Friday, February 13, 2009

Drawing with a stick

Last night in my drawing class with Luther Broome, he had us draw with a stick dipped in ink!!! It was so much fun! I had never done anything like that before, and even though I struggled at first, I stuck with it, and towards the end of the class, I really started to feel like I was getting the hang of it. He told me to try to capture the pose of the model with the least number of lines, and that really got me to streamline my drawings. Even though it looks like there was no effort involved, in some ways, this was harder than how I usually draw. Usually, I "scribble" a lot, making lots of lines and I really "search" for the pose that way.

For those of you who don't know this, when you draw from a live model, many of the poses the model takes are held for only a short time - perhaps a minute or maybe two minutes. The purpose of doing these quick drawings is to force you to really capture the "gesture" or essence of the pose. When you draw quickly like this, it also prevents your brain from getting in the way of the drawing. I find that it also helps me with proportions. When I do quick gesture drawings, I like to alternate drawing with first my right hand, and then my left hand. I normally draw, paint and write with my right hand, so the left hand doesn't have the same confidence. What I find interesting is that I tend to prefer the left handed drawings! If you have never tried this, I highly recommend it. It really loosens you up!

Below, you can see one of the first drawings I did with the stick, before we sharpened the stick, and before he had me simplify everything. (It was also done on a different kind of paper.) I can see the value and beauty in the way he had me draw, but there is also something very expressive about my original approach. The struggle is much more evident, and for me, there is a truth in that. Think of how life is often a struggle, and yet, when you persevere, it pays off. The more simplified approach has a confidence and elegance that is not there in my more agonized approach. I like them both, for different reasons. Which do you prefer? I am really having fun, trying new things in this class. It just goes to show you that learning new things is always a worthwhile endeavor.


High Desert Diva said...

I like the more streamline ones with less lines. What an interesting exercise.

This reminded me of one of my art teachers who had us (the class) go outside and draw pinecones and needles without lifting the pencil from the paper. Hmmm....hadn't thought of that in years.

lee said...

I love them all the first one is the one I like best. Great job as usual. Happy valentines to you.

julie king said...

my favorite one is the second one. i like how you captured her pose as she lounged back and extended her head up. the curve of her abdomen and then the mound of her lower tummy is just divine. the first word i thought of when i saw the last one was angst. so i guess as you said it captured how hard you had to work at it. which makes it a very true piece. i admire that you are taking classes. i've never taken a drawing class or an art class for that matter but i'm longing to. how will i fit it in my day and still be able to blog? smile!

Anke said...

Oh Karine, those 'stick drawings' are awesome!!!!! Wow! Amazing what you can create with a stick! Thanks for sharing. And enjoy discovering new techniques, that is always something exciting and inspiring!
Happy Valentine, smiles, Anke ;)

pRiyA said...

if you did these drawings in just a minute or two AND with a stick AND with your left hand, i am speechless with awe!

Robyn said...

Brilliant! I love the first and second drawings.

Rima said...

Hello Karine.. thanks for visiting me and for you nice words :)
Pleased to meet you. I love these stick drawings.. I did this too many years ago - it's very freeing isn't it. And gives a lovely scratchy quality. My favourite is the last one :)
Love the quails too :)
All the best from the house on wheels..

Anonymous said...

I love your drawings with sticks. I'm an artist myself, but only just starting up on blogging. Any blogs you can recommend?
(Junie's Journal)

coloredsock said...

it's so fun to see thees, karine. i LOVE drawing with sticks...i even have a jar of sticks, my collection over the years of different shapes, sizes. ones i've found in other countries or on walks and i just really love the surrender that happens, too, in not being able to control the way ink trails from the wood tip. and i am the same way---i prefer to draw with my left hand with figure drawing!!! it's always gotten me 'out of my head'. thanks for sharing. have fun!

bindu said...

These are incredible! Love them. Can't imagine how you alternated your hands. Haven't done that before.

Red Fish Circle said...

These are SO fabulous! I am going to have to try this. I can't wait. Your sketches are just so beautiful and inspiring.