Friday, March 19, 2010

Evolution of a Charcoal Study- Final Day and Done!

Well, here she is. This is what I was able to achieve after 36 hours of work. Is it done? Not really but, as this is a study, the purpose has been achieved. The purpose is for learning of course! Learning to draw proportion, shapes, form. Learning to use charcoal and to work with tone. Learning a bit about the human form which we will be jumping into next term. Today was the last day of the second term. The school year is half over! It seems like I am just getting started and now I have to cram in as much as possible since instead of four years, I only have one. So very much I have yet to learn.
I am truly appreciative for what schooling I can get. At the moment our plan is to move to the North Coast of Oregon where I will study on my own. We are hoping to be able to regroup and get to Maui in a couple of years. I would like to go for at least another year to finish up. Studying on my own will be a tremendous challenge. I am using much of my free time this year researching and getting that set up. The upside is I will save on tuition! What I save will be spent on art supplies, studio set up, and learning tools.
The area we are moving to has a large art community. I am hoping to find mentors, peers, and new art friends there.
Well, I have a two week (plus a few days)  break. I will be doing a bit of drawing and experimenting with charcoal and charcoal making, but I also will be catching up on other areas of my life. Posting will probably be a bit sporadic. Next term should be interesting as there will be more figure drawing.
I do have a note of warning, our female models are nude so the drawings will be too. The male models have the genital area covered so they will not be completely nude (don't get me started on the double standard there!). If you find nude art drawing offensive consider yourselves warned! I can honestly say that I enjoy drawing the beauty and wonder of the human form. I have learned to appreciate that beauty so much more by drawing it in all its various shapes and forms. I wish life drawing were in our schools, I think the incredibly narrow definition of human beauty in our society would be redefined.
Until next month! -Renee

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Evolution of a Charcoal Study - Day 5

Well, here is the drawing after today's work. We have one more day, six more hours, to finish the study. Finishing the study doesn't necessarily mean that the drawing is finished though. These are studies after all. This has been quite the challenge so far. The good thing about that is challenge = learning. That is what I am here for! I will post the completed study next time. -Renee

Friday, March 12, 2010

Evolution of a Charcoal Study- Day 4

 I have to apologize for the quality of this picture. Unfortunately I was distracted and in a hurry when I took it and wasn't as careful at making sure I got a decent shot. As you can see, I am slowly building up the tones. I still have details to correct and get working but they will be adjusted as I build up the layers. I have to remind myself that this is an exercise, a learning tool. This is the first time I have tried to draw something like this. It shows how important proper training is! I know I could not have done this as easily the first week of school. We four more sessions to work on this next week. I can honestly say I have learned an incredible amount in this one lesson. I am excited that we will be studying figure drawing next term. Hopefully I won't be pulling my hair out. Some days drawing is hard, very hard. When I got home yesterday I was so very tired. I felt like I had been climbing mountains all day. Even at its hardest and most frustrating, I still love doing this. I can't think of anything else I would rather do.
I am not sure where the next few years will take me. I thought it was all arranged not too long ago but, as most of you know, life is full of change, unexpected and otherwise. I would like to get to Maui to get what schooling I can, but I don't see that in the near future. After a lot of research, I still haven't found another school I would like to go to. It is a bit hard to change the learning structure and every school is different.
Well, I have rambled on enough. I will have more to post next week as the charcoal study comes to an end. -Renee

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Evolution of a Charcoal Study - Day 3

Well, finally a little progress to show. I still had a time getting her head and face working. It is amazing how much a millimeter or fraction of an inch can completely change the character of a face. I am starting to move into three tones and getting the lights and darks balanced.  Here is a closeup of the drawing.
There is still much to do but at the end of this day we had put in 18 hours and we have 18 more hours to go over this week and next. Tomorrow's session should see even more dramatic difference. For reference, I am adding a shot of the actual cast we are drawing from, here:
I must add that we draw from a fixed spot. Once we have settled in we try not to move our position. The pictures are not taken from the same perspective as my view while drawing so there will be some differences.
Spring is trying to arrive here. One day we had spring in the morning and winter at lunch. Nevertheless, with the longer daylight hours and acceptable weather, I have started walking to school. It is about 2 miles and takes me through a mixed country neighborhood and a historical neighborhood which is quite lovely. Trees and flowers are in bloom and I enjoy greeting the various cats, dogs, sheep, and horses along the way. The occasional person too! I like getting in my exercise and enjoy the 40 minute walk to think and take the sights in.
Tomorrow is another school day and back to work. I will be posting with the next installment soon.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Evolution of a Charcoal Study- Day 2

I know what you are thinking, "this looks like day one!" Right? Well, I assure you, it is day two. I spent the entire six hours getting the proportions of the face, head, and upper torso working right. It just isn't as easy as moving a line out here or a line in there. When ever you make a correction the whole drawing needs to be re-adjusted. I just about have it ready to go to the next stage which is to add one more tone so that I have a light, medium, and dark value. Once that is working I go to 5 and then full tones. I have to stop and check that everything, including the drawing, is still working before moving on. It is amazing how fast the drawing goes awry when your back is turned. 
Today, as usual for a Friday, was model sketching and construction drawing. I will post the construction drawing in another post as I haven't had a chance to take a picture of it yet. I came home from school and then left with my husband for the first Friday Art Walk and Chocolate Festival. An irresistible combination. We made a date of it and had dinner out too. It has been a very productive and enjoyable day. 
Tuesday is the next school day we will be working another session on our study. Should have more dramatic changes for you all to see then. -Renee

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Evolution of a Charcoal Study-Day 1

I thought I would do something a bit different this time. We have three more weeks left in this term and this is what we will be working on for the remainder. I thought I would post a day-by-day progression. This is the first day out of six days over the remaining term. Each day consists of two 3 hour solid sessions. This is near the end of a total of six hours! As you can see, it does not go fast. When I left today I made a note to myself to adjust the proportions of the face as they are slightly off. It only takes a millimeter for things to start looking funny. When you have several shapes with many sides that means many opportunities for things to go wrong. Over all I am happy with my start. This is the first bust or human head cast we have done. It is one of my favorites to look at but very challenging to draw! In spite of the challenge, I am enjoying the process tremendously. 
I took this picture so you can see the actual cast and lighting set up. Future pictures will be a close-up of the drawing and the final day I will do both a close-up and a picture of the cast. 
In the meantime, still researching where to go next! -Renee
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