Monday, May 17, 2010

Finally Final

Now that I have finally uploaded everything and had a chance to rethink about everything I've done, I'd have to say I'm very pleased with the progress I've made in this class. In terms of the goals for this class, I feel I've pretty much made some sort of transformation on each point. I had to forget everything I "knew" about drawing the figure and really just take in the class piece by piece. More than anything I think I've abandoned my caricature version of the human form and found the knowledge and skill to represent a more realistic human form.

When looking at my comments from Midterm, I think my biggest improvement is spending more time on process and on getting the base of a drawing correct, instead of just jumping in head first and deciding to fix it later. I think this shows in the final shell drawing, and my long drawing of the skull, because each is packed with process in my opinion.

Lastly, because I love storytelling, conceptual art and locations, and human expression, I think this class was very useful to my goals for a career as some sort of illustrator. Speaking with a friend of mine who works in a similar genre in CA, he said that Life Drawing is a huge foundation to everything he does, so it sounds like I'm off to an OK start. Probably going to take LD2 because of how much I enjoyed this class.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Final gesture drawing - Tue. the 12th

Tue we did our final gesture drawing and I'm glad to say I'm happy with how far I've come in this class. I made the contrast on this pic high to show some of the mark making better, because I think my process in how I work through a drawing is one of the biggest steps I've made. It's crazy how interesting the body becomes when you've studied every little part and know how to maximize the expression in each.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Blog Posts, how I forget you exist

Hey everyone, man it's hard to remember to do these amongst a Senior Show and my job fatefully looming over me.

This is the final seashell drawing, and man does it look better than those that came before it. I definitely payed more attention to really needing to have a great sketch before starting on the ink. That helped because when doing the ink it seemed to take out some of the guess working that came with shading on a shell that seemed impossible to shade. Overall I think I grew a lot just on this shell thing, not to mention the whole class. Now when I draw I catch myself doing cool things that I didn't do before taking this class.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Finally made it to the museums! O_O

Finally got to catch up on my museums visits for Life Drawing One, kept putting it off due to knee back pain, but eventually I just had to do it.

My first stop was the Bell Museum. I enjoyed it a lot, because while some artists wouldn't really consider it an art exhibit, I find the ability to recreate a natural environment to that believable a degree compelling. This probably has something to do with my focus, which is characters and environments, whether they be hand drawn or digital, for the sake of story telling. Each exhibit has a lot of action to it, rather than seeing it as a lifeless piece to me.

Second, I went over to the Walker. While I did find plenty of pieces I enjoyed, it was really a depressing experience for me. As I walked the halls with a somewhat familiar oblivious feeling, I recognized nothing but unyielding unconsciousness. Each piece seemed like an exhibit in and of itself to the decay of "soul" within the medium. As I viewed maybe a dozen dark rooms with film reals that lack any real community to them, I wondered at which point does this stop being avant-garde? I desperately looked for something that would correlate with my Life Drawing studies to distract me from my depression. I was unsuccessful. As I read one verbose elucidation after the other, I couldn't help but get a sense that it might be possible that these artists have become so detached from the community that originally inspired them to pursue this endeavor. It wasn't that I didn't understand each artist statement, or that their vocabulary was too complex, in fact I understood them quite well, processed their logic, and found the lot of them lacking of any real soul or purpose. When people try this hard to establish themselves as individuals, it seems so sad that they all have become needlessly conformist to the standards that dictate modern fine art. In fact, modern fine art seems like a shapeless nothing to me to begin with. When the anti-art movement rose to popularity in the early 1900s, its validation created this strange logical fallacy in which not only does art=art, but not art=art. With the definition collapsing in on itself it created a system in which whether you do nothing or everything, it's art. Over time it would seem that some foundation would be needed, in order for the masses to still have barred access to this world, despite talent, vision, and creativity no longer playing any part in it. To me, this is the education system. Granted I have grown and learned so many things during my education, but sometimes I have to cautiously suspect it's nothing more than paying the price of admission to be involved in this whole escapade. For every artist in that gallery that thought they were pushing new boundaries or accomplishing something, I find their philosophy and depressing demeanor as antiquated as the brick and mortar forum in which this witnessing must take place. I want to see art live within people, bring all kinds of humans together, and pass like a spirit between one person to another whether they are considered artist or not. I just see so many barriers within the current system that it's disconcerting. I don't mean this as a rant against any of my teachers or to piss anyone off, I'm just frustrated with the experience as a whole. I've learned a great deal at Stout, and am better for it...but I feel like I will never have a place in the Walker's world. I'll be with those "losers" who celebrate each others work on online forums, despite how lame or conservative their work might seem...and I'll love every minute of it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Shell drawing reflection.

My Goal:
To create a shell drawing that describes the 3D shape and textures found on the shell when viewing in person, and to accompany that with a degree of expression that brings it to life.

My Execution:
I fell I'm getting there, but I need a better mastery of the ink to get the full effect. The base sketch of the shell was, I felt, the best cross contour I've done yet...but the ink kind of smothered the base drawing and lost some of its form within. I need to plan out more breaks in the drawing to give it time to dry before I work again as well.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Review for last week...

Well as we start the week of April 12, might as well make a post about the previous week.

First we did the shell with ink, which was a completely new endeavor for me since I generally shy away from media that is tougher to control. While I can't put a picture up just yet, it definitely ended up being uber-black and lost some of the details. Now I know a good artist could probably explain his way out of it, but bottom line is...I need more practice.

Then we got into the shoulders and arms, which for me are the most fun. I generally like drawing the head and upper torso the most on a figure, because that's where the majority of the decoration goes. It's not like I have character sketches that have nothing going on their top half, but have an amazing pair of pants for no reason. Particularly getting the shoulder/neckline/clavicle relationship right is key to also making characters not look like androids.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Midterm Review

Congrats everyone on making it to midterm!
I posted my pics at flickr, at

Now as for my review, it's been an interesting semester so far. There's been so many things that I've had to approach differently when drawing in this class. For example, I like everything I do to look finished, therefor I always want to make a darker line, and seal off a certain edge, in order that a piece looks finished and presentable. I'm seeing that this is not to way to approach Life Drawing though. There's always more time that can be spent on an area, bringing it to life in a greater amount of detail.

Secondly, my entire career here at Stout has been chalked full of professors who say my work looks too cartoony, and that I need to pay more attention to the realistic side of what I'm seeing. That said, the best drawings I feel I've done in Life Drawing are the ones where I am taking what I'm seeing and exaggerating it almost in a animated fashion. By bringing out certain muscles and expressions, I feel I get a greater sense of the 3D nature of the human form and the strength behind each muscle.

I look forward to practicing more and more, because I've already started to use these concepts in some of my illustrations elsewhere.