April 3, 2008

#23 - Draw your foot.

I drew my shoes during a great drawing and painting weekend held (awhile back) through LaConnor Art Workshops, Washington. (A very cool place.) Caroline Buchanan was the instructor. It was a 3-day workshop on travel journaling, and I took a personal day off work to be at all 3 days (and treated myself to a bed-and-breakfast to stay overnight even though I'm within driving distance (60 some miles). I went in expecting a watercolor emphasis, so, at first, wondered why we were doing all the drawing lessons. It turned out to be one of the best classes I ever had; it moved me up a notch or three in my ability to sketch a scene or design a painting. She went over contour drawing, scribble drawing (I don't know if that's the real name of it, but it's done with a series of fast, little loopy scribbles, "fast sketching," drawing from photos, geometric shapes that build the body...I've always considered myself reasonably good at drawing, but always for copying something directly, not for drawing without a picture to look at, and certainly not drawing "on the run." That weekend changed my whole view and made me a better artist, for many reasons, not the least of which, recognizing where and why the errors are in my sketching to be able to keep getting better.

Something that absolutely amazes me is how well the blind contour drawing works, at least for me. I have especially enjoyed sketching people at airports using this method and to get the right pose. Almost always, without looking at the paper, I'm able to outline the right shape of the pose. Drawing people is becoming one of my favorite things to do. Anyway, the top of the page is my blind contour from an "assignment" out of Keys to Drawing; the bottom are my own feet. As I remember, I blind-contoured the outlines only, then filled in the details. These are very comfortable shoes, by the way, and I've bought 2 more just like them. I see them around a lot, but I don't remember whose they are. I get them from, along with my favorite brand, Softwalks, which I walked on all over Italy and France without my feet EVER hurting. And my feet hurt with most shoes and I can't STAND it when they do!

But I digress...

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