Friday, November 30, 2012
A Deep Study of Anatomy
Over the past month and a half I have had the great opportunity to attend an in depth drawing anatomy course. I have been painting and drawing the human figure for more than 15 years. Sure, I know about the general concepts of anatomy, more than most, and enough to teach figurative drawing and painting classes. I have a bit of a library when it comes to Anatomy for the Artist books. I did not know all the names of the actual structure, beyond the major bones and muscles that makes up the human form (well, not committed to memory), and I didn't really know why this bulges when that's bent, or how the muscles in our body operate (especially the feet and hands). Sitting in a class, focused on something that I am extremely interested in and hearing and following a lecture and watching someone else tackle and point out details is more informative than trying to figure it out on one's own. What do all those lines that are depicted on the muscles really indicate in my anatomy books? Well, now I know. During my university years and after I have been focused on color theory and studying tonality. I have studied them so much that all that information is lodged into my subconscious and I can mix any color quite precisely without thinking about it. I would like to be the same way with anatomy and my understanding of the human form so it comes automatically. There are so many images that I wish to paint and so to speed up my process I am educating myself where I sometimes get hung up. The human form is difficult and I don't think it will ever be easy to portray, but I can educate myself to get a better understanding of it. The reason I enjoy painting the human form is because I find it so intriguing. Everyone is so different and we are more than just our bodies, we are alive full of spirit, personality, and life experiences. I will never know everything about painting people. People are amazing creatures.
The course was interesting in so many ways. It was taught by Justin Ogilvie who is a vast pool of knowledge concerning portraying the human figure. I found his lectures invaluable. I could have listened to him all evening. For those who already have quite a bit of figurative experience I highly recommend his courses. He is very informal in contrast to his structured complex curriculum. I soaked it all in. I made sure I went to the washroom and had everything I needed before the class started because I didn't want to miss a single word. It was fast paced and intense. Time whipped by.
The body of students in the class I attended was interesting as well. I haven't been in an art course with so many men since my university days. There were about 6 tattoo artists and a bunch of graphic artists as well. It was interesting to see different art forms come together. We all work with the figure in our artistic careers but in different ways. I love learning from others and to go around the room at the end of class to see how others interpreted the same figure while given the same instruction but with different life experiences and artistic careers was inspiring. Also being around men covered in tattoos made me want to paint their portraits. I wish that I wasn't constantly pressed for time, I would have loved to hang around after the classes to chat with them. (If you are reading this and are from that class and would be interested in modeling for a portrait, please send me an email.)
The following are some of the drawing that I did during the course. Note that they are just exercises and not, what I would consider completed work, and done in the span of 5min to 45min each.