Thursday, January 30, 2014

PROPORTION: Identifying the Ideal Solids within Complex Forms

Luis Rodriguez Chombo
Lauren Tokunaga
Last night began with a series of gesture "warm-ups". Luis' drawing above is an example of the Mass technique. Notice his attention to the negative space and the use of dark tonalities to establish depth. The rhythm of the dark areas moves from the lower right to the lower left and then diagonally up to the right.
After the "warm-ups", we moved onto a discussion of Proportion. When dealing with proportions it is always important to consider the artist's intent. Remember, realism is not a requirement for "good" art. Cartoon proportions are very different that realistic proportions and there are many gray areas between these two extremes. The most important thing about Proportion is that there is continuity amongst the shapes and forms and that the space rendered is believable.
Lauren's drawing above clearly identifies the combination of stacked "ideal solids" as well as all relevant ellipses. An area of special interest is how she used the negative space to squeeze the base of the urn. Notice how the long curving lines sweep down and push in on the form. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Naomi Lehr
Last night students made studies of the Ideal Solids. Although these forms are found in most objects, they too have "root" shapes. First start the cone as a triangle and then add the ellipse to the base. Cylinders start as rectangles or squares with ellipses applied at top and bottom. Once the structure is complete the categories of light may be addressed. Remember when applying tonalities, you will get the greatest sense of volume and three-dimensionality with a single light source and strong contrasting values. Lastly remember that rectilinear forms (cubes, pyramids, etc) will have abrupt changes into value moving from one plane to another whereas curvilinear forms (spheres, cylinders, etc.) should exhibit smooth, even gradations from light to dark.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

LINE: Contour vs. Gesture

Kate Donovan
Friday morning began with blind contour studies of small maple leaves. The page was completed with slow contour studies of organic forms and tools. The objective was to build "eye-hand" coordination and fluid, confident line quality. Notice how the layering of objects creates a sense of depth in the composition. At the same time, negative areas are strengthened by closing them in when  the edges of objects are allowed to touch.

Gianna Davy
Friday afternoon began with cross-contour studies of gourds.Notice the character of the line as it moves across the surface  addressing the topography of the gourd. As the planes recede or turn away from us the lines get closer together creating a darker value.
Susan Lazzareschi
Next, we made continuous-line drawings addressing structure. Notice how the gourd has been divided forming a cage-like rendering of the volumes. The accenting on the right under the "chin" of the gourd and at the base add tension and a greater sense of weight.
Christian Curtis
Then we made scribble gesture drawings. Each drawing has its own sense of texture depending on the rhythm and movement of the lines. Scribble gesture drawings should have a sense of mass as well as light.
Isabella Miranda
We finished the day with a series of mass gesture drawings, starting with one gourd and then small groups. The mass technique captures the "mass" of the object and the light through broad, tonal sweeps. Notice the way the volumes advance and recede with the placement of darker or lighter values. In general, dark values will add weight to a form and cause "planes" to recede. The neck of the gourd is pinched and further away than the belly of the gourd so it makes sense to darker this area. The head and belly are advancing areas so lighter tones are applied.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

MAKING YOUR MARK: The Searching Line

Lauren Tokunaga
 Last week we discussed building "Eye-Hand" coordination by means of Contour Line drawing. Last night we expanded our study to include Gesture drawing. But before that the class made a series of drawings addressing the "cross-contours" of a form. Cross-contours address the volumes on the frontal planes of an object as opposed to drawing the outside edge. In Lauren's drawing above, notice the absence of vertically located lines on the left and right sides of the gourd. The lines move across the surface horizontally. Most importantly, notice the curvature of the lines. Straight lines on a round object will flatten the volumes.
Riley Crandall
 Riley's drawing above is an example of "Scribble" Gesture. Like all line drawings, these are very personal, exhibiting one's individual signature. Notice the twisting, turning, wandering and searching nature of the line. The objective is to start in the center or core of the subject (instead of an outside edge) moving towards and searching for the outside contours. The object should appear solid with mass as well as a sense of light.
Leah Lehr
And just for fun, we ended the night with portraits employing the "Mass" Gesture technique. The Mass technique is similar to the Scribble yet it is tonal rather than linear. The artist draws with the side of the charcoal, making broad, sweeping strokes, instead of the tip which would make lines. Although Leah's drawing is more advanced addressing the identity of the model, the objective was really to capture the transitions between light and dark areas. For instance, the receding values in the eye sockets, the shadow under the nose and chin and a softening of the volumes around the forehead and cheeks. Remember dark values recede, whereas light values advance (look at the nose and the cheeks).

Thursday, January 16, 2014

LINE: Contour Lines and the Sense of Touch

Naomi Lehr
For our first drawing session, we discussed the characteristics of line. The most important things to remember about line are: 1. It is the most personal of the five are elements in that it is similar to an artists signature. 2. Line is like a path that leads the eye around and through a composition. 3. Dark lines advance while lighter lines recede. And lastly, "accents" (darker areas) may be used to describe changes in weight, light, texture, color, structure and location in space.

The main thing we focused on last night was the development of clean, fluid and confident line quality. The drawing above skillfully illustrates all of these points. Notice the way the open center of the composition is balanced by more resolved or detailed renderings of the leaves on the left and right sides. In addition, the "accents" add volume to the contours by capturing the curling and rolling motion of the leaves' form.