Figure Drawing Epiphany

Some of my professors had started to complain that my drawings weren’t specific enough. I had no idea what exactly that meant. However, I was able to finally pin Harvey Citron down, and he showed me what they meant. It was something of an epiphany for me.

To illustrate: here is a drawing that I did in the morning on Wednesday. It was three 20-minute sessions in the same pose, and I thought that I really nailed the drawing.

Figure Drawing

So, after Harvey trashed that picture (in a very constructive way) I found that, when he said that I wasn’t looking carefully enough at the curves on the body, what was happening was that I was fixating too much on the contour line. I was trying to make the contour line beautiful. In doing so, I was creating curves that were overly smooth and regular. I decided to try and really capture the mimetic quality of the curves on the next drawing. As I started the process, I felt like I was creating a very ugly drawing, full of awkward lumps and bumps. It reminded me very much of Potormo’s drawings, which I really don’t care for.

Then I started to add in the tones within the contour and something happened— it all started to gel. Very odd… Harvey came back around as I was working on the drawing and suggested that the tones and the contour work hand-in-hand (which was just starting to dawn on me) and that I shouldn’t be trying to get the contour completed first; they should be developed together iteratively. We were drawing from the cast during the second half of the class.

Anyhow, here is the drawing:

Cast Drawing

To me, it looks like the two drawings were done by different artists. I can’t believe how much better the second one is. I really wish that I had more time to work on this new way of drawing. Perhaps this weekend I’ll have a chance.

– Jeremy







One response to “Figure Drawing Epiphany”

  1. April Avatar

    hey jeremy, although it may seem to you that since you’ve left i haven’t bothered to contact you, i really have been reading about all of the fascinating stuff you’re doing. im sorry i haven’t gotten a blog up, but as you will read, my life has been crazy.

    i got a concussion last thursday. i’ve been nauseaus w/ a bad headache, dizziness, spent 2 afternoons at the er, etc. for the last week. school & life have not been fun. and i’m on injured reserve for softball for until the trainers re-release me to participate again. i reiterate, life has not been fun. i’ve lost 10 lbs. since the accident and can’t eat due to the nausea, but i finally was given some anti-nausea meds so maybe i’ll eat more than 1/2 a meal per day from now on.

    softball was keeping me super busy – spending like 10-12 hrs per work week on it. its a lot of hard work and i feel like i’ve lost a lot of time, but now that im out it sounds like heaven.

    everything else is going alright…my profs have been really great about how awful i have been feeling – my focus and concentration has been terrible…i.e. my homework routinely takes me about 1 hr longer right now just cuz i hafta read and reread a few times before i get the gist of what’s been said. *sigh*

    i think i’m on the upswing, now, tho – maybe by monday my life and head will be back to normal.

    miss you – you are doing great work. i’m so glad you’re enjoying yourself.


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