Friday, October 3, 2008

Tunnel and Sabot

Here are two last sketches from Boucoiran, France. The image that really stuck with me as I explored the town was the way the train tunnel was cut directly beneath the old medieval village.

The problem was that there was no place to really see the view that was in the mind's eye. You'd have to sit directly on the tracks—not a good idea with 100-mile-per-hour trains whizzing through every hour or so. I was able to find a spot in a park off to the left, and had to imagine the view from this angle.

This idea of sketching from an angle that's different from what you actually see is an interesting challenge for a figure sketch group. We had a teacher at Art Center who had us look at a model and draw her from 90 degrees to the side.

Finally, here's a quick study of a sabot with the old colored pencil technique. Tomorrow: back to Switzerland.


Anonymous said...

These sketches makes me want to jump on a train to France right now.

Which is perfect, because that's exactly what I am going to do this afternoon.

Jen Z said...

What an interesting concept... I was always able to imagine myself from the viewpoint of other people, but I never tried drawing a model or still life from a different angle to what I saw. Next time I take on some life drawing I'll keep the trick in mind

Erik Bongers said...

Imagine the model 90 degrees rotated? Not for beginners, but a good idea in preparation of learning how to apply what you learned in model class.
Comic book artist that can't have a model posing for every single frame need such training badly.
I'll give it a try (and spread the word on both the 180 and the 90 degree rules) in my own model group. Let's see if it get's picked up...

scott said...

Fantastic stuff. I don't think I have commented on your blog before, but your work is amazing! I love the illustrations in this post.

Shane White said...

Some of this stuff is reminding me of Rien Poortvliet.

Lush with a sense of immediacy.


Daroo said...

These moleskin paintings are perfect travel studies and brilliant in their own right. But I'm curious if you've packed your Open Box M and plan on doing any full on plein air paintings?

Or if not, do you ever work up any paintings from these travel sketches (and maybe some photos) when you're back in the studio?

James Gurney said...

Daroo, I've traveled overseas with the Open M and enjoyed it, but this is more of a promotional trip than a real painting trip. I probably won't work up finished paintings from these sketches, I'm just woolgathering.

Scott, I appreciate your comments on the blog especially in light of the huge variety of amazing blogs you do.

Erik, you're right: comic artists have honed those skills of transposing forms better than anyone. Maybe Winsor McCay was the best of all time.

Shane, Poortvliet was in my mind, especially when I was using a sketchbook to do a portrait of Eliane's ancestor. If anyone hasn't seen In My Grandfather's House by Rien Poortvliet, I highly recommend it.

Unknown said...

The imaginary angle looks wonderful, conveys a great sense of movement.

arecol said...

Bonjour !
Quel plaisir de regarder "Boucoiran" sur ce site.
Quel plaisir d'avoir pu admirer James Gurney dans ses oeuvres.
Ce site est très enrichissant, dorénavant je le consulterai tous les matins
Colette "de" Boucoiran