Thursday, May 26, 2011

Intrinsic Beauty

Figure Drawing Class wrapped up yesterday, and I don't have any amazing sketches to show.  The classes focused on turning figures into two dimensional planes, looking for the skeleton first (think lines: squares, triangles) and then at muscles/flesh (think curves: ovals, circles).  Next we learned to see through an image, transforming 2D shapes into 3D (think cubes, cones, cylinders with "bracelet lines"--very much like Spiderman suits).  Finally, we lightened our sketching to allow the silouhette to emerge, and added shading to render the figures human once more.

Drawing for a three hour class took more effort than I anticipated.  I fidgeted a lot in the first class--to wear glasses or not, to sit or stand, to listen carefully to the teacher or vaguely delve into practice.  I also forgot how different graphite and conte pencils feel compared to the smooth sweep of charcoal, my favorite medium.

Half of the time I came home frustrated about the mediocre quality of my work; the other days I remembered practice cultivates skill.  Yet in the end, as I flipped through my less than noteworthy sketches, I'm reminded of how much I love taking time to draw.  No matter how amateur my work appears, there's always some small element of beauty emerging on the page.  One gesture drawing emphasizes the arabesque of a graceful neck to waist curve.  Another pose follows the light falling on the angles of waist and thighs in a difficult pose.

The practice of drawing consumes time, but this is one way I've learned to see through ordinary objects into the intrinsic beauty hiding beyond a cursory glance.  After hours of scribbling pencil on paper, the world metamorphoses from the familiar into the exquisite.

Has learning an art, or something else, ever opened your eyes to appreciate beauty hiding in plain sight?


  1. I really like the way you arranged that first picture. To my mind it has nicely balanced spacing, and the shadow from the blob of eraser gunk is pretty sweet.

  2. I think your drawing is beautiful! Taking time for our art is so tough! And yes, art is constantly opening my eyes to the beauty in the world.