very awkward and parts of it dont even seem very human. But if I can slow myself down a bit on the longer poses and do a good gesture of the pose, then build in the basic structures of it before I get all gunghoe about rendering the surface of the figure.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Here's two little doodles I did this past week. I would say I'm far from satisfied with the results, but I'll take what I can get I guess. It seems every time I feel like I'm making some progress with watercolors, I take about 6 steps back and completly dispise everything I paint. I guess it's all a learning process. Any way, I had been wanting to do the Sarah Palin drawing for some time. I wasn't sure how exactly I was going to do it, but this was what I came up with. I tried to make it like a geology diagram similar to a depiction of the earth's layers. I thought it would be a silly way to show her limited and seemingly unqualified qualities.
The second one is a painting of the ancient Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. Initially I had planned on doing a very loose and sketchy drawing in colored pencil and then render it with watercolors. I like using watercolrs and achieving a loose feel to my paintings. I wanted to compliment that with the colored pencils, but I think I get too anal about tightening up the painting and trying to eliminate "sketchy" lines. Its very self-defeating as thats exactly what I was going for in the first place, but it's just how I draw. I used the colored pencils to add some darker values and tighten up some lines. All in all, I'd say it turned out allright, far from perfect, but once again, it's a learning process.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Here's a couple drawings/paintings I've done in the last week or two. I've been trying to use a variety of mediums lately. I really enjoy the layered opaque vs. translucent look of watercolors. I have found it frustrating to get the look I want with them, but after doing a bunch of watercolors over the last couple months, I'm starting to see some progress. It's a medium that can be hard to control if you don't slow down and think about each mark you make. The first drawing/painting is of Ice T. Drawing his caricature is like shooting fish in a barrel-lots to work with. I was watching Law and Order the other day and just felt an overwhelming need to draw him... so I did. The second drawing is pretty straight forward. Sarah Palin, Queen of Alaska, and VP candidate. I'm not exactly a fan, but she seems to be in the spotlight, so I figured an editorial type illustration was in order. I did the drawing in pen and ink, then colored it with watercolors. Once again, I like how the watercolors play with the "comic book" style of the pen and ink. The next drawing is of the charecters from Lord of the Rings. It was a fun piece to do except that the original is 18"x24" and it took a long time to draw out, then ink. But it was a good experience to work that large with a more detailed drawing. And lastly is a little political cartoon that I thought was timely. Not much else to say about that guy.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
I started off building up the spinalis muscles beginning with the cervicis muscle. It felt a little strange at first, not knowing exactly where to place it. Even having the pictures right in front of me, it was a challenge to translate the small scale of the picture to the third size model. But after getting past that, it was easier to put the muscles into place. I finished up the spinalis muscles(around the back of the neck and along the spine). Then came the longissimus muscles which are placed just outside of the spinalis muscles(still attached to the spine). The twisting nature of these muscles made it a little harder to build, yet it helped to illustrate how our muscles are tightly woven together. Next were the iliocostalis, followed by the abdominal muscles. These muscles were a bit more interesting to put on the model as they cover the stomach, intestines, and other vital organs. They add more mass to the figure in a way that is more separate from the skeleton.
The only problem that I feel that I had while using the clay was to find the right amount of clay to use for each muscle. This was an easy “guess and check” solution, followed by trimming with a knife or clay tool. This experience will help me to realize how much mass to draw on a given muscle. I feel like I have a new understanding how to render musculature on a figure.