Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cast Drawings

I wanted to give you an idea what I mean by cast drawing. I took some pictures at school yesterday to give you a better idea what it is I'm doing. A couple of days ago I really felt like I was starting to get the feel of "modeling the form" or "turning the form". If you get it right the form of the object should really pop out out you and read correctly. Part of the problem is the world has taught us to copy value or the values of light and dark. Interesting as it is copying value doesn't develop the object three dimensionally. Initially, it is important to ignore the three dimensional properties of the object until you have the basic spatial properties. However, as soon as you get those spatial relationships correct you switch your mind to model the form. At this point you have to be intensely aware of the form of the object. At times I have to stop, put my pencil down and walk up to the cast and touch it to understand how a specific part juts out or dips in. Light can sometimes play tricks and that piece that juts out is actually dipping in. You have to understand what is happening on the cast before you can draw it on the paper. You would be amazed how much you have to slow down to ensure you are being faithful to the form.

This is what I am currently working on.

You can see the setup of cast drawing here. The cast is hanging from the wall on the left. My pad of paper is on the easel on the right. There will be a triangle from my eye to the cast and to the drawing. To simplify things you want a setup that reduces the triangle as much as possible. You want to be able to move your head from the cast to your drawing with just a small turn.

You can see one of my fellow students and friend working on a cast drawing. Unfortunately, you can't see the cast he is drawing. You can see all the pencils on the stand at his right. He has probably close to 15 pencils that he sharpens in the morning and lasts him all morning. You have to have a sharp tip to get a really smooth transition on your drawing.

As an update, I got an email from the Florence Academy of Art in Italy. They are putting together their winter class and unfortunately, don't have a position in their drawing and painting program, but do have a spot in their sculpture program. My wife and I talked about it and we will be staying here attending the GCA. I have thought about pursuing sculpture, but I don't believe we could financially make it in Italy right now. The GCA currently does not have a full time sculpture program, but are in the process of developing one. They actually just added a new teacher who came from the Florence Academy, Mason Sullivan. I am taking a figure sculpture class from him on tuesday and thursday nights. I'll take photos of my work and include them soon. As the sculpture program develops Mason will be the one heading up the program.

This is something I've been working on at home. It is taken out of Charles Bargue's drawing Course. You can see the Bargue drawing on the left and mine on the right. I tried to apply what I've learned about modeling the form. Obviously, it is a lot more difficult since I don't have an actual object to look at and touch. I still have to finish the thigh and the toes.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Surviving in The Big Apple

I've been in school now for just about a month and things are busy. I am enjoying myself and taking full advantage of this great opportunity. We are living in New Jersey with my wife's parents. The commute everyday to New York City is 2 1/2 hrs. one way but very much worth it. I wanted to post a few pictures highlighting what I've been doing.

This is my first cast drawing. The cast I believe is taken from Michaelangelo's "David". The exercise is to teach us how to model the form or make it look three dimentional.

This is one of my block-ins ( I belive it is a bust of Cesar). The block-in is a way of quickly getting down on paper the spatial relationships of an object. Essentially, you create a quick "envelope" of the object and using reference lines build into the center of the object. At that point you focus on the shapes that make up the drawing, refining the drawing from the middle to the outside.

This is another block-in. The exercise is designed to get you to focus on the shapes that make up the piece and forget about the overall object. For that reason this cast was placed on its side to help forget that it is actually a human head (it makes me think of Zues). It is interesting, if you can focus on the shapes, the head, or what ever it is your drawing will develop miraculously.

This is the start of my second cast drawing (an eye-not sure if it is from "The David". You can see I've finished the block in and have just started modeling or turning the form (making it look 3-D).

Thanks for Looking!