Saturday, June 26, 2010

Anatomy of a Portrait

Today as protesters were pillaging Downtown Toronto, I decided to do something I have not done in a while..a self portrait. Unfortunately, all the life drawing classes I wished to attend were canceled due to the Summit. Even though I was tempted to go downtown and draw some of the chaos, things turned nastier as the day progressed, so I stayed put.

An art instructor of mine at U of T a long time ago, once thought my pencil crayon pieces were more like paintings than drawings. So, I thought I would scan in various stages of my process to demonstrate that there is very much a drawing element to this process. I try to be conscious of the various anatomical relationships, plane changes and structure. Where the drawing is like painting is how I apply the color. The "underpainting" so to speak, serves as a foundation for the other hues involved. I build up layers of color to give the subject more luminosity and variegation. One thing that remains a constant in my portraits is my severe expression. I am concentrating intensely on what I am doing and it seems to translate into the final product.

I had two light sources for this study. A warm lamp and some cool ambient light from a window further away.
As a result, there are a few subtle blues introduced into an otherwise warm and "peachy" color scheme. Now that I am done, I think maybe I can have taken a "dirtier" approach to hues involved. The intensity of the color is a little much, not quite naturalistic and gives me something to think about for the next time.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The World Through my Eyes

Here are a few to start. I will post more as time goes by. Enjoy.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Photographic Debut

About 4 years ago I bought myself a Canon Rebel XT. Photography is something I have dabbled with, but never have had a decent camera to really explore the possibilities. So I have been taking photos of anything that caught my eye throughout the seasons. Pretty much, most of the these photos have sat on my hard drive collecting digital dust. I have a bazillion shots of my family and friends as well, but I do not think they would appreciate if I threw them into cyberspace unannounced. I would LOVE a telescopic/Zoom lens to take some great shots of the Moon or experiment with some time lapse photos of the stars, but all in good time. I now share these little moments with all of you, and hope you appreciate what I see. Cheers.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Art Gallery of Ontario - Summer 2010

On Wednesday evenings I have been attending the AGO`s free admission hours from 6-8:30. Sometimes I stay for an hour, sometimes two. These are a couple a pieces I have worked on over the last couple of weeks. Usually on the first week, I would take an hour on the line drawing and then the next week, add the tonal work for an hour to an hour and a half. I call this my creative monastic time.

Even though people are milling about, they tend to leave me be, with the occasional little one curiously coming over to see what that strange guy sitting in a room of standing people is doing.

The first piece is Gian Lorenzo Bernini`s (1598-1680) marble bust of  Pope Gregory XV.

The second is an ivory & granite bust of Alphonse Van Beurden`s (1854-1938) Portrait of a Girl. This piece is in a room in the European Galleries just filled with ivory busts of different shapes and sizes. I feel sorry for the elephants, but the sculptures are beautiful.

I am presently working on a more involved study of Auguste Rodin`s Adam, which I hope to complete in the next few weeks. I have been working in stages and scanning each stage as I progress forward. I will post all stages of the process once I finish it.

The AGO has a newly opened show that I intend to explore called Drama and Desire : Artists and the Theatre. Lots of visual goodies to enjoy from Degas, David, Ingres and more. Fun, fun.

D McG Gallery & TSA - June 15 & 17, 2010

A selection from 1- 15 min poses. Great model on the ring on Tuesday night. Tremendous power & endurance as she moved around the ring. A couple of drawings are proportionally a bit out, with one a little incomplete, but I hope their virtues outweigh their faults.

At this point, I wish to thank Thomas Hendry, an Instructor at the Toronto School of Art for introducing me to the life drawing at the Diane McGrath Gallery. It`s on Tuesday nights from 7:30-9:30 for $15 only until the end of June and then it breaks until the fall. Check out Thomas`s blog of his work at Great Stuff.

D McG Gallery & TSA Longer Poses - June 8 & 10, 2010

Poses are from 5 min to 15 min in duration. A lot of backviews again..hmmm..need to work on that.

Diane McGrath Gallery & TSA Gestures June 8th & 10th, 2010

I had the pleasure of being introduced to some life drawing at the Diane McGrath Gallery on Queen West in Toronto, where the models are aerial performers and for the session, they literally hang around for 2 hours! Gravity is present, but not bearing down on the forms as they normally do, so where you expect tension, limbs are relaxed and vice versa. A great exercise with an emphasis on short poses, which is awesome. I threw in some gestures from TSA as well. Although, I am not quite as pleased structurally about some of these gestures, the model was great, I felt looser and as a a result the forces involved were conveyed with more emotion. A step forward.

Toronto School of Art - Jun 3rd & 4th 2010

Very long pose heavy this week. In some cases, I have been using a lighter color pencil to quick rough in a pose on the kraft paper and then I go in with a darker line. I am finding the white line distracting in some cases, and I need to use a more neutral hue to compensate.  I am a little frustrated with my gesture these days. I`ve been having a tough time simplifying lately. Solution : draw. draw and draw some more.

Toronto School of Art - May 2010

Here are a selection from 1 - 20 min poses from May at my usual life drawing haunt, the Toronto School of Art. As I look upon the month`s drawings, I see a trend of back views emerging. I need to work on portraying the figure from all angles with equal attention.