Thursday, September 16, 2010

Igor Stravinsky, Line Development, and a Horse

I will eventually develop a line or two in my line development class, but first I need to learn how to draw. I knew I would eventually have to take a fashion illustration class, but I did not know this one would be it. A good rule of thumb for college classes is to expect to spend one to one and a half hours studying and doing homework for every hour spent in class. So far I have spent six hours in line development class and about 15 hours doing homework for it. I have another six or eight hours of work to do for it this weekend. I should not complain; drawing requires a lot of practice. I am have already seen some slight improvement in my skills. I still do not draw well, but my croquis now at least resemble humans. I hope to have a few usable croquis by the end of next week.

The first assignment for the class was to copy a picture of a horse and a Picasso sketch of Igor Stravinsky. We turned both pictures upside down before copying them so that we could focus on just drawing lines rather than on creating a recognizable image. It sounds odd, but it worked. None of the students in the class had heard of this method before, but it seems to be a common technique for teaching drawing. Many thousands of art students have copied the upside down image of Picasso’s Stravinsky found in Betty Edwards's book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.
Before I began work on my horse I would have said that horse was far beyond my drawing skills, but to my great surprise I drew one. Other horses might not welcome my horse into their herd, but most humans can immediately recognize it as a horse.

Even after finishing the horse I was still skeptical about Stravinsky. The horse had long lines and few fine details. The same cannot be said about Igor. The only way to learn to draw is by doing it, so I got to work. It took a few attempts to get started, but by the time I finished the head I was on a roll and was able to finish the sketch. I am no Picasso, but for my first Russian composer I am quite pleased with myself.

I must learn to draw good croquis, but once I have some I can make copies to use for the rest of the semester. I need six croquis, each in a different pose. My attempts at croquis have not turned out so well thus far, so I will not be including any pictures of them today. Once I have some good croquis (or as my professor calls them, Best Girls) I will post photos.

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