Main | February 2009 »

January 30, 2009


Though I've never taken a drawing class up until now, I always have disliked my style of drawing and drawing in general. Does anyone else feel this way, as if you're far too much a perfectionist to allow yourself to just draw? In the end, do you ever look at your paper and think, "What the hell, this effing sucks." Everytime it's my sketches on the line for comments, I hold my breath. I'd really like to just hide myself under my jacket hood. I feel so exposed when people see my drawings, it's like I'm naked under a microscope. I see everyone else's work and I think these drawings are tenfold more amazing than mine. Does anyone else experience these sensations?

I've struggled with this embarrasment my whole life. I do not like drawing. Learning to do so in a technical manner is frustrating, yet I want to conquer all the bulls#% holding me back and just do it, because I know it's a valuable skill I will want to have as a designer. This whole week I've had a difficult time in class simply because I feel so much fear and preconcieved notions of dislike way before my pencil even touches the paper. It's like I am being paralyzed by myself and it's really hindering me.


I truly enjoyed seeing everyone's self portraits and gesture drawings. They were marvelous and I Ioved the realism in a lot of the self portraits. How does one decide on proper shading and what are some techniques you guys use to achieve certain effects?

As a side note,I'm terrified to start this first drawing assignment. Eighteen different styles? Yikes. I'm awful at this. My cynicism is a roadblock. Oh, and can anyone clarify for me an organic form? Can we drawfrom organic shapes in our rooms or do we need to stick with food? All week I've been trying to decide the best fruit suited for this project.

Maybe I'll go outside and grab a stick.


January 27, 2009

just art.

I am new to the world of visual art and have learned more in the past week about art than I have in my entire lifetime. Who knew that a simple stroke of a pencil could convey emotion or a sense of culture and we have come to know it as a line? Breaking the boundaries of what we perceive to be in front of us is the biggest challenge I've faced so far in my drawing. Staring at myself in the mirror for 3-6 hours this weekend forced me to REALLY look at myself. We think we know what we look like, but we must force ourselves to think outside the box and outside ourselves.

I think that's why the contour drawing really inspires me. I can just draw what I see even if I don't even know what the object IS. i.e. the seemingly dead/shriveled plant...thing...that many of us had to draw in class yesterday. Drawing is just art- an extension of ourselves. Who we are shows up in our work and our work might affect how we feel. It's a give and take between what we "see" everyday and how we wish to make sense of it.

January 26, 2009

Getting Used to Contour Drawing

Is it just me or was it really hard to get in the mindset to do contour drawing? I felt like I was just focusing on what the object is and not what lines/forms/textures would make it up. As the hour progressed I found it helpful not to think about what I'm drawing and just go for it. Then, the outcome of the drawings began to get more successful as i saw in my own drawings and others as well. Maybe we all just were trying a bit too hard, or maybe it's just me.

January 25, 2009

This Artist is a Work in Progress..

I finally figured out how to post on this blog! It sounds like everyone was very successful with this project, and I can't wait to see what everyone created. The main problem I encountered was drawing the lips- I had a very tough time with the proportions and angle I faced. Also, I erased multiple times which messed up the shading around the chin. If you're looking for a free blending tool the cheap toilet paper in the dorm bathrooms works very well! It's pretty darn durable!

In general, I am excited to learn more drawing techniques. I have only taken drawing in high school, but am ready to learn with the class who already seems to have so much to offer. See you tomorrow!

Getting back into the drawing mindset...

Like some of you have already pointed out, I was amazed with how much space 18x24 is! Also, when I began my portrait I began to feel as if I hadn't drawn in forever... which is true! Not only was drawing never a strong point for me, but without recent practice I felt lost at first. For some reason I have always excelled at sculpting realistically, but struggled with drawing realistically. The most difficult parts for me seemed to be shading and proportion. If anyone has any tips on shading feel free to share them. In my final my eyes seem quite big, but did not seem that way throughout the process. I learned that I must take a step back and view my artwork more often during the process. Good thing I figured that out early in the semester!

Just a side note- I have always admired Chuck Close for his self portraits. His style captivates me. I don't think that there has been one piece of work, created by him, that I haven't loved!

I hope everyone else enjoyed the assignment and I can't wait to see how they all turned out!

Spending the weekend in front of a mirror...

While I enjoy drawing, it is not something I have had a lot of time for since the school year began. I felt like I had almost forgotten how to draw! The hardest part of the self-portrait was trying to figure out a pose. In the end, I decided to pose in a way that would appear that I was daydreaming because I seem to spend a big chunk of my day with my mind elsewhere. As I kept going, drawing became more and more comfortable, however, I began to realize how slow of a drawer I am!

A thing that I found interesting and difficult was critiquing my own drawing. At times I would take a break, and when I came back I thought that my drawing didn't quite look like me, or the shading wasn't right. Shading also became difficult as the hour of the day changed because the lighting in the room obviously changed as well. I also thought it is interesting how much closer I looked at the details on my face. When I get ready, I simply make sure I look presentable. However, looking at myself in the mirror for hours and hours at a time made me realize all of the small details on my face!

I am very interested to see everyone else's portraits as well as their techniques and ideas!

Planning the Portrait

I spent a good hour visualizing how my final portrait would look before I even touched pencil to paper. I'm curious whether most people spend a lot of time planning or prefer to jump right in and draw. I found that planning helped make my portrait coherent, but the final product still deviated significantly from my original vision. Some things ended up looking different on paper than they did when I was imagining them.

I learned quickly that 18x24 inches is A LOT of space to work with. I was constantly having to come up with new ideas so the portrait wouldn't seem empty. Texture ended up being my tool of choice. I just finished drawing a tweed jacket (took forever) that is made up of several thousand tiny lines. However the outcome looks really nice and it makes the portrait look more realistic. It's all about the details.

contour, portraiture, what have you

The most difficult aspect for me regarding drawing portraits is accurate shading. How does one create depth and add vivacity to an otherwise flat and two-dimensional image? Contours are more easy to create, I think. It's what lies inside these edges that becomes more dangerous water to tread.

I've worn down the corners of my art gum eraser perfecting and perfecting.

Oh, and I have a very hard time drawing noses. Does anybody know any techniques?

In the years I've been creating my artistic mark, drawing has never been my strength. I've never had the patience to learn how to see, control, and replicate lines, shadows, values, and details accurately. I will say, however, that from my own perspective, I think I've done quite well with this first assignment.

And I'm looking forward to seeing everyone else's.

Lindsay Smith self-portrait entry

I found a website with celebrity portraits that are very well done. When doing my self-portrait, I really struggled with getting my hair to look right; the portraits on this site give me ideas for next time I have to draw hair.

January 20, 2009

Welcome Design Students!

You are required to post to this blog once a week. This blog is a venue for conversation: its purpose is to augment the visual projects by stimulating critical reflection. Post content that is relevant to current classroom topics. Acceptable materials: critiques on drawing within the design field, information on drawing skills learned from reading or practice, articles on drawing as a communication tool, additional drawings (outside class projects) which portray forms, ideas, feelings, concepts, or self-exploration, and so on.

Good luck and best wishes,

Kelly Clarke