24 July 2007

the figure group

charcoal life sketch; 15 minutes.

wednesdays a figure drawing group meets in town from 7 to 10pm. it is often very crowded, but less so in the summer heat (fire codes prevent opening the fire escape door for ventilation, and there is only one window).

this male model was both fun to draw and worked harder than the usual female model, who usually spends the last half hour pose napping. i really dislike drawing a sleeping model!

i have invested a lot of effort into painting female figure nudes, but i haven't done a series of males. i can't visualize a context that will make the male figure compelling -- i mean, a pose that displays the form and also anchors our reason for looking at it.

charcoal life sketch; 15 minutes.

as for drawing, i have tried value drawings and don't like the process. value drawings are great for analyzing a painting subject, but they just take too long to do right. it feels like painting without the solvent.

i like to draw in outline primarily, for some reason i always have, although i am continually trying out different ways to indicate value planes through hatching, contouring or scribbling. as soon as drawings obscure line with shading, they lose the schematic power that drawing can create.

speaking of figure drawing ... the graphic artist glenn fabry used stop frame images of exercise and bodybuilding videos to work on his figure drawing skills. the results are published in his book "monograph". several years ago i started using stop frame dvd images as painting subjects, and i recommend it highly for portrait and figure sketching.

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