Friday, June 21, 2013

Figure Drawing Friday, and artist reference books

Since I used a book, I can’t very well call it life drawing tuesday, which I’ll likely re-join in September. In the meantime, I’m using an artists reference book. I have collected a stack over the years, but Art Models 2, is my favourite.  There is a good selection of models and poses, and very good photography and lighting, with uncluttered backgrounds leaving it the artists job to turn the image into a work of art.  For the above I used a mechanical pencil, for sharp defined lines rendered onto rough Arches Watercolour paper, and my favourite accent colour, a thick waxy fire-engine red coloured pencil.  For full disclosure, I will say, this, and the one below, are not quite as spontaneous as they may appear. I’ve sketched them first on A4 paper, starting in with roughs, erasure as necessary, a final erase and subsequent heavy outline, and THEN, using a graphite paper I transfer the image onto the water colour (more on this part for another post).
And then the fun begins: once I’m satisfied that I’ve rendered the general outline of the figure, I can indulge in strengthening lines, playing with negative spaces, colour, and more line. I love line—as you can see. And for me, it’s the lines that count the most, so even in the shading I’m indulging in the lay of the lines, so by getting the ‘drawing’ part out of the way, I can lose myself in the abstract, then take a step back and see what comes out.
And here’s the completed figure drawing from last week’s WIP.  This one was a little more generous in colour and sparing in line. I’m working on my Figure Drawing Portfolio for Etsy.  I realized belatedly that my larger life drawings are both difficult to store, and difficult to ship if sold.  So I’m going with brand spanking new 9x12 sheets of paper instead.  I may do the same when I get back into life drawing and let all the other artists make fun of me (well, they wouldn’t really, but they might think it) for making such tiny art.  For those who have no clue what I’m talking about, lets just say that in the world of fine art, size really does matter.
And, PS!!! I found my lost collaborative piece. BIG YAY!  I was wise to cease looking, as I would never have found it. But, yesterday, as I reached for yet another book from my reference library, a lovely fat stuffed manila envelope plopped out. Yep, I’d stashed in a book for safe-keeping, then returned the book to the shelf. Art gone, art found.
It was in The Fantasy Figure Artist Reference Guide. Another book I’d recommend (if you like sword and sorcery), with models of character appropriate body types posing in action, with all levels of dress, from modest underwear (I assume to ensure it’s all ages appropriate) through the various layers of fantasy/medieval dress so the artist can develop an appreciation of the dynamics between anatomy and the volume and drape of clothing.
The Figure in Motion  SUCKS, ‘nuff said.
How to Draw Manga, is pretty good. The influence of manga art (japanese comics) is part of my style. It seeps out here, there and everywhere. On occasion deliberately, but mostly osmosis. I love their renditions of the beautiful boys (Bishōnen). (google it if you’re curious)
And of course, I collect field guides to everything.


Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

i keep meaning to order that fantasy figure book, but wasn't sure if it was all right. there are so many books, and some of them are just garbage but you dont know until you have wasted your money on them

kaslkaos said...

I'd recommend it, if you mean that one, because of the clothing & poses. Also, Art Models 7 is dedicated to action poses, (I'm previewing it on amazon as we speak) and looks really useful for fantasy art, but your on your own for costume & props then.


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