miithariandros: (iObject!)
[personal profile] miithariandros
OK. Just a bit of back story... Here at Unnamed Company we've been pushing for life drawing sessions for a while. "It will overall improve our art" we say, "and it's a good team-building exercise!" and of course "The rest of Unnamed Company gets to do this!"

so we pushed and pushed and pushed and eventually we were told "Gratz, you got it!" and so every other Wednesday we'd travel up to the university and get to draw naked people for four hours.

...

A little bit more back story: I've been doing life drawing since I was sixteen. I'm twenty-four now if that gives a bit of perspective to that. Formally (with classes) I've done about five years of this stuff, and I'm still not a master (Who is, really). But I was a little bit perturbed when I discovered this was a class. With an instructor. We'll call her T for now.

The first day started off bright and shiny. We received fancy new art supplies (Yay! a full Staedtler pencil set! Conte! Pastels! pour moi? :D) and then we got an outline.

An outline?

We didn't sign on for a class. We thought we were just getting an opportunity to study the model and work on things that we recognized the need to work on. But apparently we were being taught, and I think that T was under the impression that we were accountants or something, because it was a beginner's class.

I put up with the first class. We had a fantastic model that I wasted by drawing without looking and with my left hand for four hours, but I was pretty much done with that crap by second class. I get so few male models that I was going to take advantage of every one I get (wow. That sounded bad.) And, really, I was being complacent until she started Doing It Wrong.

"Today we're going to study perspective!"

Just as a quick note:


(n) : a view, vista or outlook; the appearance of depth in objects, especially as perceived using binocular vision


So I'm thinking 'yay! Contours and interesting poses where I can study foreshortening!'

"And you can use whatever sighting techniques you want to get the perspective correct!"

'Cool, I was pretty good at that back at CATO... they had me tutoring the guy next to me ...'

And then she told the model to just stand there with his hands at his sides and proceeded to get annoyed if we didn't use the head counting system. This, of course, meant that she would wander around the room and draw on top of your drawing the 'head counts' she was seeing.

For the non artists on the list: head counting is a way of determining proportion by measuring the size of the head with the end of your pencil and your finger, then counting how many units of that measurement are in the figure. It's a Greek method, and there's a lot more to it than that (like how it was used in idealizing the form) It also doesn't work if you're sitting below the model. (This technique was designed to be used if you were on the same plane as the figure)

So backtrack. We were told we were doing Perspective, which is the appearance of depth in objects, but were in fact doing Proportion, which is relation between elements and a whole... or, yanno, the size of his arms in relation to his torso etc. And we were told we could sight however we wanted, but were being bitch slapped for not doing the head counting system.

Right.

She was drawing over people's sketches (Like I said) and when she came up to mine, she decided we needed to count heads together. So I watched as she counted... And noticed something interesting. She was dropping the tip of her pencil on an angle, which meant that as she counted, every head was shrinking. This would be great if it was a top down view, but it was a slight bottom up (meaning that if anything, the size of the unit of measurement should have been growing as she went down, for proper perspective... but whatever.)

I called her on it, after she triumphantly announced 'Nine heads.' (PS: Back to the Greek Cannon system, eight and a half heads was called the 'heroic' figure, and was used almost exclusively for gods... This guy was tall, but no god... The human form is generally between six and seven and a half heads and I at least was counting seven and a half WITHOUT DROPPING THE END OF MY PENCIL THANK YOU.) and we had a bit of an argument which consisted of T saying 'no I'm not' and me going 'yes, you are!'

She came around a couple other times, but by that point my ear buds were lodged in my head and as my fellow Hen-Housians know, I can hear nothing of the outside world when they're in. So It looked like I was completely ignoring her (Which wouldn't be surprising considering our arguing earlier, but out of character for me to be honest.)

In two weeks we do this again. God grant me the patience...
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miithariandros

July 2009

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