Friday, April 8, 2016

Understanding Shadows at Home

Today I drew at home again.  I wanted to try two very different things in one session, to experience the juxtaposition.  

Here they are:

So first (#1 and #2)--just scribbling with the fineliner.  Human on couch, followed by dog on other end of couch (because if a person is on the couch, a dog is also on the couch).

I feel that the pen drawing of the person is the first ACCURATE portrayal I have done.  Of anyone.  Ever.  So THAT is a huge huge leap forward for me.  Thanks to the many classes I have taken through Sketchbook Skool and with Roz Stendahl and Carla Sonheim.

The dog drawing failed around the head--it does not resemble Nik at all--but what I really like about it--and did capture--is the funny position of all four of his feet.  So, I consider the drawing a success.

The gouache painting below is my first attempt at color (beyond monochromatic) in a long time.  I confess, I was nervous to use it!  I started with the fineliner sketch of Tim.  He is the only non-black animal in the house.  I cartoon him a lot, but don't do super well ever actually getting a "from life" rendering of him.

So I am THRILLED with these sketch pages, because the central image looks like him!  And here is how that happened.  First, slow.  Checking angles and plumblines.  And every time he moved, I either worked on a gesture elsewhere on the page or just waited for him to return to the first pose.   I didn't declare that all was lost when he moved and just quit (which is exactly what I would have done six months ago).  I paid really close attention to the stripes on his face and body.  And I used only three colors of gouache and spent time mixing them for what I needed--remembering how to use indigo to neutralize.

Anyhow, one thing I want to continue to work on on (or with) is color.   In this painting, the ochre is a little too sharp, so I'd like to paint Tim again sometime and work on the coloring accuracy.  I do feel like I was able to catch volume and depict the parts of his body decently--maybe not as well as I would like but surely better than a few weeks ago!

And I need to learn more to understand shading.  Shadow.  The more I learn, the quicker and more loose my work can be.

I very much enjoyed another session of drawing the creatures I live with.  We all spend time with the beings we live with, but how often do we sit quietly and really look at them?  Pay attention to them?  Appreciate seeing them?

It is a delightful experience!

This post comes from work I did in a class with Roz Stendahl, Drawing Practice:  Drawing Live Subjects in Public.  I recommend it!

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