Leonardo Da Vinci Drapery – Take 2

I decided to redo this assignment not only to improve my grade for the first one I did, but I really did start seeing more this second time around. I re-submitted it to Sadie the other day and got some really positive feedback. This time around my block-in and structure was really strong and the quality of my work is starting to improve. I started seeing how all the different parts started connecting with each other and as my block-in was stronger this time around and my proportion well improved – the time I spent drawing was well worth. I was having issues early in the semester with having more control with using the charcoal, it is very challenging! First of all its messy, but also there is also a technique to using it. Very valuable lessons I learned this semester, and also the paper quality makes the charcoal stick so that it doesn’t rub or smudge off. This has been the hardest assignment for me to do this semester, very challenging but I emerged from it with a deeper understanding of how the parts relate to one another. Most importantly, embracing the process of doing and allowing it to unfold into something truly magnificent to look at. That was a big lesson I was learning all semester, all great work take time and patience to do… rather than rushing through and producing crappy work… I’m finally learning the virtue of patience in doing my work – but also being patient with myself. It’s a must if we want to improve as artists. I definitely will say I spent about 20 hours on this from last week till this tuesday working on this and it’s still not done! But that’s ok, I’m a little bit more motivated to finish this now that I’m off to a really good start, it actually for once is starting to become kinda fun! Lol.

Link to notes: http://www.sadievaleri.com/AAU-Chiaro/docs/AAU_Chairoscuro-SJV-09_03_drapery.pdf

After 20 hours of work… it’s starting to look a little more refined, but I think another 6-10 hours should finish this up!

After 12 hours of work… molding and shaping

After 3 hours of work… block-in and shading

Final Still Life Drawing – Chiaroscuro

Our final for this class was to set up a still life at home and work from it for three weeks. I could only work on this at night because the light source had to be set up a certain way. Although I had put in a lot of hours already I still need to do a little bit more with darkening the background and the bottom of the table so that there’s a distinction between that and the foreground. Also the bottle still needs work and also I need to pick out more lights around the foreground… maybe I will work on this some more over break 🙂

We were to apply all of the techniques and concepts we had learned from class all semester, here’s a breakdown of the notes
Link: http://www.sadievaleri.com/AAU-Chiaro/docs/AAU_Chairoscuro-SJV-09_00_essentials.pdf

Second Phase – Background fill in and molding shapes

Block-In first phase of the drawing

Perfect Sphere – Chiaroscuro

It’s about time I got this right! After doing at least 6 of these that just were horrible in comparison to this final one, I finally earned an A-.
Link to notes: http://www.sadievaleri.com/AAU-Chiaro/docs/AAU_Chairoscuro-SJV-09_02_sphere.pdf
The challenge was to draw a 3 dimensional sphere by using the techniques in class that we learned this semester which by the way helped in our other drawings in regards to shaping and molding our work.

More in Class Exercises- Chiaroscuro

Using the Optical Approach to drawing… notes from Sadie’s class http://www.sadievaleri.com/AAU-Chiaro/docs/AAU_Chairoscuro-SJV-09_08_head01.pdf
I’m becoming even more intuitive with this approach and I absolutely start all my drawings this way now. I think it makes sense especially if you’re going to be working from a model in a long pose.

3 – 20 min sessions

20 mins

Chiaroscuro – In class excercises

I’m not really sure what week I did these in order exactly, but here are some of the in-class excercises we’ve been doing from a still life bust of all sorts. Some drapery work, optical method block-ins from a live model. I’ve learned so much from this class this semester, lots of different drawing approaches, lots of great constructive feedback from Sadie and really learning through the other students in class. I am truly proud of my progress and improvement… and really just learning to perceive things much more clearly.

This was from a live model, the approach to drawing is to first block-in with very light lines and to find the longest angles in relation to the other parts… all the different angles in the lines.

Then you look for the dark and light shadows and start to mold the drawing :_)

My favorite drawing this semester 🙂

Studying the perspective of the face, rib-cage, and hips… there is a natural flow and rhythm to the human body, and once you get the gesture correctly – it makes for a good drawing, because then it will look highly believable, rather than a figure suspended in air that looks fake I think.

