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November 20, 2017

Michelangelo at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

A Michelangelo exhibit opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last week.  It is quite wonderful!  And it is VERY CROWDED!  There are 133 drawings from 50 institutions and 3 sculptures by Michelangelo.  Most of the drawings are in red chalk, and there is a ceiling reproduction of the Sistine Chapel in one gallery, with preliminary drawings for this monumental work.  I actually visited with friends for several hours on 3 different days and enjoyed drawing there after finding tiny little places to stand out of the crowds. 

Here is a link to the Exhibit which will be at the Met until February 12, 2018

https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2017/michelangelo

 

I sketched his statue called Apollo-David from two views, and also a few of his drawings.   The first is a frontal view, with a few copies of hand drawings from one of his Sistine Chapel drawings.  The second is a side view, when I could stand with my back to a wall, out of the way.

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The head of the prophet Zachariah - who is painted at one end of the Sistine Chapel as a fully developed figure.   Each of the drawings are accompanied by a small photo of the finished painting in the Sistine Chapel, and a diagram where you can find it.

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all who celebrate this Holiday! 

November 8, 2017

Progress in My FIT Illustration Class

I am still really enjoying my FIT Illustration Class called Fashion Applications.  Last night we started to talk about elongating the figure, and I learned that was a convention that began in the late 1800s when women were wearing long dresses.  Instead of the normal body length, which is 8 heads long, the fashion figure is 9-10 heads long.  It will take me awhile to achieve those proportions for our drawings, but I wanted to record some progress here since mid-semester.

1.  I am still using Nu-Pastel chalk to draw the 2 minute warm-up poses.  They are fun for loosening up, and I'm glad I finally tried them!

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2.  I can draw a figure and even add detail from a costume with 7 minute poses. The model had on red leather boots to go with her red and black Spanish costume.

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3.  At the end of a 3 hour class, with many single and double figure poses, I was loose enough to draw 3 figures together in 10 minutes.

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For anyone interested in figure drawing, this is a very structured learning experience.  I missed the class on Mapping the Figure, where you begin drawing the whole figure in a limited number of big separate shapes, and then fill in the internal details.  I will need to try this on my own to see if I can do it! 

October 27, 2017

Figure Drawings at Battery Park City and FIT

These paintings of David were done on October 18th, my last Wednesday afternoon for 2017 at Battery Park City.  The program runs from May 1st through October 31st, but I couldn't attend this week.  These poses are for sketches ranging from 5-15 minutes.  I am drawing using more of the techniques I'm learning at FIT, and can finish a sketch and also paint it in the allotted time.

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This week at FIT our models posed in front of and next to props so we could sketch them and "attach" them to the background.  The woman is wearing a real Gibson Girl costume on loan from The Society of Illustrators.

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For our final drawing for the evening we sketched all 3 models simultaneously - in 12 minutes.  I was surprised that I made it all the way down to their feet in the allotted time and could even add color behind them.

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These large sheets of paper were photographed, not scanned, accounting for the background color. 

 

October 20, 2017

FIT Fashion Application Class: Highlights

Part 1:  Mass vs Line:  We do very fast warm-up poses just to establish mass, as opposed to Line.  I discovered that I really like using Nu-Pastels to delineate mass in 2 minute gesture sketches on the 18 X 24" paper.  I bought skin colors since last week and here are my most recent warm up sketches.

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Part 2: 

Drawing  and Opposition: Drawing from head to toe, alternating between sides as you move down the body.  How does one side of the shape compare to the other?

I wasn't familiar with the term "opposition," but our Professor had us quickly draw three pieces of toast - showing how we could change one side from the other, or even leave one of the sides as an incomplete line.

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We sketched many poses from our two models for the rest of the class - always sketching back and forth from the head to the feet, and creating sealed up shapes like a children's coloring book.  I selected these two 18 X 24" sheets as an example.

 

Emma in Black Evening Gown:

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Emma in a tank top and drop crotch pants and Kevin with his Mohawk and Fancy Glasses:

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Part 3:  Drawing Negative Shapes  for parts of the figure or to carve out the entire figure by drawing parts or all of the background.  I was totally confused by this.  I do look at negative space to establish the positions of arms and legs, but that wasn't the goal for this exercise.  Our wonderful professor Janis Salek demonstrated how I could make the sweater vest on the model as a negative shape.  She sketched the dark graphite image, and then I tried to reinforce her teaching (right).

White sweater vest drawn as negative shape by filling in the black sweater:  

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White Shirt Drawn as Negative Shape, by drawing the background, and then I added pencil to the whole background. 

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October 12, 2017

Line vs Mass in Figure Drawing

Week 1:  We are working through a structured syllabus in my Fashion Application class at Fashion Institute of Technology, and after several weeks of working with "line,"  we worked with depiction of "mass."  Instead of using markers, I chose to work with Nu-Pastels, a completely new medium for me, and these two drawings were very fast poses using only small pieces of pastel chalk.  It would not be my favorite method for figure drawing, but it was a fun challenge to see if I could do it.  The first pose was 2 minutes and the second one was 7-10 minutes, if I remember correctly.  I bought a small set of the Nu Pastels for the class and don't have anything close to a skin color.

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Week 2:  These are 5 two minute poses to begin class, and I can still hear our professor saying, "mass only if you want to get all the way down to the feet on the 18" paper."  I still don't have a lighter pink Nu-Pastel, so this skin color was obviously done with the only pink-red in my set.

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