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!


Ben Newman said...

glad your having fun with your art neil! never heard of atelier before, have to check it out.
what are you doing for 2000ad?

Aidan said...

interesting stuff neil - this is something i've been looking into myself lately. Glad to see you blazing a trail ahead of me!