stardustcboy's Diaryland Diary


...Drawing from Life...

i thought that i would write an entry today about drawing the nude human form. this is in part due to ms. redsiren's newest entry.

this week i will begin tutoring JeLLy in the ways of the artist, and part of the curriculum that i have developed is a heavy dose of drawing from life.

when i was in art school, despite my focus being animation, the one skill all my professors stressed above all was the ability to capture the human form, and moreover, capture the human form in motion.

i must admit here, that there is nothing more fulfilling than capturing the essence of your model. there is a deep eroticism there, but it moves beyond the mere boundary of the flesh, into a more profound and abstract realm.

when i put pen to paper and do nude figure study, my mind begins to work on several different levels.

first, it is processing the image data collected by my eyes; and redefining it in terms of space, shape, volume and composition.

second, this mental abstraction is then solidified as a basic pattern or guideline projected by my mind upon the paper.

third, my brain sends signals to my arm and hand and begins to guide my pen along the surface of the page.

fourth, as my hand moves, my eyes continue to study the figure before me. my mind looks beyond the flesh, past the skin, through the underlying muscle tissue, to the skeleton. my mind literally dissects the model piece by piece. stripping away surfaces until it has reached the core figure...the gesture...the form beneath all forms.

fifth, my hand, still at work, begins to recompose the dissected mental image onto the paper. the abstract guideline from first glancing at the model defines the broad composition of the page as a whole. the mental dissection serves to tighten my strokes, defining the subject in further detail on the page.

sixth, as i lay down the basic skeleton, i begin to work the volumes of muscle over it on the page. i define the shape of the trapezius as it elegantly attaches itself to the shoulder blades and neck, i capture the full curve of the breast and buttock over the ribcage and pelvis. i define the flesh of the nose and cheeks over the skull. my strokes are broad at first, defining first the piece as a whole.

seventh, the form nearly completed, the last details are reassembled on the page. i work through the final, complex details of the hands and feet; and settle at last upon the face. the lips, eyes, ears and hair solidify into place.

eighth, as the last details are placed, my eye continues its study of the figure. it focuses on the variations and transitions of light and shadow over the form of the body. studying, and again dissecting, how the light envelopes, caresses, defines the figure in space.

ninth, the light data is layered over the mental abstraction and anatomical breakdown and signals are sent to my hand. the shadows are darkened in and create the fine illusion of form and volume thereby finishing the piece as whole.

at this point, final touches can be added, or i could continue into painting the piece, continuing the study in terms of color value, tint, and such; or the model changes to a new pose and the process begins again.

the process overall can take from 30 seconds to an hour or more depending on how quickly the model changes poses; the less time, the more gestural the piece, the more time, the more concrete.

though this may sound almost surgical in its pragmatic and analytical execution; it is in actuality very passionate.

the focus and intensity whilst drawing the human form, is matched only by the focus and intensity of my love-making.

every soft curve, every hard edge, every blemish, every perfection, is observed, recorded, analyzed, reconstructed, and reassembled by my mind and hand in loving and gentle honesty.

in many ways i am making love mentally to the model before me, man or woman, they are the object of my study. with intense focus i dive beyond their flesh to capture their essence, their wholeness as a series of gestures, lines, strokes, and shades.

just as when making love, i capture my partner, absorb their essence through the same senses that allow me to draw...though in the case of is a much more tactile and physical interaction with the object of my desire.


12:36 p.m. - 2004-06-22


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