Atelier · October 27, 2006

Friday in the atelier: “Korean” By Calladus

Since today is my birthday, and more importantly since I’ve been very busy both with work and in my personal life this week, I thought I’d take a break and show off, just a little.

This sketch is one of mine, from 2001. I really don’t have anymore of a name than “Korean Model” for it.

First disclaimer, I don’t have any formal training that is worth a darn in teaching the basics of figure sketching. I’ve got books, and patience, and a fair eye. My mistakes may not be noticeable to an amateur, but I assure you they are there. (Look at that ear, for example! My word, what was the artist THINKING?)

I had a lot of art classes while growing up. Standard high school stuff and one freshman art class with a mediocre teacher. (He was actually a decent teacher, but only a fair artist.)

The model for this picture is a magazine image. I liked her eyes, and wanted to capture her warmth. The original image was in color, but otherwise was mostly as you see.

The problem with the ear – Artists must train themselves to draw what they see, and not what they think. Ask any non-artist to draw an ear, and they draw a coffee cup handle. Ask someone to draw a nose in profile and they’ll draw an upside down question mark.

You fight your preconceptions and draw what you see. I wasn’t quite successful. If I had turned the magazine upside down and drawn from that, the ear would have been more lifelike, but the rest of the image would have suffered.

Shading was accomplished with a soft lead and a kneading eraser. I used hairspray to bind the lead and then shaded again over that in layers to create the dark shading that I needed. I love the knead-able erasers! I used a tortillon and my finger for blending.

I like this drawing. I wish I had more time to draw, but honestly it doesn’t fascinate me as much as working in wood or as much as learning something new. Perhaps I will concentrate on my own artistic abilities later in my life, I dunno.

In any case, I hope you enjoyed it.