Friday, August 31, 2007

Lauren Bacall - Modified!

Against the wise counsel of some of my friends, I decided to modify my Lauren Bacall portrait. I was convinced it would look better if I darkened the face. It was a bit nerve-wracking, but I'm finished. Here's a before-and-after pic to prove that I didn't totally screw it up. It's not a huge difference, but I do think it looks better. The larger value range on the face creates more of a 3D look. Of course, darkening the face required darkening of the sweater and some other parts of the drawing. It's done now - I won't mess with this anymore!

Audrey Hepburn

This is a small portrait (9"x12") I did while on vacation in Japan. It's kind of an unusual photo of Audrey Hepburn, but I needed something fairly simple. I wanted to prove to myself that I could draw dark, and I think it turned out pretty well. Yes it's kind of weird hanging out in the hotel room drawing, but it was really hot there and also I was waking up very early.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Summer Break!

I guess since I enrolled in the summer session, you can't really call it a summer break, but I have 4 weeks until school starts up again. Overall, Analysis of Form was a fantastic experience, even better than I expected. I was talking with one of my classmates and we were laughing about how just 7 1/2 weeks ago we were drawing ellipses, and poorly at that. It's amazing how fast the class progressed, and yet this is just the first small step of the program. I'm really happy with how my drawings turned out, and am looking forward to the next classes. Also my classmates and I agree that Jerry Boxley is an awesome teacher. He's perfect for this first drawing course. He talks alot, and is very detail-oriented: I remember the first day he told us how to sharpen our pencils. :) And he always has a positive comment about our work, and something that we can work on. And he can do that regardless of the student's level. It's really amazing.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

HW #3: Portrait

I have some misgivings about this assignment. With apples and drapery, your drawing can be a little off and people won't really notice, because it's not like we study apples and drapery. But somehow we are so keyed into the human face, and facial recognition, that we are very sensitive to things being even a little off. And it's not just the things that you would normally expect to make a face distinctive - like the eyes, or the mouth. But it's also little things like the curve of the jaw, the overall shape of the face, the distance between nose and chin.

So it's quite a challenge to try to draw a face, especially of a popular person. We used a grid system to help transfer the photo to the charcoal paper. My first impression was that this was kind of cheesy, but apparently it's a fairly accepted technique, especially when great accuracy is required. Our prof told us the masters used this technique to transfer sketches to the larger canvas.

I really love this photo of the young Lauren Bacall, so I was very motivated to make my drawing accurate. I think I spend about 5 hours just sketching out the face, and about 30 hours overall. I was really happy with how it turned out. But I seem to be falling into this pattern where I'll bring the drawing to class and mine will always be the lightest drawing. Somehow my classmates are much better at creating deep darks. It's getting to be very frustrating because I am very conscious of it as I am drawing. But it's like I have this mental block. They say it is common for beginning students not to go dark enough, so hopefully I'll overcome this eventually. Anyways my classmates and my prof seemed to like my drawing.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


Here is a shot of our classroom. It's a bit crooked because I was trying to take it covertly. Those benches we use are more comfortable than they look, but still after 4-5 hours in them you can feel a bit sore. But they are surprisingly functional, allowing you to change the angle of your board, or spin it around as needed. My classmates look a bit sleepy because they are - our classes start at 8:30am, and we had a major homework assignment due today.