Sketch Dump- February

February 22, 2013

It’s that time again, when I parade out my lame attempts from figure drawing sessions that I attend. This month has been a little bit like a Hollywood version of a life drawing class in that all the models have been young, thin, and pretty… gets awfully dull. Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of the older guys in class, (weird, there seems to be three distinct ages- 65+ then a 20 year gap to the 40s, then another 20 year gap to the college kids- odd, eh?) so I don’t mind seeing pretty, young women in only what God sent them into the world with. Even then— lets mix it up a bit!

Below are a few of the recent efforts, all on colored paper, but I’m constantly trying to decide what I prefer to work in. I bounce between Creatacolors thick drawing leads (which have a nice range of graphite, charcoal, and chalk options) and the paper saturating Copic markers (which are intense, and visually pop off the page). The thing is, both give me the look I want, but in different ways— like two pianists, each can play the piece, but one strikes at the keys while the other taps them. So the question is, do I prefer the stark nature of the markers, or the gentle tones of the graphite/chalk? It may be a practical issue that decides things, as the markers don’t smear or wear off the pages of the sketchbook during transit, where the other does. I haven’t made up my mind, so if anyone has any specific thoughts go ahead and post them.

First up are some old images I found which I can’t remember if I posted or not. Since I’m lazy and don’t date things, I can’t tell when I did them; I know it hasn’t been too long since they’re near the end of the book. These do stand out, because it’s one of the rare times we draped the model. It’s always been a pet peeve of mine with drawing sessions, I know we need to understand the form to know how it will change the fall of cloth over the body, but you have to draw cloth sometimes to know what it does! Sure it has certain tendencies, bit rarely will a person take a pose, drop out of it, and then back into the same pose to have the folds of the cloth repeat the same position; it’s just not that consistent. Yes, the “pinch points” will be at the joints and edges, but how many folds, or how it creases, will change by how the position is set. Seeing that, studying it, is enormously beneficial, and why schools don’t work it into their programs is beyond me. In 99.9% of my career the figures have worn clothes. The .1% that didn’t— well, we won’t mention since it would hurt my political career. Seriously, I draw more jackets than nipples and more slacks than bare bums. Sorry— rant. So here are a couple that I found from that session involving drapery… they’re very “Clash of the Titans”.

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So back to my original comment, that the models lately have all been in their mid twenties, in shape, and pretty. Nothing to complain about, but life drawing is meant to challenge you, and to force on to see, and draw, things in a different way, which can be hard when you find yourself repeating things. I mentioned in a previous post, there are not bad poses, so I’m not blaming the models, rather the mind set of classes. It’s a catch-22, you want people to attend,  to have sessions that appeal to people who aren’t professionals, but (sadly) it also appeals to middle aged men who want to see naked women. Lets be honest here- because I know one guy who only draws if the model is thin and pretty, for he seems to chat and eat a lot of snack food when it’s a guy, they’re older, or the model is on the heavy side. I admit, pretty girls in the nude… well, I’m a bloke, I’m pre-programmed that way; but I love a challenge. I like having to take what most people don’t find appealing and make it attractive, or to find the beauty where others miss it. I like the challenge of folds, wrinkles, man bits, etc… but, that’s not to say I want those all the time either. The thing is to mix it up, men, women, fat, thin, old, young, tall, short, apple, pear, pole- doesn’t matter, but lets represent!

Be that rant as it may, here are some nice drawings of young, thin, girls— who never seem to let their hair down. I will admit, though, I did like this girl’s braided hair.

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Just in case anyone was wondering, here is a scan of from one of my books so you can get a sense of scale. I work on small pads, rather than the spiral bound billboards a lot of people bring in to draw on. Anyone who has seen my original comic work knows I draw on an 8.5×11 sheet of paper. I like that size, because it’s easier to see a page as a complete thing, and it keeps me from getting bogged down in too much detail. I was talking with another artist at the session and it dawned on me, it probably has something to do with the fact I grew up drawing on notebook paper (as most kids do), so I suppose there’s a bit of a comfort zone built in as well. You can see the spirals of the notebook at the top of this one, which I think is 5×7, or 7×5- depending on how you hold it. ;¬P

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More to come next week- with less complaining, and more drawings.

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