Let's stort with drawings of people thinking to themselves and trying to capture those thoughts. Here there is no outside stimulus.
Here is o typical moment captured by Mike. The upward lift of this woman's head makes it seem os though she is in casual thought. This woman is deep in thought; her burning cigarette shows us the progression of time.
Above ore dif ferent people in dif ferent situations, all going about their lives.
Here is on observation about the train. Since I have been commuting for ten years, I have realized that people have come up with every possible way of ignoring each other in confined spaces. Walkmen, newspapers, magazines, computers, books, and closed eyes are some of the ways people have found to ignore their surroundings.
2. Staging, single person
Something to be aware of in order to tell a story is staging. See what the relationship is between a person and something else. See the negative space between them. Look at the posture the person has relative to the object.
Mike's drawing is an excellent example of what I want to see students achieve. We have the story of a man with a relaxed curiosity over the paper he is reading. Mike staged this very well. By giving us the negative space between the man and the paper, he lets us clearly see the moment. The silhouette is an easy read. The negative space in itself is a story. If it were greater or smaller, our story would be different.
I sow this os o moment between the ployer ond the gridiron. He stonds ond contemplates the field.
In terms of a person's clothes portraying his character, Mike has revealed this man's cultural pride. Also see how the silhouette is a good read since the shape of the instrument breaks out of the shape of the man's body. The thumbnail in the corner does the same.
This is o drawing of my cousin Charlie helping his Dad cut the grass. 3. Multiple Moments
Drawing multiple moments of the same subject is more telling thon drawing one. You will get o better sense of personality through the actions people toke. This is also o great exercise for proportion and volume. This is a great time to use your VCR or DVD player.
I drew my niece Felicia on Halloween. She was a ladybug. What these drawings show is her urge to stond, along with her simultaneous inability to do so. Her costume made it easy for me to see her forceful shapes.
A friend is obout to point o wall, and it seems as though he hunches over to inspect it in the top left drawing. In the next moment, when he is painting, we see he stays hunched. This is probably a habit caused by his height.
If you hove ever been on o swing, you know how to get it moving. It's oil in the chest ond legs, os this girl show us. Underneath the drawings I drew representations of how force would change in her body if I were to animate her. The exchange in force from concave to convex is exchanged through the rhythm or "S" curve in the center. That allows for a smooth transition in energy.
These drowings by Mike ore so much fun. Look ot the simplicity of the shopes ond how much squash, stretch, ond direction they give the toddler.
Here we wont to be owore of the interplay between two people. Again, as a human being you can watch the people around you in different emotional states and know what they are thinking or feeling. Instead of understanding the idea of one person, though, we now will grasp the main idea of two people. We are creating a new top to the pyramid. Rhythm is now the idea between two people instead of two ideas in the body. Pay attention to negative space again, for in a way it is its own character.
Before going outside with this challenge, I had two models pose nude at the same time so the clothing would not distract the students. This way there was concentration on the relationship of forces between the two models.
The story I see here is two people at o toble who ore leaning forward, but not in each other's directions spatially. She is reading to ignore him while he looks off into space, deep in thought. He covers his mouth to stop himself from speaking. There is the opportunity for focused discussion because of their forces sweeping forward. It is as though they had already spoken to one another and he is preparing to speak again.
Then I have students draw two clothed models. Here they have the opportunity—in a controlled setting—to see the couple's relationship.
In this drawing, my brother-in-law Chris's height difference automatically gives him visual superiority. He seems to be waiting for Ellen to get off the phone. Two ideas suggest this; one, his hands on his hips, and two, his relationship to her. Her phone conversation is a priority since she is looking away from him, yet she does stare at his shoes, recognizing his presence.
This was a half-hour of watching a boxing match on TV. The contenders go through their own personal dance, caused by actions and reactions between the two. Like dancing cobras. All of the drawings are done in seconds. In the center of the page is a woman who was caught with drugs, and you con see her posture: leaning against the wall.
Try to set the scene thot the moment you are observing takes place in. Act os if it is a play that you see before you. Be oware of the props around the characters. Let's go outside again.
The story of this drawing is about the boy assisting his father in seeing the object that holds his attention. You can see the direct connection between the arch of the father's back and the boy's extended arm.
Here there are many different types of relationships:
1. The photographers to their subjects.
2. The photographers to one another. See their similar posture.
3. The strange way that the down markers are a visual repetition of the photographers.
In the midst of o crazy birthday party, these two women found a moment to talk to one another under the protection of the umbrella. Their silhouettes tell you who is doing the talking and who is listening.
This is o close moment between o mother ond her child. She observes the child handling its beverage. The child seems happy as it kicks and looks at its drink.
These ore old drawings of mine that tell o great story. Here the mother helps the child bowl. I like the simplicity of the layout. It is like theater to me. Draw only what you need of the environment. The child in the first drawing feels like it is carrying a bowling ball.
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