Sunday, October 7, 2007

ArtPact #10

(Originally published on February 17, 2007).

Ah, it's good to be home.

It's even better when there's a routine to get back to.
And to me, that is mostly what makes it home: the fact that I have people and things to come back to. After almost 5 years here, I think it does start to feel like home.

And part of this routine is the monthly advanced portrait workshop.

Today's lesson was about facial expressions. Our instructor, WackieM, provided us with photos she took of a very animated speaker, who spoke at our holiday party. Looking at the photos, you can see him covering most of the expression spectrum: from happy to amused to indifferent to disgusted to angry to sad to, well, constipated...
And you'd wonder: what was he talking about, that made him so emotionally involved? why is he so mad and agitated and all those other extreme moods that he clearly shows?
He spoke of what makes art. great,. as opposed to a pretty picture. Obviously, he was feeling quite strongly about this subject...

WackieM had us start with small drawings, telling us to look for the subtleties that make each expression what it is. It was harder than I thought - and once you get into it, it's amazing how every muscle in the face plays a role. Eyebrows, mouth, nostrils, cheeks - you name it. I think the ears are mostly out of the game.

I took a shot at the expressions that spoke to me the most, and discovered - yet again - how much easier drawing is, compared to painting! I even told WackieM that perhaps I should stick to drawing and stop painting whatsoever, and got a huge reprimand from her...

So, these are my attempts at capturing this guy.

He really does have a wonderful expressive face, looking quite a bit like the rubber-faced Jim Carrey, only with a great shiny bald head.

These drawings are 2.5 x 3.5 inch (as in 6 x 9 cm) each, pencil on paper.

(Hmm, I should learn to stay: "graphite on 80Lb paper". Sounds much more artistic, Eh?).

Then we moved on to the watercolor zone.

Remember those little experimental paintings we did a month ago?
Well, they actually have a name, and quite a pretentious one: we were all thrilled to learn that they are called bozzettos.
(Yep, brilliant blogging AND art education!... can you ask for more?).

As we have lengthily discussed before, I hate painting in class.
Plus, I am still jetlagged.

And so, I only did one:

Watercolor on W/N CP Paper, 5"x7" (12.5x17.5 cm)

Now, at the beginning of the class, everyone showed what they did as homework during the month that's passed since last class. most of them completed all 18 rectangles with bozzettos, some even did one or two (or five!!) actual paintings..
And they all look so cool.
Even if some individual bozzettos were unsuccessful, seeing a whole sheet with 18 paintings made a big impact, so you no longer looked at them as individuals.
Very, very cool.
And there I was, homework-less (hey, we were away for 2 weeks, and jetlagged until tomorrow!), and very envious of everyone in class.

This time, I hope to actually manage to fill all 18 rectangles with different expressions.
Should be an incredibly fun exercise.

- - - and so, excuse me while I go and bozzettize.
One is pretty much done.
17 more to go...

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