Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Personal Best: My Favorite Figure Drawings of 2012

Over the past few months I have begun to take more and more advantage of this blog as a place to put my work.  There are so many advantages to doing this that I never would have considered: it provides a record of my artwork that is almost always available, searchable and accessible.

This blog also gives me an opportunity to review and analyze my work. To run this blog,  I have been forced to photograph, catalog and write about my art work on a regular basis. All things that are easy to forget and slack off on.  However after putting in all this work, as the year is ending, I can for the first time look back over a large amount of work and pick my personal favorites for the year.

I think my figure drawings have been really strong this year. I just got back into regular attendance of a few workshops and classes and am really happy with the end products. I look through the folders of artwork and have so many favorites for this year.

In quite a few of the drawings I have the feeling of, "Wow! I cannot believe I did this." I choose five of my favorites for this post.

Above is a drawing of Adele from December 10th. My favorite thing about it is how I captured the dramatic lighting of the pose. The drawing has a real chiaroscuro, Baroque feel to it.

All the elements in this page are working: the main figure, the gestures behind it and the toned paper. The shadow is also strong; the dark blue is really doing a lot of work dividing the page and putting the main figure forward in the composition.    

Above is a drawing of Katelyn from July 23rd. There is a great looseness and spontaneity to this drawing that I personally always strive for. I think that was one of the main benefits of the large poster board sized pages I was working with: It kept me frantically working throughout the 20 minutes. 

In some cases the end product was not very good. In others, like this, it is amazing.

The ink wash is also beautiful in this. I particularly love the places it creeps through in the oil pastel. Her stomach is a beautiful patchwork of the layers of oil pastel and the blue underneath. The blue is also making the shadows do neat things. I used burnt sienna for the shadows and where I blended it, like the shadows of her face the vibrant colors mute and darken. In others where I used the burnt sienna thickly it pulls nicely away from the blue wash. A good use of my color theory. Thank you, Professor Toni Martin!  

The drawing is great too. Her hands are a little boxy, but still well defined. I am really proud of this drawing.

This drawing is of Rachel from October 29th. I really love this drawing because it made a really great page out of the drawings I was having the most trouble with.

For a long time I would regularly attend the WCC figure drawing class. Snowden Hodges who ran the class would often live by the lesson Joseph Sheppard relayed to him, “If you cannot do it in 25 minutes you aren't gonna do it.”

So in classes by Snowden or at WCC, all the poses outside the gestures were 25 minutes. I really got used to that pose length because that was what everything was. There were some exceptions but most telling to me is that I still have playlists on my iPod labeled “Drawing” that are 25 minutes long exactly.

So in these new classes at the art academy and University of Hawaii, I had a lot of problems with the 2 five minute poses and the 10 minute pose. For a while I struggled with what to do with them. One night I tried this and I was so happy with the end result that I have continued to work similarly since.

I really like the figures in this page. I love the hands in the center figure the most. How with just a few lines of oil pastel I was able to define interlocked fingers and their flow. I love how all the figures on the page work. The gestures in the background provide a nice anchor for the 5 minute sketches and the 10 minute sketch on top of it. 


This drawing is a recent one from December 16th of Alex. This was my first time back at the UH figure drawing workshop. I really like the whole page on this one. 

The gestures in this pose are really nice. I think all 4 figures are doing a great job establishing a rhythm in the background. They are like the drum beat, flowing through the piece and capturing movement.

I think the main figure fits well in the page too, almost framing the right corner. It is a great figure with lots of movement and power in the drawing.

This page works really well and that is why it is one of my favorites for the year.  This page has a great set of gestures and a great main figure.  There is also a lot of interplay between the two that makes is dynamic.   I love the two central gestures are looking at the main drawing’s head, pulling attention to it. I love that the right most gesture, which is almost covered by the main figure, its left leg is almost identical to the main figures back arm.    

Above is of Katelyn from September 24th. It is a pretty straight forward sketch of the model lying down. I sat on the ground to get a more dramatic perspective. I love this drawing.  There is a great feel to it and everything about it is working. 

I really like the shadows of her face. I also love how I rendered her hair. There is a nice "roughness" to this drawing and it is balanced pretty nicely with the delicate figure. Again the energy and spontaneity is nice in it; so much is defined with a few strokes.

This figure also shows a lot of skill in rendering the figure in a short amount of time. I really like how it came out.

"Everything... has to be resolved through rhythms. 
You're constantly massaging each form, 
trying to get it home, 
pushing further and further until these all coalesce
 into a marvelous kind of rhythm 
that reveals the life of the painting." 
~ Leland Bell

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