Professional Practices – Assistant Teaching – Week 8

Class this week began with 2-minute gesture drawings. Students were instructed to loosen up, flow through the figure, and try to get all of the basic shapes in: torso, pelvis, appendages and the head. Ernie stressed the importance of sketching everything in first, then going back in and measuring everything to make sure the proportions were correct. Then, he wanted them to spend an extra minute working on the outside line of the form.
After everyone had warmed up with the gesture drawings, we had them go into a longer drawing for the remainder of the class. While the students were drawing, Ernie circulated throughout the room and helped each student individually with their drawings. Another approach that Ernie taught for getting specific parts of the body correct dealt with drawing more generic, geometric forms broken down into planes. After the basic structure had been established, he talked about going in and modifying those shapes according to what the student sees. As he put it, “get the mechanics right, then modify it.”
Another technique that we covered today was the use of “base measurements”. This is where you pick a section of the body that is easy to measure, then using that measurement as a unit to check all other parts of the figure. For example, a student could use the measurement of the head to figure out the distance between any two points on the body. Once the head has been established on the page, it is simply a matter of figuring out how many “heads” it takes to get from one side of the body to the other, or from top to bottom, etc.

About AlexEConrad

Fine artist. Freelance designer.
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