Friday, August 17, 2018

Life Drawing - Why?

Week after week, the dedicated are at Life Drawing. Why do we do it? It is like practicing scales - you do it to keep in shape, keep your hand-eye coordination tuned up. We always start with "warm-up" poses of 5 one-minute poses. Naturally, you are not going to get a finished masterpiece in one minute. The object is to get the gesture. The model is able to hold poses that would be impossible to maintain for longer periods. Above is the five one-minute sketches from last Wednesday. They were done in a brush-pen and I was aiming at getting the pose  and also getting the proportions correctly.
Then, after the five one-minutes, we do five two minutes (not shown) and then move on to the rotation pose. The model poses 5 minutes in one position and then rotates 90 degrees while maintaining the same position for total of 20 minutes. The drawing above were done in charcoal pencil
Then  we do two poses - each of ten minutes. This is one of them- done in black and white charcoal pencils on pastel paper. 
Following a break, we work on twenty-minute poses, which gives us more time to do more complete drawings. It is all practice and we don't keep all the drawings, usually.  If you draw a tree and the proportions are "out", it isn't always that obvious. But, if you draw a person, your mistakes are clear to see.It is also practice in human perspective as lengths appear differently at different angles. Each model has a different body shape and a different way of projecting his or her personality so that all becomes part of it too. We then hope that we can apply all this when we are out doing street scenes or even doing long poses without any warm-ups.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Happy birthday to paperbacks!

July 30th was the birthday in 1935 of paperbacks by Penguin --- Happy Birthday Penguin and Happy Birthday to all other paperbacks too! I took the photo above of some of my "golden oldies" - these are all from the early '50s. Contemporary British Art was Penguin and the others were by Abram-- Gauguin, Velazquez and Modigliani at 50 cents each while later purchased Utrillo was 95 cents. They all had colour and even fold-out pages. What a boon for someone studying art history in those pre-Internet days. Handled reasonably carefully, they have survived very well. Nowadays, of course, paperbacks have increased in both size and price but are still around to bring art history and art instruction to a large audience. There is something nicely substantial about a hard-bound book that sits so well on a shelf but there is also much to be said for the availability of more books because of paperbacks. Fifty-cents in the early fifties was pay for an hour of baby-sitting - and the possibility of another art book too. So, a slightly belated birthday greeting to paperbacks and their contribution to the world!