Super full day of art! I started with a modeled painting in gouache, then gestures from memory, then a daily composition and finally some more drawing on Mr. Spock.
I love that today was full of many different types of media and practices plus performance and now I’m on to the digital media portion of my art day.
I’m calling the drawing of Mr. Spock a performance because I’m not practicing anything here, but implementing what I know to make a finished work.
I spend about an hour on each of my areas of practice and performance. One hour on exercises from The Natural Way to Draw. Then one hour on creating a finished piece with Fandom Fitness drawings. Finally I spend an hour or more on my post and the current Artist Perspective I’m working on.
Modeled Painting Exercise
This is exercise number 15 in Nicoloaides’s book which is all about doing a modeled drawing but with a new medium. The book calls for watercolor but all I have is Gouache to work with at the moment. Once I get some watercolors I think I will do these exercises over again.
I’ve always wanted to try watercolor but honestly I’ve been a bit scared to do so. Now I think it’s time to walk through that fear door and learn how to work it.
I took this picture with my cell phone just to snap it quick. Next time I’m going to actually take a good photo. I forgot how bad the cell phone is for taking pictures.
Just three colors used here: Yellow Ocher, Burn Sienna and Black. Per the instructions I start by building up the figure from the center with pure yellow ocher, then I mix black and sienna together to make a chocolate color and use that to push back the areas of the form that receded in space, while trying to keep the advancing parts of the form pure yellow ocher.
The other modeled drawings in charcoal and ink took much longer to build up but they were much easier that dealing with paint.
While I was working with gouache for the modeled drawing I figured I’d use the gouache for my daily composition.
Pattie and I were doing our workout yesterday at Peach Arch Park and as I looked out over the bay I noticed that it was super low tide and there were people walking down there.
It was an amazingly clear day and the scenery was beautiful. I briefly pondered trying to do the same and walk the bottom of the bay during low tide, then starting thinking of all the muck we would have to walk through.
As soon as I started working like this it reminded me of drawings done in the 19th century by a number of artists using just ink, charcoal and an opaque white.
It also reminds me of this amazing post by James Gourney about illustrators using black and white on a tan surface.
My daily composition is a far cry from these spectacular illustrations but I’m still working on it. One day I may spend more that 15 minutes on a technique like this.
Gestures From Memory
Here is the next exercise I did with my super full day of art. It’s called “Memory Drawing” in The Natural Way to Draw.
For these gestures I set a timer to go off every 30 seconds. For each of those 30 seconds I bring up a random gesture from photo and study it. I’m not just trying to remember the pose in a technical sense. I’m trying to attach an impulse or motive to it. For example one of the poses today I was thinking “unstable” and “off balance”. These are the ideas that I need to remember, along with some of the position of the figure, then communicate those impulses in gestures.
Then after those three timers pass I only have 60 seconds to draw the three figures that I remember. Yes, three gestures in 60 seconds, from memory.
It’s difficult to do an most of the gestures turn out looking bad, or like stick figures. But what they look like is not the purpose of the practice. The purpose is communication. And for the most part I feel today’s memory gestures are communicating well.
I’m loving this drawing. I have a motive and I’m following it. In fact everything I do in the drawing is in service to this motive.
The motive is to render Spock in a logical and mathematical manner similar to the characters mannerisms on Star Trek. I’m trying to use nothing but straight lines and for each are of value I’m keeping them contained and even.
Previous Spock Posts
What went well?
Spock drawing is going really well and I had a super full day of art with an assortment of media.
What didn’t go so well?
A bit distracted throughout the day.
What did I learn and/or how can I do better?
I should use gouache a lot more for the daily compositions. With this I can gain more skills in gouache while working on my memory and composition ability.