Friday, April 24, 2015

Being an Art Student

I have a degree in Illustration. That means I went to school and took all kinds of art classes, including  *gasp* figure drawing classes. Yes, most of the models were *louder gasp* nude.

There are several members of my family who consider all of those drawings porn.

I have never understood why. Seriously, Porn? Because I'm learning how to draw the human figure accurately? I'll be honest, while in those drawing classes, I was barely aware that it was a nude person up there while I was drawing.

I was focused on 'how does this muscle shape and curl around that bone?' 'what is the proportion of that leg to the torso?' 'if that's the shape they'er making, how exactly is the spine curving and what do I do to draw the pelvis correctly?'

It is/was all about accuracy, shadows, light, form, proportion, and how to blend charcoal and oils into accurate renderings.

Porn...pbbbth.  Instead, I have a reverence for the beauty of the human body. It's nothing to be ashamed of.

Now... if I were drawing something specifically to evoke a sexual response in someone, then sure, you could call it erotica or porn. Otherwise, TALK TO THE QUACKING HAND.

This is all in preface to my new art project. Because OMG nudity. *sigh*

So I'm a little annoyed, grumpy, and irritated at having to self-censor my artwork on FB so I don't have to hear the lectures from well-meaning helpers. I'm well aware that I could post it anyway, but that's more of a headache and I'm under orders from my psychiatrist to avoid stress.

Therefore, I am going to post pictures here of my project as I go. It's therapeutic for me to not only pour emotion into my drawings, but to put all of that out into the nether. (As evidenced by all my previous soul-baring blog posts.)

Today, I'm sharing the initial sketch. It's very rough and very not perfect. It's going to be some kind of phoenixish/fire something. Don't ask me what those ribbons are all about, I have no idea. Maybe I was playing with partial modesty? They may stay, they may go. It's again related to emotions I can't really explain.

BLUE??  yep. I forgot to change my camera's white balance. Ooops
I'm not thrilled with the arms right now, and am doing more roughs in my sketchbook to play with form. Also: it looks like she's wearing underwear, I know, but that's how the hips attach to the pelvic area. It won't look like that when done.

Why then did I put in on the huge drawing board already?  Because I needed to. It makes me itch to complete it when I see it there. And I have wonderful gummy erasers that fix anything needing fixing. haha :)

Part of me is insisting I do this on hot-press watercolor paper so I can do fun washes with the fire and backgrounds without wrinkling my paper. Part of me insists it will be more fun to ink it with pen and use a brush to smear it as needed. As I don't currently have any hot-press watercolor paper, I'm thinking the 2nd half wins.

BIGGEST ISSUE: background. I need the background to be navy blueish fading out into the color of the paper. The navy blue will set off the fire and make it pop from the page. Besides, I should do the background before I do any of the figure/fire stuff.

The question about the background that I'm struggling the most with is medium:

*Colored pencil would blend, but this paper wouldn't do a turp wash very well. I'm fairly certain a colored pencil wash would take the ink, but it would likely leave lines. blech.

*I could do an oil pastel wash, but I doubt the ink would lay over it.

*It's possible I could use a chalk pastel... I'd just have to deal with dirty hands and possible smudging onto the figure while I work. Ick, not only that, but I can just imagine the grains of the pastel when I try to smudge the fire and put sparks into the air.

*The paper is definitely not thick enough for acrylics.

*The paper handles gauche ok if it's not too wet.

* Oils are definitely out of the question.

arrgh, I'll let that percolate in the back of my head while I sketch and sketch to figure out the best form for the rising fire figure.

All of that above? That is how I think when I'm working on a project. Questions, options, layouts, colors, more questions, pros and cons, etc.

When I'm actually putting color on paper and pouring emotion into the work itself? I lose myself completely and let the picture and feelings guide my hands, because by that point all the hard work is already done.


  1. It looks like it's going to be super cool!

    1. Thanks :) I sure hope it turns out that way :)