Sunday, March 28, 2010

Crazy Blind Self-portraits

First of all, I was really happy that we are not using rulers any more! Also, I felt like there is no right or wrong way to do this assignment (as long as I keep my eyes away from paper), and this made me feel less constrained.

Conte was my favorite, it broke several times, but other than that it felt nice and smooth. Charcoal pencil kept breaking and I had to sharpen it over and over. Stick and ink were hard, hard in a sense that it was almost impossible not to look, I would draw several lines and then check and see that most of them were blank, ink just wouldn't run. However it did create a very interesting effect! As for brush, I couldn't feel it well, I would think I'm drawing a thin line, only to find out that the brush was hardly touching the paper not leaving any line at all :)

I practiced a lot with charcoal and conte, with ink I just did couple of sketches before starting the final ones. Luckily, I had some Bristol paper left from class practices, so I simply drew over the objects we did in class. All together, I did 15 drawings and several in my sketchbook:

Here are my final choices:

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I've been reading a book called "Art is work" by Milton Glaser, an artist whose works and thoughts really inspire me. Here's an extract from this book about drawing portraits...

"The ability to create likeness seems innate among artists, although some struggle with it. Occasionally, when I see a sidewalk artist making a portrait that captures the appearance of its subject in a few strokes, I'm filled with envy. Curiously, "likeness" is not dependent on accuracy, as many of us who have traced photographs of people have discovered. In fact, distortion or caricature is more likely to produce a resemblance. The reasons for this phenomenon remain obscure.
To further complicate the issue, let us consider two portraits of Gertrude Stein - one by Felix Vallotton, the other by the consummate visual genius of the twentieth century, Pablo Picasso. On one hand, you have a portrait of Ms Stein in all her corporeal reality. One can easily imagine sitting across a table from this woman. On the other hand, we have a painting to which Ms Stein was moved to say, "But, Pablo, honey, I don't look like this". To which Pablo not known for his modesty replied: "You will, Gertrude. You will." Yet there is no doubt as to which is the greater painting."

Glaser doesn't really say which one he thinks is greater, but according to the context, I believe, he means Picasso's work. I personally like Picasso's painting more, because to me it seems more alive and emotional, while Vallotton's even though precise and more realistic seems like a passport photograph next to Picasso's interpretation.

and here are the portraits Glaser is talking about



Monday, March 1, 2010

Two versions of my work

This is the final one:

This is the first one: