Friday, February 26, 2010

2/24 Value Patterns

More value studies Wednesday evening.  This time we focused on value's influence on composition by establishing a pattern.  Students hand-toned their paper to a medium gray value.  Once the composition was sketched in the process was to focus on individual values of white (erased/ reduced), light gray (paper tone), dark gray (added) and black (added).  In other words, focus on all the white objects and areas.  Use the eraser to establish the whites.  Then move on to another value . . . say black.  This will bring contrast to a drawing quickly.  Draw in all the black areas paying attention to the way the "eye" is led throughout the composition.  Continue addressing the remaining values establishing a pattern and making adjustments as needed.  When you develop the pattern, you will see gaps where you may need another white or darker value.  One that is different than the actual still life setup.

 In Jilisa Dial's drawing the white shapes establish a strong triangulation that crosses the center of the drawing starting with the funnel to the bottom left and over to the books on the right.
In this dense and compact drawing by Zoe Huffman, values are repeated within the objects as well as negative areas and shadows.  Note the two triangles found in the chicken feeder and the funnel in the left of the composition.  These are counter balanced by the black triangle in the bottom right corner and upper right corner.  In addition, small dark triangles are found in the negative area  situated within the wooden picture frame and across the composition to the left on the corners of the stack of books. If you look closely, you can also find a series of white triangles throughout the composition.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

2/22 Light and Form

For Monday evening we continued with value studies.  Our subject was a stack of white, ceramic mugs.  The assignment was to render the mugs with full categories of light.  Furthermore, students were instructed to activate the negative space around the mugs.  The stack of mugs posed a number of challenges: 1. rendering light and form, 2. capturing the gesture of the mugs, and 3. employing an interesting and engaging use of negative areas.  One note to remember concerning proportions; mugs are mostly symmetrical (excluding the handle). Start by establishing a central axis line.  This will also help with capturing the tilt or angles of the stack.  Drawing by Kate Picchi.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2/17 Imaginary Face

Wednesday evening began with a brief discussion about Pablo Picasso; a little bit of background as well as historical relevance.  We focused on his later work; portraits specifically.  The most important thing for us to note regarding our project was the way Picasso addressed space.  The distortions and abstractions that Picasso applied to his portraits were not totally random or arbitrary.  Picasso was presenting the portrait from various viewpoints.  In other words, he drew the portrait as though "he" were in motion; as though he was walking around the model.  Close inspection of the portraits reveals that some features are presented frontally while others are in profile. Click here for an example.

Our project was to draw an imaginary face incorporating various points of view.  To make things exciting, we tore or drawings in half twice - once vertically, once horizontally - and traded the halves with each other. Aside from expressing various points of view, students were to address composition, line, value, shape and texture.

2/15 No Class

President's Day Holiday

Thursday, February 11, 2010

2/10 Value Reduction

Wednesday evening began with a lecture on ValueValue refers to the gradations between light and dark. Values are influenced by the lighting conditions and the planar structure of an object.  For instance, rectangular objects have hard-edged value transitions; whereas curvilinear objects have smooth, gradual value transitions. 
The evening's drawing was a Value Reduction; a high contrast drawing consisting of two values,  black and white. When addressing values we refer to a scale of 10; 1 being 100% white, 10 being 100% black with 8 shades of gray.  For our drawing, we had to decide whether a value was between 1-5 or 6-10. Values ranging from 1-5 stayed white. Values from 6-10 went black.  The end result is a high contrast drawing that appears flat and somewhat abstract because edges merge and are lost within objects that share the same value. In DrewAlexander's drawing, notice how the two large objects on the left are not separated by a line.  The bucket in front shows a dark value with a light value on top that meets with two stripes on the pale behind. The edge is "implied".

Justin Edwards' drawing has similar areas. Although the drawing is very well composed and the values have been accurately reduced, the white areas in the bottom right corner shouldn't have a line around it. The same is true for the skull and the pale behind it. One solution, would be to have a broken or open line instead of a completely enclosed shape. All in all, still a very good drawing.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

2/8 Proportions of a Chair

Monday evening we continued working on proportions.  We started with chair studies.  Chairs are particularly well suited for working on proportions because they have lots of negative areas between the various supports, legs and back.  This allows for many points of reference for measuring. Secondly, chairs pose a perspective problem as well.  In that regard, they present various angles and diminishing sizes.  Chair drawing by Ariel Lockshaw.  Some of the proportions and angles are a bit off (ex. feet are too level to one another) but overall the drawing exhibits good line quality and a lot of investigation and an openness to make changes.

After the break, we made proportional studies of a grouping of objects.  In the demo drawing, note the use of organizational lines to make height and width relationships as well as locating the central axis of objects.  In the initial stages of working out the composition, your approach should be loose and flexible, searching and making adjustments.  From there you can employ sighting to fine tune the proportions.

Once the proportions are accurate, finish the drawing off with modelingModeling is the application of the categories of light and value gradations to create a three dimensional effect.  Refer to the Ideal Solids studies for assistance.  Drawing by Katie Bogner.

Friday, February 5, 2010

2/3 Proportions

Wednesday evening we started our discussion on "Proportions and Sighting".  Sighting is the technique of taking measurements and comparing size relationships. For rendering proportions, I introduced the concept of organizational line drawing. This method is similar to gesture in that you start with rendering the largest shapes and work towards the specifics.  When working with complex forms it is helpful to try and identify simpler forms within, such as our Ideal Solids. For example, a bottle is composed of three shapes: 1. a cylinder (the body) 2. a cone (the shoulders) 3. another cylinder (the neck). Notice in Elaine Gutsch's drawing above how she started with a central axis line because the body of the teapot is symmetrical.  From there it is a matter of working with stacked cylinders, a cone, at the bottom and middle, and ellipses.  We also practiced applying the categories of light to the objects. Coffee decanter drawing by Cameron Belvedere.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2/1 Composing Ideal Solids

Monday night we made drawings composing with the Ideal Solids from the previous week.  The brief lecture introduced four concepts for creating depth: 1.) overlapping forms 2.) diminishing scale of objects as the recede into the distance 3.) value; dark values recede, light values advance and lastly 4.) atmospheric perspective: the influence of atmospheric conditions on the forms within a composition.  Atmospheric perspective (a.k.a. aerial perspective) breaks the composition into three levels; foreground, middle ground and background.  Objects in the foreground have crisp, sharp details with rich, intense values and colors.  As objects recede into the distance, their size diminishes, their edges and details become fuzzy or blurred and the values and colors lose their intensity. Drawing by Kate Picchi.