10 May 2012

DAY ONE: Synchronicity

If you look back one post, you will see that I've been doing some contour drawing this week. I haven't done any since way back in 2003, when I took a life drawing class--nearly 10 years ago; how funny is it, therefore, that the first (and mostly only) thing Brenda Swenson had us do today in her watercolor sketching class was...CONTOUR DRAWING.

It was a little different than I have done before: First of all, we had to do it in water-soluble PEN, not pencil (we used Tombow markers in sepia color). Second, while it's not strictly blind contour (where you aren't allowed to look away from your subject to the paper), it IS continual line contour. (On some of these, you'd think it WAS blind contour, judging from the proportions!) So we had to look at the object or objects, pick a starting point, and keep going, never lifting our pen from the paper, until we absolutely drew ourselves into a dead end and couldn't go any farther, and then we stopped. It was also TIMED contour drawing--three minutes for one item, six minutes for two, and nine minutes for three! Not much time... Here are a few examples of what I did today:

Three-minute lemon

Three-minute tongs. You can see how I got myself
somewhere and couldn't get back...

Six-minute bottle and lemon (sorry, the painting
on the next page bled through).
Some of the other things she had us do with the contour were: Use contour to also describe some of the shadows or highlights; and leave open lines and sections to give the viewer's eyes something to do. Inviting participation in the artwork makes it more lively and gives a less static effect.

After we did half a dozen of these, it was time to add watercolor. This one was a three-minute drawing, followed by six minutes for painting:

Then we graduated to multiple objects. By the way, all these were "found" objects (i.e., scrounged from around the house) that we brought with us--we each brought three or four, put them in a big pile in front of the room, and chose new objects for each exercise from the stash.

 Our next lesson was "framing." All of these are meant for sketchbooks, not for walls--they are exercises. So since they're probably not ever going to be framed, why not introduce a graphic element to both contain the image and give it more interest? We experimented with boxes in portrait, landscape, square, and panorama shapes, and then drew in our choice with the Tombow. She encouraged us to use it not as a static box, but as part of the painting, allowing features of the painting to protrude through and, again, breaking some lines to give it more liveliness.

I was pretty pleased with this one, although the fact that it's a contour drawing means that proportions and elements in certain places are kind of wonky.

More tomorrow...

No comments:

Post a Comment