Monday, February 27, 2012

Figure Drawing, plus a rant!!

These are all 10 minutes or less:



This week I stopped thinking about draftsmanship and focused on staying loose. My drawings seem to turn out better that way. It's weird. It's as if something else takes control of the drawing, not ME. I think when I "let go" it's like when a musician plays on feel, rather than thinking about every individual note and where to put their fingers. Soon, you've played the piece and you don't know how it happened. It's muscle memory.

It's very hard to push yourself in that zone, because you always want to control your work. It's how you feel mastery. You want to feel that you control every aspect of your art in look, feel, style and, if you're an animator, how the drawings move through space and time as well. We crave the control over our art, but really, control could be just knowing how to stay loose. Like the musician knowing when to close his eyes and just play. When to let the muscle memory take over.

I have a book called Alla Prima, by Richard Schmid. He says in the book that "Looseness is not a frivolous departure from control.... It arises from the freedom which comes from superb control." It's funny, that looseness looks like the opposite, doesn't it? Sometimes brevity, and the absence of rendering feels like the artist has nothing more to offer than a few carefully placed lines, but in this artist's humble opinion, those very few, select lines are the hardest ones to draw.

Anyway, back to the Schmid quote, *SIGH*, I would definitely never presume that I have superb control, but I do get better results being loose. I can't wait until I feel that the control is superb.

Until next time,
Tiffanny

9 comments:

Ted Blackman said...

Tiffany, I didn't know you were so loose! :O

Nice drawings. The model looks like she'd be fun to draw, too. A very victorian figure.

Ted Blackman said...

Oh yeah, a lot of us are removing the annoying new word verify which is difficult to work with. Since you are using comment moderation anyway, why don't you consider that?

L ROSSI said...

I enjoyed reading this post - I should heed that advice :)
It's cool to see the rhythms moving these poses - the looseness is apparent ;)

Dawn Savoia said...

I'm a control freak-which causes me stress when painting or drawing. I need to take your advice so I can enjoy what I'm doing and stop worrying about every little detail lol. Great work by the way!

Jay said...

Maybe the key is to alternate. Sometimes you need to seriously concentrate on one aspect or another for a while, but then let it go and just try to be loose for a while. If you only one of those without the other, I think you would be worse off.

Chris Beaver said...

Truth! I try for the same; I'm working on the next issue of my comic (when I'm not at work) and going at it much more loosely than the last issue... Funnily enough, I like these results better :D (Though admittedly, that also has lots to do with the fact that I've had months to improve)

The scary part is, you can never see the line between loosening up and getting sloppy.

Chris Beaver said...

Truth! I try for the same; I'm working on the next issue of my comic (when I'm not at work) and going at it much more loosely than the last issue... Funnily enough, I like these results better :D (Though admittedly, that also has lots to do with the fact that I've had months to improve)

The scary part is, you can never see the line between loosening up and getting sloppy :\

tiffannysketchbook said...

Ted, teehee. :) Yes, she is super awesome to draw. I hired her to pose for me once a week for the entire month of April. Expensive but I will pay anything to get good. :)

L Rossi, Oooh thanks :D

Dawn , Thanks! I am SO a control freak when it comes to art. With everything else in life I'm perhaps too laid back. :) I'm having troubles controlling my work life and my home life. My yard has grass a foot tall, the laundry is never done, there's mud all over the floor from the dogs tracking in mud, and there's a big pimple growing on my lip.

Jay - so true. :)

Chris - I enjoyed your last comic a lot, the self-discovery that your character goes through when in isolation is nuanced and intimate. Let me know when your next comic comes out :)

theartofpuro said...

Great sketches,love the lines!