Monday, May 9, 2011

Steve Huston Drawing Workshop at 3 Kicks

Should have an Idea about the world not just a technique. Our technique is an option copied from our teacher who copied from their teacher. After awhile it degenerates. When we criticize our drawings we have a difficult time figuring out why it works and why it doesn't. We need to reduce the problem down. The problem is as realists: how to make it look like what we want it to.

There are 2 clear things that have to happen in figure drawing

1) STRUCTURE: 3d, position, space, perspective, tubes, boxes, balls

2) GESTURE: relationship between the parts

Just as in music you can hit every note but note play the piano.

This second part of the problem takes years to get control of.

How do we get a hold of gesture? Most books forget about gesture and turn everything into a rendering problem. You don't want to forget about it once you are 2 to five minutes into a drawing.

Bring gesture and structure together. Don't forget about it.

IDEA is composed of
1- Parts
2- Relationship of Parts


there are all sorts oc choices. Sometimes it can be defined as the long axis. In the body everything but the hips are long in length and narrow. Gesture is the conncecting line. Sometimes it's easier to use the spine or chest bone as the gesture line because it's easy to see it's on the surface. If we can touch it we can see if it's right.

As the fundamental design line the gesture line has to be true. Don't turn it the wrong way. If the pose it 2 minutes or 6 weeks you still need to see the gesture.

The long axis needs to be curved because it is fluid. Every once and a while it's a straight but you should expect a curve.

If you wan your drawings to come alive the long axis shouldn't be stiff and straight. Make it more curved than you think. Think about what you're doing. Put in lots of lumps and bumps. Best strategy is to put in more gesture.

When you do something with an idea in mind it's a style. Do it with confidence. Do it with a straight face.

The audience wants us to suceed. The audience does most of the work through a state called CLOSURE. The audience is smart, supportive and sophisticated. You don't need to do much just need to do it consistently and with confidence.


It's not just form it's form in a position (aka Persepective). The last 5 - 10% is what we are struggling with. Reduce it down - leave out a lot.

The West Coast style is about getting it down quick. We try to pack 10 minutes into 5 minutes. We try to put 10 to 20 things in a paintign when there only a few things we need to say. Don't put it bit players.

The best batters still work with coaches. Slow down and just put in a few things. Muscle Memory turns the body to the right answer.

Simple is good because
1. It's efficient
2. We can redesign it easier
3. Can be animated (in a Rubens sense). exaggerate it by bending the spine more.

We want it to ring true with every mark. We don't want our mark to be a place holder. Keep refining it as simple form that looks close to finish.


We want a great place to connect the next gesture.


Gesture - Structure - Gesture

Get enough structure that you feel confident.

3 poisitons for 3 dimensions. If you want to be underneath detail at center higher. Details at slides lower.

Your AXIS needs to aim in the right direction. If the contour doesn't help you use a dot to dot approach.

Construction lines can be left in finished paintings. We want to build out from narrow parts of the form so we don't destroy conncections.

- on the arm look towards elbow for the direction of the curve
- a leg is a tapering tube. S curve or revers S when ankle's inside.
- Hogarth talks about B and S shape of the leg. B is when ankle bone is on outside. When we have time we can use them to construct better joints. Get your connections working.

Contours get us around the form not over the form. Curves keep momentum going. Zig zags aren't as comfortable. Corners stop movement. Make line or tone flow to another mark.

Highlights should take up a plane or sit on corners. Highlights are very useful to show plane changes. Highlights are both structural and gestural.

The character of the tone can show structure and gesture. A pinch is characterized by a zig zag. We look at stretch for gesture not pinch. The pinching side is structural. It you keep things tubular it's gestural Bulging forms are often 2nd.

You can't usually get all the way down a form with one gesture. (naturally ther is an assymetry high to low). Feel on inside draw on outside. Eggs tend to get off axis from out bigger forms because body does not want to be muscle bound. Anything that moves has to be able to move and be stable. Walking is a balancing act.

Zig zag where the tonal patterns meet. Set in beautiful gradation by zig zagging. Load it up and zig azg. You can't do line in shadow. Use zig zag and put gradation over whole composition. Take half tones and pul you into other side. Make Highlights structural skipping past or breaking through contour.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment. It is much appreciated.