Saturday, December 27, 2014

Huston lec. 4 notes - head/torso connection, value gesture and pattern

Ribcage is like a bottle shape, attaching top of pelvis to bottom of head via the neck. In fact looking closely at my ecorche figure just now, I see several muscles nestled in between the traps and the collarbones that actually do follow this bottleneck shape, attaching to the top couple of ribs. Never noticed that before.

Pit of the neck is the most important landmark on the body - nexus of the head and torso as well as the shoulder girdle. Meeting place of sternocleidomastoids, throat, collarbones, sternum.

If you can see the throat in the pose, draw it in, from tip of chin to pit of neck. It's a center line, joining the center line of the face to the center line of the torso. Draw through the adam's apple, add it later.

The gesture of the head is the centerline of the face, which is somewhat curved. The top line of the head is another gesture line, also curved. This is why he draws the head as a curving triangle, it includes the 2 gesture lines.

Lots of gestures for the neck - there's the throat line (front center line), the sterno-cleidos, and the shrugging muscles (traps). He also draws a back centerline (the spine) - useful in some views. Shrugging muscles are independent of the neck and sit on top of it, outside of it.

Lines on a gesture drawing are useless if they don't provide certain information - gesture shows connection with the last form or the next form (moves along the form) structure wraps around the form to show dimensionality.

"Draw the gesture, complete the shape. Draw the gesture, complete the shape... " Sounds very Vilppu!

Draw the body using tubes, boxes and eggs.

You need to sometimes build enough structure to know where to place the next gesture line.

For gesture drawing the waist is the width of the entire torso tube. It's the connection directly from bottom of ribcage to top of pelvis, a sort of flattened cylinder. Then the shoulder girdle and the hips build out from there, so those are added on later.

"What we're really trying to do is fit a little tube (the neck) into a big tube (the torso)"

So it's the ribcage that widens from the bottleneck (base of the neck) to the wide point (waist).

For a side-on view, to connect the arm to the torso, get the connections to the pit of the neck, from there go ahead and draw the collarbone, which gives you the connection point for the arm (point of the shoulder). He really does use the bony landmarks and connect them with gesture lines.

For more of a back view, use the spine of the scapula the same way you use the collarbone for the side view (or front view).

3 important aspects to painting -

Tonal composition
Fundamental Design (gesture)

What do you group together? What do you separate? What do you keep, what do you lose? Let some values blend together, lose detail and definition - create extra contrast at important areas.

Value is the most important compositional tool for this, but there's also shape and pattern. The post impressionists played around  lot with pattern.

Simple value systems were strong through classical up to modern era. Post imps did away with that and made images more about pattern, like flat wallpaper. Surface of the canvas becomes the primary interest.

Old women like to block the camera.

Started with Titian, greatest portraitist of his time, who started off doing beautifully blended and glazed paintings, super smooth transitions, but later in life started roughly dabbing the paint on and scrubbing it around loosely. Rembrandt followed, doing the same, and leading eventually ip to modernism. Pattern becomes more important than the illusion of reality, lose things like atmospheric perspective, everything flattens out and it becomes more about the surface of the painting itslelf.

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