This past week my class has been looking at the drawing of expressive hands. We’re still working for the most part in charcoal which is getting easier to handle for me. I like Strathmore Toned Paper and I’m finding it easier to get darker tones with a softer Nitram charcoal. I had started with Strathmore 500 charcoal, but it doesn’t have the smooth look of toned paper.
Besides drawing practice (whole body gestures) and these hand drawings, we also have a discussion post where we post examples of expressive hands. Everyone always shares very different examples – it’s a great part of the class.
The three I shaerd this past week were from Rackham, Wyeth, and Earl Oliver Hurst. In the Rackham, I thought it was an interesting contrast between the knobby hands of the old woman and the simple open hands of the children. The Wyeth also showcases contrasts in this Heidi picture. The grandfather is tanned and has a commanding gesture. It’s contrasted with Heidi’s fairer and more tentative post. The Hurst I liked because he seemed to contrast the confident face of the man with the nervous lines in his jacket and hands.
Interesting work in Life Drawing class the past week. We’re learning how to simplify figures by blocking in simple geometric shapes. It helps generalize what you’re seeing and I think will make it easier working from life.
At the Terryl Whitlach conference, she had recommended Future Publications’ How to Paint and Draw Anatomy which showed how to break the human figure into simpler shapes. I found the book (actually both volumes) online at Scribd.
Today, my teacher also shared a video that will make really help what I want to be able to do. The figures are very fluid, but also have volume.
I dropped my Hornblower in the Crisis of at the Washington State Convention Center on Wednesday and got a sneak peek at other work that will be on display from the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators now until September 30th. It’s a fantastic show and I’m honored to have work in it. We’re going to go down tomorrow with our family and my grandparents and take it all it. There’s also a Meet the Illustrators and Family Draw Along September 17th which I know will be great.
Art History III is over for me now and it’s nice to get more drawing together. The past week I’ve been trying out new methods of adding color to my pencil drawings. This crow (we like crows in house) was based on an old photo of Fred Astaire.
I’m trying watercolor, colored pencil, and pastel over printed versions from the Artisan 1430 printer.
My new course this quarter is Life Drawing IV. It feels good to be working in traditional media again. I’m also started working with charcoal powder for the first time. It’s messy, but I really like what can be done with a light touch. I’m also seeing what a difference it makes using a fine grade of charcoal paper.
Here’s a skull that was this week’s homework. This holiday weekend I’m going to be traveling down to Monterey for the annual meeting of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators. Looking forward to it! It’ll be my first art conference. Jack Laws is one of the keynotes. I admire both of their work.
I just learned that I won one of the First Prizes in the Best of the Gage Academy Awards for 2015! Wow! I’m kind of blown away. If you’d like to see my work and the other winners of the Best of the Gage this year, it’ll be on display in the Steele Gallery at the Gage (1501 10th Ave E #101, Seattle, WA 98102) until August 17th.
If you don’t know about the Gage, it’s a famous fine art school in Seattle founded by Gary Faigin and associated with such luminaries as Juliette Aristides.
My prize-winning drawing was done in my first-ever figure drawing class with Aron Hart (Figure Foundation I). I’ll admit I was initially overwhelmed by figure drawing, but I found that blocking in shapes, making master copies, and then learning the anatomy helped a lot. It was in Aron’s class that I also first started using graphite sticks and compressed charcoal and I took to that medium very well.
I know I haven’t had time to post blog updates in a while, but I’ll get back to them. Lots of great things – finished out another quarter of Art History and Composition (wrote on The Ambassadors by Holbein) and now halfway through Color and Figure Drawing II. This is a great quarter as I’m doing all art. I’ve also be traveling a lot but have some great photos from my time at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston.