Weekly Art Dispatch, No. 11 🎨

22 February 2021 - Reading time: 7 minutes

Big Art Project and Figuary continues apace.  And I bought a bunch of art instruction books!

The books are: Figure Drawing for Artists by Steve Huston; Color and Light by James Gurney; and Imaginative Realism by James Gurney.  Gurney's books have been on my wishlist since the day they were published (hey, can't have too much of his artwork).  Steve Huston teaches figure drawing courses at New Masters Academy, but I'd rather have his instruction book on hand.

That just about covers all the art instruction books I want to buy.  (I still want John Howe's Fantasy Art Workshop but that seems a bit harder to find.)  I've been reading Huston as I'm doing Figuary, and it's been extremely informative.  More about this, possibly, in a future Dispatch.

Figuary 2021 (Study Art)

Still doing Figuary.  Still not caught up (I'm up to Day 16 as of writing).  But 2.5 weeks in and I'm already seeing improvement on my gesture and figure, especially with capturing lines of action, and depicting form and volume with fewer lines.

I was trying out the "long lines" technique of gesture drawing in the Figuary YouTube playlist; I don't entirely get how to apply it yet, but it helped me identify the big, long lines of energy flow through a figure.  I still prefer the block-in method though.

So far my favourite Figuary day was Day 12, which was all about foreshortening.  I love drawing foreshortened figures because of the dynamism and drama that perspective lends to imagery.  It's challenging but fun, like a puzzle, and feels just as good to figure it out!

Big Art Project

I finished Art Piece #3 today.  This one was challenging, not least because impostor syndrome struck halfway through.  I got a brainwave as I was brainstorming this piece: I remembered a real-life story that moved me a lot when I first read it, and decided to illustrated it in Piece #3.

But halfway through the process, I started doubting whether I was doing it any justice at all.  The story concerns a tricky subject matter, and from the start I was taking pains to ensure my composition and depiction were sensitive and graceful.  But I also wanted to stick closely with the spirit and emotion behind the story, as well as the broader themes of the Art Project.  So while I liked the story/subject matter, I doubted my ability to do all the above in the drawing.

Well, nothing else to do except to finish what I started.  I'm still unsure about the image composition and how sensitively I addressed the subject matter, but I think I drew Piece #3 quite well.  I've been focusing a lot on values lately: experimenting with all kinds of shading techniques, figuring out how to pitch the value gradient across an entire piece -- and it finally came together in this drawing.  I'm happy about that!

Previews of Art Piece #3 from all stages of the process.

Fun Art

More values practice in this week's fun art of Vega.  I can't get enough of drawing him.  I didn't realize until the end that I was kind of replicating an earlier work.  So here's a nice Before/After comparison.

Drawn last July (2020) when I was just beginning to take art seriously and draw every day.  The end product of a decade of stagnant art skills...

...and the end product of five-ish months of drawing every day.

(Caption:) "If you run out of projectiles to throw at your foes, punch a hole into the nearest bulkhead and pull out your own."

Next Dispatch will drop on the last day of February!  I hope I can end the month by finishing both Big Art Project and Figuary 2021. Whew!

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