Tuesday, October 30, 2012

There and Back Again: Days 95-101

Day 95: Oh, this page was great. I really enjoyed it - the loose fast gesture of the first figure, the fun with details and expression on the profile, the flow of the floating head. Things don't always fall out of my pencil as neatly as these did, so I try to really inhabit my drawing when it does happen like that.

Day 96: And again. That figure just clicked together - I started with loosely referencing a photo of Florence Welch, and then just let the drawing pull in the direction it wanted to go. It was a fast one, so I spent the rest of my hour pushing myself to draw someone a little less idealized.

Day 97: This - this drawing makes me laugh. It is hysterical and I was giggling for pretty much the entire hour+ it took... but I actually like some of the things going on as well.

Day 98: I really love the figure in all of her soft simplicity. The other two drawings were a little too overwrought, but I like them a lot more than I did at the moment.

Day 99: I was very sad on the day I did this drawing, though I can't really remember why. I didn't want to challenge myself; I didn't want to have to think hard. So I drew things that are very easy and meditative for me: a profile, curly designs. And it really was a form of meditation, because I emerged from the hour fairly peaceful, if still melancholy.

Day 100: One hundred days is a milestone no matter how you slice it, but in the spirit of my not really making a big deal of each month's end, this is just a drawing. I put in a background because the figure seemed to demand it - she has a great attitude, one the ladies I draw usually don't have. Whatever's wrecked back there, you can be sure she's the one who did it.

Day 101: And then we swing in the absolute opposite direction: here is a very soft, very flowey lady. My aesthetic, let me show you it.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

SVA Life Drawing 9/24 and 10/22

Last Monday, I went to another SVA model session. It was really excellent! I mean, I'm not excellent at it, but it was a great few hours. One of the things that happened between sessions, though, was my looking through the drawings I'd done from the previous model session. Not the last one I posted - but the one after it, which had been a terrible few hours for me, but which didn't actually yield the horrible, awful drawings I'd thought at the time.

2- and 5-minute poses

5-minute poses

5- and 10-minute poses

10- and 20-minute poses

Those are all from the 9/24 session. They're not the greatest - I took a long, long time to warm up, and every set feels behind: the 5 min posess look like 2s, the 10s look like 5s, the 20s look like 10s - but you know, there are some nice moments in these pages.

Then I didn't go back for a month.

2-minute poses

2- and 5-minute poses

5-minute poses

10- and 20-minute poses
These are from the 10/22 session. I'm really pleased to see the difference between the September and October drawings, because there's definitely more confidence and ease in them, for all that my gesture still leaves quite a lot to be desired.

I'd be going again this week but there's sort of a hurricane, so.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Frost Giant in progress

It's a first pass, and the figure to the left is awful and almost everything about her needs to be repainted -

- but this is making me happy right now, and represents the first time since the IMC in June that I've fallen deep into the act of painting.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

There and Back Again: Days 89-94

Day 89: I really do love this, for all I have no idea what's going on.

Day 90: Though the hands are far too small for her body, I am very happy. This was referenced for the face and raised hand.

Day 91: I drew a man! Poorly! I really need to work on my visual vocabulary for male anatomy. (also faces at that angle. Ick.)

Day 92: This is the halfway-point of my project. It's so strange: it doesn't feel like I've been working for three months. And not every day's drawing is great, or fun, or as engaged as it should be, but my average is rising steadily, and there are... moments in a lot of my recent drawings that make me think I might be getting somewhere.

For example, in this drawing, something in the slump of her breasts and torso is pretty much exactly the gesture I wanted. Other parts are wonky as all hell, but that one little square inch - that is good, and that is what this project is about: the small gains.

Day 93: Because I'm amazing, the first three months fit perfectly into one sketchbook. This is the first page of the second sketchbook - which, to my eternal annoyance, is not exactly the same as the first - and I do like it.

Day 94: And then I drew a really thoroughly meh unreferenced Black Widow doing... something with her hands? I don't even know, this wasn't my best day.

Monday, October 15, 2012

There and Back Again: Days 83-88

Day 83: I have a lot of feelings about Éowyn. I'd like to paint some of them, but in the mean time, have a drawing.

