Thursday, March 01, 2007

Figuring It Out

One thing that Patrick keeps repeating over and over in class is the importance of the gesture, which means reserving the territory in which the drawing will sit. This is slowly starting to seep into my brain. What this really means is conceptualizing your drawing before beginning, and then following through and putting one's idea in the space on the paper/canvas. Every week it's a struggle to decide what to put in the space on the paper. I want to practice all of it....the angles, the face, the hands, the twists and turns of arms and legs....but it's unreasonable to think that drawing everything all the time would continually engage the viewer.

The original reason for me taking life drawing classes was to learn to draw the human figure well. At home in my studio, it's unfair to ask people to sit and pose when I'm unsure of the direction a painting will take. Every one's life is valuable, and if I am unclear on how to draw someone, why waste their time?

But instead, this class is forcing me to quickly assess a focal point for a drawing. Having only a few minutes to compose and draw from life is scarily thrilling. As much as I really want to practice drawing the human figure, I'm finding that it's secondary to having good composition. But then I wonder if good composition matters if the figure isn't drawn well....

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