Monday, August 18, 2008

Mr. Loomis Help Me Out

I played WOW with my daughter last night. We haven't played games together in a very long time. It was fun just laughing and being silly with her. The other kids watched behind our backs and gave important suggestions on directions to go, things to pick up and if we should run, or stay and fight. Games are a family event in our house. It is common for all of us to decide on a game time and a goal and then laugh as the plan does not quite come together. This time we included my daughters significant male friend. I am not sure what kind of impression we left, but we put on our headphones with microphones and let him hear all the ridiculous chatter that goes on when we game.

Needless to say, I got a late start on my morning...

I did my line exercise this morning. Even though they are very tedious, I am noticing a remarkable improvement in my hand eye coordination. I think I will be ready to move on to the second lesson tomorrow.

SketchThe first bit of sketches is an exercise directly out of The Head and Hands by Andrew Loomis. Loomis has several books that are packed with information. Of the art books I have, I would say his are my favorite.

As you can see, I am hit and miss on these sketches. Hopefully, as I practice, I will get better at them. Some will argue that the best way to learn this stuff is by getting a model and drawing from life. Others will argue that if you understand the basic bone structure on the inside you will be able to make more sense of what you see. I think each individual varies depending on how they learn.

The opposite page is how far I got while trying to sketch my dog. Just when I thought I was getting somewhere he moved. I think he knew I was drawing him. He is just as bad as my kids.

SketchThe next sketch is just a tree. (In case it just seems like abstract lines.) In my battle with nature, I would say that trees are my biggest challenge. Using the theory of understanding the underlying structure, I played with a few ideas on how to make a tree skeleton. I have no plans to become a landscape artist, but the idea that I cannot draw a realistic tree really bugs me.

The next bit of sketches are thumbnail drawings. The first few are some ideas just floating in my head and the others are just abstract lines placed randomly. This is more of an exercise in creativity. Sometimes if I just look at random patterns like clouds, wood grain, plaster or random lines like this, I will begin to pull out forms that give me ideas. This is a variation of some suggestions by Loomis in Creative Illustration.

I find myself seeing all kinds of different things in these simple marks. My brain likes to make sense of them and follow them around. One is a flower, one is a group of people. By not trying to make anything at all, I have made a variety of lots of things.

The biggest reason I am doing this is because when I am on a technical study surge, I tend to lose touch with that creative side that comes up with original ideas. (Not that any thing hasn't been done as far as subject matter.) The part of me that gets excited and wants to make pictures starts to get lost. I forget that the whole reason I really do want to memorize the shape of a head is because I want to put a head on a person that is doing something in a picture.

Maybe tomorrow I will have more updates on my painting.

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WC Lee said...

It is good to see you studying the technical aspects of figure drawing. Loomis is a very good artist to study but his technique is hard to copy. Another good artist to study is Bridgeman.

I believe it is more important to understand the underlying structure when drawing the human head and figure than it is to draw from life. This is from a person that has not done one single figure sketch or drawing from life. Understanding the underlying structure will help create convincing light and shadows and also help create 3-dimensionality in the artwork even if it is just a simple contour sketch with no rendering. Also, understanding the underlying structure allows the creation of a face or figure from imagination much easier.

Anna Sellers said...

Creating from my imagination is something I truly want to learn.

Thanks for the reply. I love watching your progress. I was really happy to come across your blog.

Anonymous said...

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Evodie Pierre