Day 84: This one just... never really got off the ground. I like parts of it, but not the whole.

Day 85: Humans of New York posted a photo I fell in love with, so I drew from it.

Day 86: Not really sure what this is, except sorta cool.

Day 87: This one I like a lot, for all that it's a very tired subject in art. Just because everyone else in the universe has drawn a drowning pretty lady with flowers and a dress doesn't mean I can't!

Day 88: There is an illustration I've had planned for months, which I'm still hesitant to begin because the gesture of the figure is going to be so important and I've had a very hard time getting it. This got pretty close, enough that I can go forward and take reference for it... we'll have to see, though.

Monday, October 8, 2012

There and Back Again: Days 76-82

Day 76: This is a pretty bad drawing that was supposed to be Galadriel. Hah. (I like the Mirror's pedestal.)

Day 77: Here's a more-successful drawing of what's supposed to be Arwen. In this most recent read-through, I was blindsided by Feelings About Arwen, specifically involving her making Aragorn's standard, the one which her brothers and the Dúnedain bring to him in Rohan. At the risk of writing an essay about a character that had maybe a cumulative paragraph of presence outside of the Appendices, I'll just post the meh drawing and plan a proper illustration for the future.

Day 78: And then here's a truly bad attempt at Éowyn, of which I will speak no more.

Day 79: Hello, Jenna!

Day 80: I love the motion of this! No explanation or reason behind it.

Day 81: I really, really love his face, but I don't know how to draw bodies doing this, and so it fell apart.

Day 82: This, on the other hand, just makes me absurdly happy.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Halfway point

Yesterday, I did my 92nd drawing of this project, hitting the exact halfway point in the six month timeline. It's really difficult to talk about What I've Accomplished or What My Goals Are, because part of this project is that it's not terribly goal-oriented: I'm drawing what I love to get back to the root of it, and that's about it in terms of direction. I can already see more confidence and ease in my drawings, and they're flowing (HAH) more easily from me, but what have I really done? I can't say.

This was a very difficult summer for me in terms of my art, apart from the IMC. There were weeks, full weeks at a time during which this project was the only thing that kept me from being entirely without art, and that is sobering at best and terrifying at worst to realize. This is supposed to be my life, and I simply could not create art that wasn't leaning on the crutch of this project.

It's something I need to remember, this comfort I derive from structure and how it saved me from falling away from art. A lot went on this summer: I graduated from school, moved, got a job, and spent a week at the IMC (which was as emotionally exhausting as it was inspirational). I reeled in the knowledge that school was over, and I can't stress enough how hard it hit: the four years I spent at SVA were easily the best years of my life to-date, and formative in ways that I'll be realizing for years to come.

In the depths of August, when the heat was awful and all of my younger SVA friends could talk of nothing but the coming school year, all I could see was my failure. I was useless; I was a waste of the potential that teachers and role models said they saw in me. I was selfish in my melancholy, seeing only my lack of art, while 'all' my friends and classmates were working and succeeding - and to add insult to injury, the one thing I was working on, Holding the Pass, refused to come together, and the drawing taunted me with how good it almost was. It fed into one huge loop, and while nowhere near as toxic as some of the mental black holes I fell into my junior year, it sure didn't help things.

Through this, my project kept going. I drew every day because I had to, because Iain McCaig had looked at my art and believed in the beginnings he saw, because I'd said I would: and through everything, I have. I've drawn on trains because travel was the only free time I could scrape together; I've drawn on 10- and 30-minute breaks at work; I've drawn at friends' apartments because we were hanging out, and I've bailed on hanging out because I've had to draw. I've drawn drunk and I've drawn tired and I've even experienced drawing while falling asleep, and none of this is exceptional except for the fact that it pulled me through the plummet after school.

As far as I can tell, I'm more or less back on my feet: it's fall and I've pretty much adjusted to my new life, and I'm finally painting again. I have three months left on the project, though, and as much as some days I want nothing more than to say 'fuck it' and go to sleep an hour earlier, I'm glad. I have more to do with this, I think.