Friday, 25 September 2009

Norwich workshop at The Forum

This is a bit late notice, but I will run a workshop in conjunction with an East Meets East event in Norwich tonight. Pop by if you're in the neighbourhood! :)
Location: The Forum, Norwich, Norfolk
Time: 5.30 pm -  9.30 pm

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Chiustream Caveman

Bobby Chiu over at Imaginism studios is doing a series of live painting sessions while filling up a sketchbook of his work that will be published. Meanwhile he invites people all over the world to paint along with him. A theme is chosen and the stop clock is set to one hour. At the end of the hour Bobby picks one of the paintings and does his own version of it.
Today the theme was 'caveman' so I decided to do a little art nerd caveman. The time given was 1 hour, but I started late so it probably ended up being 45 minutes.

It's quite amazing how the internet has transformed how we can interact with each other. Bobby Chiu is an amazingly inspiring and giving artist so if you haven't checked him out, DO!!

Where to find him:
Imaginism Studios
Imaginism Blog
Podcasts on Youtube
Chiustreaming on Ustream

Saturday, 19 September 2009

HGO Life drawing: Day 3

In the third day of the first week we covered the basics of head construction. I had never seen this particular way of head construction before so it was very useful. It's a lot easier handle the head if you break it down into regions and surfaces. I often fall into the trap of focusing on details before the structure is understood. The construction lines help by simplifying the structure so that you can locate the broad shapes before narrowing down on details like eyes and lips. I feel that this way it's less likely that you will end up with wonky and uneven features.

Here's a video of a head drawing where I try to follow the construction steps we learnt. I'm afraid that the lighting is quite bad however, so it's hard to see the lines.

HGO Life drawing: Day 1
HGO Life drawing: Day 2

Friday, 18 September 2009

HGO Life drawing: Day 2

It's been a bit of a break since my last post on the life drawing course I did at the University of Gotland this summer. The first 4 days of the course were probably some of the most intense ones. On day 2 we did some focusing on arms and legs. The big take-away thing for me this day was probably the way the shoulder can be visualised as being a flat plate connected to the collar bones. The plate can be seen as the end of the cylinder which forms the arm and helps in describing the direction of the arm.

HGO Life drawing: Day 1

Snake bite

These are part of some of illustrations I did as a test for The Naked Scientist podcast. The article was on whether or not snakes are susceptible to their own venom. Apparently, to some degree, they are! :)

(Click for GIF animation)

Snakes are rather expressionless so I had to figure out how to draw them. I wanted flexibility in expression so I took a lot of inspiration from Disney's Kaa (The Jungle Book) and Sir Hiss (Robin Hood). A cool thing about snakes is that that you can pretty much shape their body any way you want for desired effect. In the example above the whole joke is based on the flexibilty of the snake body.

Since we're on the topic of Disney, while I was in Visby this summer I discovered a copy of The Illusion of Life at the local library. It's truly a treasure trove on the origins of the Walt Disney Studios, the invention of Disney animation and information on what makes their drawings so special. It's so easy to take Disney animation for granted and sometimes I even sense that they're thought of as the big bully when it comes to animated features, but looking back, the way they pioneered animation is simply astounding. Gradually I've come to realise that there's a lot that can be learnt from animation for any kind of artist, especially when it comes to expression, form and gesture.
A great source on gesture in particular is Walt Stanchfields Drawn to Life books. They're two thick books consisting of notes which were distributed by Stanchfield to the animators at Disney over the course of many years. There is so much insight about drawing, mentality and creativity on these pages that it's taking me ages to get through even the first volume.
The Naked Scientist - link
Illusion of Life - Amazon
Drawn to Life - Amazon: Vol. 1, Vol. 2

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Copy of Emily Sargent

A pencil copy of John Singer Sargent's painting of his sister, Emily Sargent from cc. 1877. I used a 2B and a 6B pencil for most of the drawing and a 9B for laying down the big dark areas.

The original painting can be found at the Art Renewal Centre .