Sunday, January 19, 2014

Small Figures

About 35 years ago, when I was in art school, my buddies and I would take turns posing for each other in one minute costumed poses. 


In the series at the upper left I tried to capture the basic gesture of the folds of the costume using pencil and white gouache. At upper right is more of a tubular form emphasis, using just light and shadow and no outline.

In the middle row, I used a brush and ink to try to capture the black silhouette. In the bottom row, we moved the light around to the back and I tried drawing edge-lit silhouettes, where the light side becomes the paper color.

Drawing directly with the brush, I first drew the side away from the light before sorting out the complex lit side. This way of sketching gives a very photographic effect.

8 comments:

Eugene Arenhaus said...

Quite nice, especially the ones where only the shadow is painted and the paper serves as the light. Very abstract but still readable.

maxfield said...

Excellent practice. I wonder how many artists ever practice, as compared to musicians who practice every day?

Paul Hassett said...

Would you recommend going to Art Center as you and your wife did knowing that the tuition is $150k crazy high just to learn life drawing?

I've been attending Ateliers, and I've noted the Art Center graduates that teach at community colleges have no where near the same dedication to the human form as an Atelier....so it seems to me a college just scatters your focus and puts you in a great deal of debt.

James Gurney said...

Paul, Art Center is a different school now than it was when Jeanette and I were there in 1979-80. I think it's better now than it was then, when it was at its low point, from a skill and knowledge perspective. The figure studies in this blog post were not done in school, but on my own. When I left ACCD, I made my own curriculum to teach myself what I wanted to learn, using books and just practicing, and I picked up other things from from seminars and workshops. If you're interested in any art school, I would go there, really look around, interview heads of departments, and look very thoughtfully at the work of the faculty and students. If it's worth it for you, you'll know.

riseofthemolecule said...

There was a spot of the "Higher Purpose of Doodling" on CBS Sunday morning this morning.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-higher-purpose-of-doodling/

runninghead said...

Perfect! Thanks James- I'm working on tiny figures for the invitations to our wedding today. This is really handy! :)

Tom Hart said...

I remember a similar exercise that I did in an art class many years ago, and that still sticks with me. I felt that I gained a lot by doing the small figures. It forces you to think more generally, to simplify (plus you can fit many more studies in a small space and work quicker).

Annie C Curtis said...

The amount of dedication and sheer work you put into your art shows in the graceful ease of your line. There's no substitute for the hours of practice. Thanks for highlighting that for us.