Drawing -- 06/11/06

When I started taking a drawing course at RISD a couple of you had asked me (dared me?) about posting some of my pictures here.

Uh, I'm not really an artist...

But now that the course is over I've been asked again... so I am going to subject you to some samples of my drawings... (This is your chance to flee.)

By the way, I thoroughly enjoyed this course (although it was a lot of work and took a lot of time) and also learned a lot about drawing thanks to an excellent instructor. (By the way, if you happen to live within commuting distance of Providence, the RISD Continuing Ed program has great courses including drawing, painting, computer graphics, etc.)

The first night the instructor put some chairs and stools in the middle of the room and had us pick one and draw it. Then he introduced the idea of negative space and had us draw the shape of the space around the chair.

Our homework assignment was to draw the space around something. This was my answer to that -- one of our dining room chairs. (Note the smudges on the white are not some artistic attempt -- I simply had never worked with charcoal and charcoal pencils before and created a lot of dust.)

One of the really cool aspects of the course was getting into using things I had never used before like charcoal (and the idea of drawing in white on black paper) and conte crayons and ink with brushes, etc.

These two were my in-class drawings when we worked with white-on-black and the concept of chiaroscuro.
And this one on the right was my homework for that week.

We did some interesting work with perspective but I couldn't get a good photograph of any of the pencil work I did. (And everything was done on 18 x 24 inch paper, which is far too big for my flatbed scanner.)

And almost half the class was spent in figure studies
These figure studies are all in-class work. Sometimes (as seen on the right) we would be working with poses held for just five or ten minutes and learned to work quickly, putting two or more poses on each sheet of paper) and other times we would have twenty or thirty minute poses to do more complete work.

Our final project was to do a self-portrait. It could be done using any of the techniques and materials that we had used during the course.

I struggled with this. I tried a few preliminary pencil sketches, but didn't like any.

I then decided to use pencil and charcoal. (At this point I took a vacation day in order to have enough time to be sure I could complete the assignment.)

My first charcoal portrait just didn't work. Neither did the second.

The white-on-black work we had done earlier in the course had been enjoyable and I still had one sheet of black paper left... and this was the result.

The jaw line is way off but I think the hair and the eyes were more successful.

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