Its interesting at Tafe watching some of the first years squirm and wince at the thought of life drawing. Over the past few weeks I may have even seen some of you hiding in nooks and crannies around C block when I'm pretty sure you should have been in Jane's life drawing class :P

An amazing article from a Pixar animator on the Splinedoctors blog got me thinking about some things............mmmm is that a rant I hear in the distance.

If your not gona read my rant that's cool (they are for my own sanity as much as anything else) but please read


Frank said...

Being a grade oner, first year animation student...

I'd actually like some more lessons on the importance and application of silhouette in life drawing and character animation.

Jane has introduced us to negative space in our drawing exercises and I have read in some animation writings about how negative space can be used by the artist to draw the viewer's eye to the action or the point of narrative. But I don't understand how that works?

Then I ponder, that in life drawing classes, the negative space that Jane encourages us to see, is the opposite to silhouette. And, if I can get a handle on the effective use of both of these concepts, I can't help intuiting that my drawing and animation will be better. Will it?

Life drawing is a challenge.

First up we're challenged by close proximity nudity. I guess I'm glad I'm not a teenager facing life drawing classes in that respect as I hadn't seen many nude people before University mixed 20-something year olds, drugs, alcohol and a sense of freedom together in a heady cocktail.

I also consider what it must be like to be the model, as there challenge, to me, is even greater.

But ingrained, western culture, pulpit spat, Christian societal hang ups last only a few seconds from the moment of disrobing. Then the drawing brain takes over and it becomes the challenge to work out how to draw the figure, how gravity works, how the skeleton holds bits up and the muscles oppose each other. Nudity disappears and architecture takes over.

I even noticed that I found it annoying when a model had long hair that hid their neck and shoulders. I appreciated the more experienced model tying their hair up to not disguise where the head joins neck, joins thorax.

The other challenge I find is the physicality of being the artist as directed by our teacher. We're encouraged to stand and use our whole body to make the marks on the page.

All the other classes are hunched sat over keyboard or drawing board. After a few hours of life drawing I feel physically tired. But that's not a whinge nor a complaint. Just an observation of difference and it's great to get up and move.

That's life drawing of the human model from this beginner's experience.

Ian said...

great feedback Frank (as always). Jane may have different ideas to me, but I think the whole negative space thing is realy just another way of getting you to think about silhouette at all. when you look at the spaces between things you stop focussing on the inner detail of the subject. Its a way of tricking your mind into focusing on the line between you subject and the rest of the world.

Basically the more different ways you can consider a drawing, the more ways you can find to improve it. It's that whole vocabulary thing again.

This is why I often say that drawing for animation is a process instead of an event. You have to run through all of these different ways to improve your drawing. Many more to consider than with a drawing that only exists in a single moment. It takes time to all come together, and its fair to say that many never manage to bring it all together. For most of first year we are just adding quills to your bow. :)