Friday, August 28, 2009

Contour Line Studies

Drawings by Chris Clark and Kaitlin Roll

Contour Line Studies

Subjective vs. Objective

When artists take a subjective approach to drawing, they are working more from their imaginations.  When artists are objective, the drawings are more factually based. The two drawings are both from our angular interpretations of the shoes and boots.  Yet the one has very exaggerated contours whereas the other is angular yet more consistent with the actual shape and volumes of the shoe.

Characteristics of Line-Angular

Thursday night we did a couple of drawings where we contradicted the contours of the shoes and boots.  The idea was to explore the effects of changing curvilinear contours to angular contours.  We also went for a more gestural approach.  Drawing by Jason Petersen.  Note the expressive mark-making and the strength and weight of accented lines.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Contour Line "Drill"

Just about anything is a good subject for contour line studies. Tools, plants and flowers, shoes, fabric, bicycles, cars, toys, fruits and vegetables, portraits, hands and feet, etc.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Contour Line Drawing

We finished the evening with a series of contour line drawings composed on a single page.  Contour line drawings are composed of slow, deliberate and incisive lines.  Contour lines define interior and exterior volumes.  The artist works from the parts to create the whole.  Drawing by Olivia Phelan.

Characteristics of Line

With this drawing students changed all curvilinear volumes into angular volumes.  We discussed the influence of curvilinear lines vs. angular lines and the different emotive qualities associated with the two styles. Drawing by ShonRay Nichols.

Continuous Line Drawing

Wednesday evening began with continuous line drawings of boots and shoes.  The drawings are composed of one, long, fluid, continuous line wrapping around and isolating the parts of the shoe.  The idea is to start inside, drawing the parts, working your way towards the outer contours. Don't outline and fill in. Drawing by Christion Salomn.

Organizational Line with an Emphasis on Negative Areas

Proportions and Organizational Line Drawing

On the second work night (Aug. 24 & 25), we discussed proportions and ellipses.  We looked at slides of Alberto Giacometti's work to illustrate the idea.  Remember that organizational line drawing is similar to gesture in that it is a searching line.  Starting with vertical and horizontal lines, the composition is organized and simplified by drawing lines that isolate and enclose the positive and negative areas.  This allows the artist to compare and take measurement of the individual parts.

Scribble Emphasizing Mass

The arrows in this drawing illustrate the posture of the gourd and the central axis line.

Mass Gesture Emphasizing Negative Areas

Towards the end of class, we focused our attention on emphasizing the negative areas of the still life. Remember that the positive areas are the objects themselves and the negative areas are the spaces around and within the objects.

Cross-Contour Drawing

A cross-contour drawing emphasizes the contours or topography of your subject.  On the first night of class, we began with cross-contour drawings of gourds.

Line, Mass and Scribble Gestures

These drawings are from a previous semester but they give you an idea of using the gesture techniques with objects other than the gourds.

Dirty, Old, Line Gesture of a Skull

Gesture Drawing

After discussing cross-contour and continuous line, we moved on to the four techniques of gesture: line, mass, mass and line combined, and scribble.  Remember that gesture is a quick and spontaneous all encompassing overview of your subject.  Generalize, starting with the largest shapes moving towards the smaller shapes. Using multiple lines and treat the forms transparently.  In other words, draw through forms that overlap one another.  Remember that line techniques use the tip of the charcoal stick or pencil whereas mass techniques use the side of the charcoal stick.

Continuous Line Drawing

After addressing the idea of cross-contours, we covered technique of continuous line drawing.  Continuous line drawings establish a path of the artist's eye.  Once the artist puts the pencil to paper, the drawing is executed in one, long, unbroken line until the subject has been fully drawn.  Start on any edge, establishing the largest shapes first moving towards the smaller shapes.  Wrap the form in lines, crossing and establishing interior contours as well as the outside edges of the form.  Your drawing should reveal the structure of your subject.  For a more volumetric image, try to swell the line.  In other words, have thicker and thinner areas of line quality.  Remember dark lines advance while light lines recede.