Saturday, April 19, 2008

Blues of January just past

Originally uploaded by jhhymas
Water and sky--who would believe this was on January 10th? It's the magic of California, for sure. Even though I have lived here for more than 40 years, it still thrills me. Today I found out that two dear friends--that I used to work with, side by side, at one of the neatest times of my life--are reading this blog. Which is thrilling, but also means I need to work harder. I feel I am losing myself in a welter of things I want to write about and only serving up sketchy outlines.
Speaking of sketching, I took a one-day drawing class this afternoon and picked up some useful tips. The main one--to practice by drawing all the time--is something I already knew, but alas, find harder to do than looking at the new New Yorker. Or, an art book, or whatever . . .
This teacher, JS, uses eight ovals for the height of the human body. I tried it and it worked out pretty well. Did you know that the pupils of the eyes are about halfway between your chin and the top of your head. It's hard to believe, but easy to check. I'll try to fix a sample for this blog to show where the knees are, erc. It's a little surprising, because (perhaps) we see our own legs foreshortened, or we allot more space to some of the parts than they really occupy for other reasons. Other things just make sense, like, mostly, men have broader shoulders and more well defined leg muscles than women.
The guy that's leading the watercolor trip to Greece says that if you draw with a pen and just keep on moving, you will develop your eye and you hand faster than it you keep working on one drawing until you erase a hole in the paper. This makes sense; these sorts of pen lines also appeal to me, Today we use a charcoal pencil or a conte grayon and we did erase a little, but not as much as we might have done with th pencil. I really liked the feel of the charcoal pencil stroking on the paper. I'll be trying more of that.

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