Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Break

Thanksgiving break is finally here. This has been a crazy week. Sunday, my wife and mother-in-law left across country for a combined Thanksgiving/Family Reunion and my father-in-law and I have become bachelors for the week. He works so much and I'm at school almost always that we haven’t seen each other for the past three days. Since there is no school Thursday we moved the evening sculpture night class to Monday, which meant I didn't get home until after Midnight on Monday and Tuesday. That wouldn't be too bad except that I have to be out the door at 5:30 to catch the train back up to NYC. Needless to say I am going to sleep well tonight. Thanks for letting me vent-without my wife I don't have anyone to tell all my problems.

This is the current cast drawing I am working on. I really had a hard time slowing down and being patient with the last one I completed (the eye), but this one I find a lot more interesting and easier to push farther. I feel like things are progressing really well, which is funny because in the past I've really struggled with modeling. Lately, my Block-ins, which I have been very proud of in the past, have not been developing like I wish.

Here is the sculpture I completed in the night class this month (November). As you can see we had a female model. Each month we switch back and forth. You can see, I hope, I was able to capture the gesture of the pose a lot better than last month. I was also able to take the sulpture a lot further. Unfortunately, however, there just isn't enough time to completely finish everything. Before starting I thought 24 hours would be plenty of time. Not even close. The school started a day class too-4 hours a day 5 days a week, 4 weeks. 80 hours and most of then didn't finish either. They were really close, but still needed more time. This pose I was able to acquire the dimentions a lot quicker. I am getting better at seeing the figure, but still made some mistakes. Amanda's left shoulder be placed farther forward. Also the top of the leg and the bottom of the leg twist a lit

tle too much and don't align as well as they should. Overall I am very happy with the experience and excited to do another one.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Check out my legs!!

I just finished this and thought I would throw it up on the blog. School is going well. I am still taking the sculpture figure class at night and very happy with the way things are advancing. I am excited to start drawing the figure in December.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Bargue Figure Drawings

My evening figure sculpture class is going really well. We finished up our last pose and started with a new model. This time we are working with a female. I am really happy how things are progressing. This time I was able to get the height ratio down a lot faster than with last months pose. The basic gesture is coming along well and I am starting to add some detail. Initially you want to get the basic masses up and the overall gesture without getting your widths 100%. You want to be a little small so you can accurately finish off the width at the end. I am approaching the width in the legs and will be moving up into the torso this week.

I finished my modeling of the eye and have included a picture. I want to talk more about modeling or turning the form, but will wait to touch on that. This week I want to talk about block-in. I spoke briefly about the overall process a few blogs back. Ultimately, you work from the outside in to the center of the drawing. This establishes the dimensions and placement of the drawing. Then you refine it working from the middle to the outside. Ultimately, we are working towards or preparing to work with the live model. Initially, we started blocking-in using the small casts (nose, eye, mouth, etc.), then we moved on to the larger casts (legs, torso), and then the biggest casts we have (full figures). As we approach to work with a live model we focus more on the torso of the body. Some of the challenges of working with a live model is they move, no matter how good a model they are they move and change positions. We work it so the model is up for 20 minutes and then gets a 5 minute break. Initially, the model may get out of the pose, but you'll find they get into a rhythm. They will settle in and you have to know which part of the body to focus on when. Any way we finished working with the larger casts and are now working from Bargue Figure Drawings. Charles Bargue was a famous artists that created a drawing course back in the 1800's. You'll see you did an amazing job simplifying and blocking-in the figure. We'll be copying these drawings the rest of the month and then we'll start working with the live model in December with the start of the new semester.

This was done the first few weeks of school. Jacob wanted us to see the abstract shapes that compose an object instead of the object itself. That is why it is on its side. This was the start of our introduction to blocking-in.

This is a larger cast we did. You can see the basic shapes I used to help me draw the legs. On an object like this it helps to use the shadow line to give you shapes to see.

We sketched this beauty for a solid week. Not this particular drawing, but this cast. Each day we would choose a different angle. This posed a great deal of challenges including the curve in her back as well as her feet. The proportions at first glance were very misleading as well. I found if I spend a greater emphasis and effort on getting the placement and proportions in the beginning things would fall into place a lot smoother.

This was an awesome cast. Full figure, it is a discus thrower. I didn't get to finish his right arm, but he has a discus. This really posed a great deal of challenges. The gesture is incredible and difficult to capture. It really helped me discover the importance of using plumb lines to make sure things at the top of the drawing were lining up with the bottom.
This is one of my first Bargue drawings. You can see another one at the start of the post. All of the students seem to be enjoying copying these drawings.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Last Thursday night I finished my night class. The Grand Central Academy of Art (GCA) offers night classes for anyone interested. Thankfully core students have priority and a discount on tuition. The first month I took portrait sculpture and last month figurative sculpture. The professor for the portrait is Jiwong Che, from South Korea. He gained classical training in Korea. Mason Sullivan teaches the figurative class. He recently graduated from the Florence Academy of Art in Florence Italy. I really struggled with the figurative sculpture at first. The instructor explained how we should go about it, but I wasn't getting it. However, once he started sculpting with us on the second week it really helped me see what he meant. You place small pieces of clay on top of each other from close observation of the model until you have a replica of what your looking at. I think I'm going to take figurative sculpture again this month. I want to see what I can do using this process from the beginning.

Currently, the GCA does not have a specific sculpture program, only painting. Mason, however, is suppose to be developing that program and building it up. I'm not sure if I would prefer to pursue sculpture or painting. That's a tough choice.

Here is the sculpture from the front. You'll notice I didn't have enough time to finish his face, arms or pertinent male anatomy. The pose is very popular in academic studies. One hip is thrown out to one side, with all the weight placed on one leg while the other leg comes forward. The model was also holding a staff in his left hand for support. Had I finished the arms I would have included it.

You can see the gesture really well from his left side where his hip is pushed out in order to place all his weight on the leg on that same side. I should also mention the sculpture is built on an armature. An armature is a wire frame that supports the weight of the structure and attaches to that metal elbow for support.

Thanks for Looking!