Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Adventures in Life Drawing: 002: Atelier (-ish)

Well, it's been a few weeks since the last post about taking up life drawing - again - and I'm really starting to get into the art of being an artist - again.

Oh and I've been listening to waaay too much Pendulum after seeing their performances at Glastonbury and T in the Park - AWESOME!

Pendulum - In Silico.
Can I do a CD cover for you chaps, please?

Anyway, I've been reading up on atelier method, representational art and all it entails: sight size, precise measuring and the like. It's been a real eye opener and I keep wondering, why wasn't I taught this at art college?

Every Monday at life drawing I've been doing my own atelier-lite training. Using a cheats sight-size to get the proportions and forms down, studying the values and rendering the halftone forms up with graphite pencils and Conte crayons. I have to say I love it, although I feel some spontaneity has been lost with the more formal approach, but you have to break some eggs to make an omelette.

Graphite pencil on paper.
Using a cheats sight-size and plotting the overall volumes
and angles as the basis for the final rendering

I've got a veritable arsenal of tools I regularly take, a small compass for measuring, chamois leather for diffusing tonal values, putty rubber, small hand mirror for checking the reverse image, range of pencils, scalpel for sharpening etc. etc. It's like a small army mobilising every Monday night.

Graphite pencil on paper.
Again, using a cheats sight-size
and using values
to define the forms in the image.

As I've been attending the life drawing sessions, I've been reading Juliette Aristedes books: Classical Drawing Atelier and Classical Painting Atelier - both available on Amazon - and I've been using them as a starting point both thematically and practically - I certainly feel as though I'm making progress - where to exactly, I don't know, but so far it's an interesting journey.

Conte crayon on paper.
Using comparitive measuring to plot the mass,
a chamois leather to diffuse the base tones and letting the
image appear as the halftones values are built up.

Maybe in a few years when the kids have grown up a bit I might see about doing a proper Atelier course - we shall see. All in all , life drawing is turning out to be great fun and a good way to keep my 'head in the game', artistically speaking - so I'll keep you posted!

Oh, yeah - nearly forgot - work wise, I'm doing some 2000AD work and more cool Horus Heresy covers. Great times!