Thursday, September 10, 2015

Re: INVITATION: Drawing @ the academy | Thursday September 3 |

Reign 09/03/15 , Watercolor, 11"x 15"
Day 3

Opening my email.

Hello Students Staff and Faculty!
The Operations and Student Services Departments would like you to join us for an evening of a long pose drawing, painting or sculpture and beat the heat. Thursday evening September 3rd!
We will be setting up 2 models in the air conditioned Wilkinson Hall starting at 5:30 pm going until 8:30 pm tomorrow night, One pose for the duration of the evening.
Ice Cold drinks to be served along with music. Come on down to the hall and have some fun, make some work and cool off for a bit. See you there.
Hope to see you there!
"In a 3 hour pose I can get a pretty good watercolor going," I said as I read the email. 

The event was a great community building activity centered around figure drawing. 
I went and was impressed by the number of people who came out and their skill level. It was also neat to see many members of the staff there drawing, too. It's nice to know that this place is not only home to a number of great artists but also administered by a number of great artist too.

I am pretty happy with my painting above.

The model was Reign. She wore a collection of necklaces and ornamentation that I thought would be a blast to render in watercolor. I think I managed to get some of the shine and glare right.

I was dreading painting the parasol. Japanese and Chinese brushpainting is full of great renderings of these that look effortless. It is a complicated but delicate form.

She took a pose that was very stiff, both feet planted on the floor, It makes sense from her perspective-- it's a three-hour pose and she has to get comfortable. But I improvised the feet of this pose to make it a little more dynamic.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Horse Skeleton

Horse Skeleton 09/02/2015, Ink on Paper, 9"x 12"
September 2, 2015 - Day 2
So when I saw the horse Skeleton in the sculpture room I was unsure what to think.

"They made a big deal out of this you know," a classmate told me. "Did you go to the open house day?"

I shook my head.

"Yeah, I went and they made a big deal out of it." He then said, " I don't really get what the big deal is."

So today I had to wait around after anatomy class and I decided to sketch the skeleton. A friend of a friend wanted a drawing of a horse skeleton for a literary magazine she was working on. So I figured this was a great opportunity. 

 As I was sketching, my ear bud blaring, someone came up to me.

"It's hard for me to look at that thing," he said as I pulled out my earbuds. "It keeps getting destroyed," the man said looking intently at the skeleton. "I spent all last year working on this. Maybe I should just stop checking in on it."

The man paused in front of the skeleton and scanned it quickly, exhaled once in a gruff disgust and continued on his way.

I continued to sketch.    

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Classwork- History/Compositon - Day 1 - Cyrus

Cyrus 09/01/15 Pose 1, Watercolor, 11"x14"

September 1, 2015

So day one at the New York Academy of Art. My First class was History and Theory of Composition which is one  part history class and one part studio. The work today was to gauge our ability levels. The space we are working in is newly-renovated, so there was a bit of time spent getting the area ready for drawing. 

The model in the afternoon session was Cyrus. He was either Persian or Sikh, I will ask him next time he sits, but either way his body type was a real insight into a class I had a long time ago at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, the Art of Ancient India. 

During that class and looking at slide after slide of statues of the Buddha and other Hindu deities, I always thought the shoulders were exaggerated oddly. But Cyrus's body type really illuminated the body shape those artists were trying to capture. As I'm writing this, this seems like an odd point to be making, but it was a real "Ah Ha" moment even though the realization was rather silly upon reflection.  

The afternoon session was two hour long poses. I know from experience I can get a pretty good watercolor in this time frame.

I worked really systematically the first 20 minutes of the pose on the sketch/outline. The next 20 minutes on blocking in the dark light fields and building the dark. I then spent the last 20  Minutes working on the lighted section for the drawings.           

I am pretty happy with this painting, It's spontaneous; it's well-rendered and has a nice mood to it.

Cyrus 09/01/15 Pose 2, Watercolor, 11"x 14"

Pose 2 was a little rushed and the last pose was collapsed to 5 minutes. As such my same plan fell a little short. I kind of like the effect it made though. I'm finding the incomplete/stylized parts of the form is kind of appealing. I may have to experiment with this and specifically how much of the shadow can I define and still have the form readable.

Speaking of Indian art, I think Cyrus was intentionally making a mudra in this pose.

Monday, September 7, 2015

After Asia By Daniel Chester French

After Asia by Daniel Chester French, Ink on Paper, 9" x 12"
After the orientation meeting for school I had some time before I wanted to head home, so I decided to go back to the National Museum of the Native American and draw another of the statues.

This one is Asia.

I had a lot of fun with this drawing. Coordinating multiple figures in a scene is really challenging and these kind of statues offer some really good practice at these skills.

I like that I was able to add the wash behind the figures and the architectural element on the right.

"Knowledge of divine things is lost to us by incredulity."
~ Heraclitus

Sunday, September 6, 2015

After America by Daniel Chester French

After America by Daniel Chester French, Ink on Paper, 9"x 12"

So I'm calling this sketch sightseeing. I think that is the term I will use to describe my copying famous statues in areas. I think it describes the activity well.

For some setting. There are 4 statues in front of the National Museum of the Native American or the Alexander Hamilton US Custom House as a quick Wikipedia search of the location and statues informed me. The Statues were done by Daniel Chester French, who also carved the statue of Lincoln and was called the "Dean of American Sculpture in the 20th century."

I really like the four continent statues. The kneeling male figure in the foreground really caught my eye. It looks really stylized and almost art deco to me. Just the structure and the exaggerated heroic pose.

I spent a while drawing this, I think I will try to do at least parts of the other sculptures.

I really have been debating going into the symbolism of this statue. It is worrisome and dated in the "grandma's racist" sort of way. The other ones are notable worse.

I still had a lot of fun with this drawing. I am mainly enjoying the challenge of multiple figures in a scene interacting to each other. I also love how French's chisels rendered the fabric in these statues. While not the most realistic. It is really stylized and dramatic. It was also a lot of fun to render.