Firstly I thought I’d share a little video from the director/animator KAZUHIKO OKUSHITA:
It’s an animation using the simplicity of a red line to create contour figures and shapes. The film has excellent fluidity, movement, and visual design… it’s definitely one of my favourite independent short animations! It reminds me of one of my favourite quotes:
“A line is a dot that went for a walk.” – Paul Klee
Secondly, I went to a figure drawing class tonight at the Vintage Emporium and Tea Rooms (14 Bacon Street, London, E1 6LF). The nude figure drawing classes are free and held every Tuesday from 7 – 9 PM. Absolutely not my best work, but I’m slowly getting back into the techniques! Here are some examples to hopefully inspire you to go to your local life drawing classes:
It’s been about 2 years since I’ve properly attended a life drawing/figure drawing class. But tonight I was rummaging around underneath my bed and I stumbled upon my old art pad. I thought I’d update my website and post a couple pictures to share the excitement and rush of warming up with gesture drawings before a life drawing class.
Gesture Drawings are quick sketches that usually last between 30 seconds and 3 minutes per pose. The goal of a gesture is to capture the ENERGY of the model’s pose and aim for general PROPORTIONS.
The examples above are 2 minute gesture drawings, used to loosen up before moving on to longer 30 – 60 minute postures. When people know they have AN HOUR to complete their drawing, they take their time, measure the proportions, and think before every stroke and shadow. With only 30 seconds for each posture, the careful uptight artist is forced to feel the drawing rather than calculate it. Even for long poses, you should start with a gesture in the beginning. Otherwise, the rest of your work is screwed… The proportions and energy must initially be correct before all the detail can transform a good sketch into an amazing piece of art.
Personally, I’ve always been fascinated with good sketches that are 10 minutes or less. It’s amazing how little detail and shading you actually need to recognise the human body and it’s posture. The University of London Student Union does some cheap classes on Wednesdays, so I definitely plan on starting back up soon!
Plus, it’s always hilarious to see people’s reaction when you tell them one of your hobbies is drawing naked people. (You can discover a lot about someone’s personality based on his or her attitude to the raw human body.) And that’s why I love art. It makes people feel awkward… pushing them outside their comfort zone.
**Quick observation sketch of what my desk looked like at 21:46 last night. On a side note, my website was having difficulty with the gallery portion. Luckily, my magical IT guy (cough cough my dad) was able to fix it! So although it hasn’t been updated with new artwork… at least the old stuff is still available to view. My personal favourite is the figure drawings and oil paintings. I miss life drawing and hope to pick it up again this semester. The University of London Union do classes on Wednesdays from 18:30 to 21:30, so I’m going to motivate myself to go after work! Until then… here’s the current stuff: Figure Drawings. And some Oil Paintings while we’re at it!
Here are some of my artistic beliefs:
1. Creating rules, limitations, or specific projects can spark creative genius.
2. Fine art is not the only type of “ART.” A sketchbook should also contain notes, shopping lists, observations, and current worries.
3. An artist does not have ‘talent’ but the courage to try and the willingness to learn.
4. Art is a continual practice. And yes, you can lose it.
5. Create art for yourself, but aim to inspire others by boldly sharing your ideas and work.
I have recently started a new blog. It will probably fail… but that’s not going to stop me from trying. In fact, I promise to dye my hair bright pink if I ever reach over 1,000 Twitter followers or 1,000 Facebook likes. [Not sure it would be easy with my dark brown lion’s mane…] But there it is. I said it.
So…. start liking, commenting, following, and retweeting. My hope is that my Naïsbook Project will inspire you to be more creative and call yourself an ‘artist.’ You can read about the purpose and name of the project HERE. Or like my Facebook page solely because you want one more pink haired person in this world, I would be alright with that as well.
WordPress: Naisbook Project
Facebook: Naïsbook Project
Short Film: Naïsbook
7: 04 AM (Drinking green tea and enjoying pumpernickel bread with peanut butter & banana)
1. For me, the presence of watermelon slices immediately signals ‘summer’ and ‘outdoor parties.’ The watermelon triangles are a staple of any successful pool party or backyard barbecue.
2. Will children in 100 years know that watermelons once did not have seeds? Or will every sort be ‘seedless’? We now have seedless grapes, seedless watermelons, and even the plumcot (a complex hybrid between apricots and plums). Food is becoming ever more convenient, but moving further away from the dietary regime of our ancestors. As Michael Pollan writes in his book Food Rules, “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognise as food.”
3. Баба Вани винаги казба.. “Не яш диня преди да лягаш за сьн.” Translation from Bulgarian to English: ‘ My grandmother always yells at me to NOT eat watermelon before bed. Out of all her rules, this one might be my least favourite. I mean, who doesn’t have watermelon cravings at 10 PM? I can’t be the only one enticed by the red and green candy that is watermelon.
This is a quick snapshot of two pages from my sketchbook: one page includes 5 min poses with pen and the other 3 min poses with markers. It’s been about 3 years since I have seriously and consistently practiced life drawing…. And boy, does it show in my art! Many people assume that drawing skills are rooted in talent (therefore unrelated to practice). That could not be further from the truth… ART IS PRACTICE. ART IS TECHNIQUE. ART IS CONSISTENT CREATIVITY.
Speaking of practice, these poses were inspired by the recent yoga classes I have been attending. Yoga is consistently referred to as an individual ‘practice.’ Sometimes, the classes can have a religious feel with the ‘namasté’ pray at the end (but rest assured it’s more mental and physical exercise than spiritual). Today, our teacher kept referring to the neck as “an extension of the spine,” which reminded me of the principles behind gesture poses in life drawing classes. (Gesture poses are more about capturing the energy of the pose than the actual proportions and details.) Yoga teachers also love to say “Check in with your body today… Listen to your body.” In much the same way, figure drawing is about checking in with the model’s posture, attitude, pain, physique, and form for THAT MOMENT. Too many people draw what they think they see rather than what they ACTUALLY see. Both yoga and figure drawing requires checking in with the body constantly to re-alight the physical level. After the power vinyasa class, I was extremely motivated to sketch… Plus, my sister is just SO photographic (aka draw-able).
Today, I set my intension for my yoga practice and life drawing practice … “Stay consistent in order to improve technique and creative flow.”