Saturday, January 17, 2009

Eleven by Fourteen Sketch Book Start

Tonight Oldest was painting at my art table. Portfolio next weekend, so he was trying a larger piece and paint (he is usually a fine-tip pen and Prismacolors kind of guy). He painted all day today - possibly 8 or 10 hours worth. It went well, and I was certainly not going to interrupt him.

So I took the 11 x 14 sketchbook that I got myself for Christmas (I got one for Oldest, too - it was on his list, actually, and I just copy catted for me) and started the first page, doing my usual random lines, blind contouring the balloons left over on the living room floor from the ten year old birthday party last Saturday, and the leaves of the broad ferns in the rose arrangements in the sconces on the wall. After over half an hour of erasing and adding lines a figure emerged. Usually it's things like trees and cats that come out of my memory and the random lines, but after the life drawing, figures seem more likely. (Linda commented that she expected this, back on January 9th).

I still don't recall the upper back well enough to fill it in. That bothers me a little. But I'll learn that later, and I'm pleased that I caught something of the beauty of the pose the Renaissance Italians called contrapposto, a weight shift to one leg, which the ancient Greeks used. Medieval Europeans lost the idea until Roman and Greek sculptures were excavated in the 14th century. And I seem to have learned a little about the pelvis from Thursday night's model.

10 comments:

linda said...

I really like the body and how you have it standing....you have picked this all back up so rapidly! I am envious but not enough to torture myself trying to draw a nude man again.....I can't wait to see you do a male figure! ;)

I would like to see you take this further but you don't talk like you will....I know you will be painting nudes before long although I don't remember being so psychic...can't you imagine giant flamingos and nudes lurking among forest and ferns...sitting on turtles, frog rodeos??? *grins*

I could really see the beauty of the model's pelvis in your drawings and see it here too~very beautiful...

I didn't realize you had one in his twenties hidden away!! so I see ... it's not quite so weird as I thought...

Steve Emery said...

Linda,

I actually would like to take this further, and I might be able to at some point, but I want to keep this "from memory," and this is all I can do from memory right now. With more experience I might have more of the figure in my artist head and I may find I know how to go further. For instance, I know with a stretching pose like this there would be a separation of tone in the back, curving to the left, and the spine would show traces of itself, giving visual queues of the twist in the torso. I also know there should be shadows for the scapulas, and her left shoulder, but I don't draw those well when they're in front of me (yet) much less remember how they go.

What blows my mind is how much I suddenly want to do with the next life session. Between knowing what I want out of some poses (the beautiful thing to emphasize - the heart of the drawing) and this urge to understand (in my gut, in my artist mind) the play of the shadows and light over the bones and different muscle groups, I have a lot to do next time. Every pose would offer some special opportunity - either the one or the other, I believe. This morning I found myself wondering if there is another life session somewhere else, on a different day of the week, so I can do it more regularly even if my work and travel schedule takes out Thursday. Or maybe I need to find a session in the city I travel to... So I can go when I'm staying there. Now there's an idea...

And if I can get this in memory, it will end up in my paintings. Playfully, emotionally... And I've already been thinking how much this will help Sandman once I get to the figures. In a month or two the figures would be a lot stronger than I could have drawn them last month.

I'm also curious how I will do with a male model. I know there will be beauty there, too - but I am so tuned in to the beauty of females that I am wondering if the experience with a male will be as strong. We'll see. They try to do 1/3 of the sessions with a male.

If you have any of your figure drawing/painting that you could photograph and post/e-mail, I would love to see how you approached it.

This ability to share artwork for comparison and talk, over 3000 miles of distance, is amazing.

Steve Emery said...

Dearest, in case you are reading this, I will show you the original today. Last night we were all in a tired, quiet place.

And I changed my avatar image... xx oo

Lisa said...

I really like reading the artists talk to each other about their art. Steve, I think it's great that you're stretching yourself again with the human body drawings.

kenju said...

I noticed the weight shift to one leg in statuary often when in Europe. I think it makes it look more natural/realistic somehow, and it is or can be definitely sexier.

Leah said...

It totally makes sense that a figure would emerge after life drawing sessions. And it's lovely!

Utah Savage said...

It is lovely. I liked painting flesh tones most. I love the new avatar.

I left you a comment on your comment at my place. Your comment on Too Damn Big was lovely, too. And insightful, perceptive. Yes Judith was turning the world on it's head.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Beautiful and graceful and very well done! I love this!

I need to do a self -portrait for my class. I like yours, the blue one, but now I see you maybe have done a new one?

Genie Sea said...

Fluid beauty! Stunning in its simplicity :)

Liberality said...

I've tagged you and it's Lisa's fault. Play if you want to.