Drapery studies…

Working on composition…

Chiaroscuro Week 10 – In class excercises

Here are some class exercises we did in class. They were 20 min block-ins from two live models. We practiced the technique or approach called “optical” and learned that this is one of the oldest techniques dating back centuries ago and also is referred to as the classical style. This “opticial” approach was devised from the 17th century French Atelier Academy. This was the way artists were taught and studied under a master for years, along with studying anatomy. Anyway, the whole concept of this technique which is done in strictly straight-line block-ins was to understand proportion in relation to all the parts and to also see how planes are tilted, and the direction it goes. It’s also quite important in finding the dark and lights in a drawing and to capturing the precise gesture (which are all elements in creating a good drawing). Anyway, my drawings may not look much and it was designed that way to practice this technique and to understand the proportions, it really does give the drawing much structure.



Chiaroscuro Week 2 Assignment – Figure in Perspective

This is an assignment I never posted up, it was to draw from a master copy and outline the figure. We had to draw three boxes within the body – the head, ribcage, and the pelvis to show what perspective the parts of the body was in. It’s really cool I think, before this assignment I had no concept as to where the hips were facing or the head. Knowing this can really help with drawing the figure in relation to its environment and also I think it gives a sense of naturalism. The figure has a sense of space and moves it out of the flat 2-dimensional form into a 3-dimensional perspective. Also it helps the figure from floating in outer space. We are all in fact in 3-dimensional space, and I think this is the most important thing that I am learning from both of my studio drawing classes. I am learning that depending on how we view the figure, parts of the body are just naturally in some kind of perspective and it’s easy to imagine a box within it to give it some sort of structure. Link to notes: http://www.sadievaleri.com/AAU-Chiaro/docs/AAU_Chairoscuro-SJV-09_01_perspective.pdf

Chiaroscuro Weeks 7,8,9 Master Drawing

Prud’hon Master drawing

Here is the original master copy that I had to draw from

Here is my drawing, this assignment was a 3-week progression. The first week was a straight-line block-in with a one-value shade-in. I didn’t get to take a picture of it, I actually ended up doing 3 versions of the block-in the first two weeks because my proportions were way off! But I’ve learned so much from this project, I had to spend a little more time doing the structure before I could get into the shading and the molding. Once I got the overall structure of the drawing and the proportions looking much better, the shading came really fast and much easier. I did however try some new paper called Stonehenge which had better texture for the charcoal to grip without coming off. The DaVinci assignment below, I had used some really crappy 60 pound paper that just made my charcoal smear and all the work I had put into it ended up rubbing off! So tragic! But now I know better! So paper quality is a must, it makes a complete difference. It took me a while to get it right! Ha. Anyway, afterwards I sprayed some fixative and the charcoal stuck…victory! Except for the camera warping the picture of my drawing, overall I am completely happy with the turnout of this drawing. 🙂
http://www.sadievaleri.com/AAU-Chiaro/


The critique I got in class was that the left side needed to be a little more in shadow, I guess everyone had the same problem and our instructor explained that sometimes we look at the darkest part of the drawing and see how that part in shadow relates and think that its lighter than it really is. And the head in my drawing is a bit larger than it should be. I might actually do some work on this and repost it again 🙂

Chiaroscuro Class wk 5

Da Vinci Assignment Week 5


This was my end result, although I’ve put so many hours on it – I still couldn’t finish it! I think I had issues with using the vine charcoal. And I think I simply got so distracted by all the different parts of the drawing that I completely couldn’t finish it, I wasn’t focused well enough, so everything distracted me =(

The feedback I got in class:
-values are of course inconsistent since I didn’t finish all of it
-to look at the values as a whole – smoother transitions between the values
-my transitions were abrupt
-to control the materials I was working with, to really refine my use of them and sharpening my eye to really see
-overall my structure was good, good use of light and dark.

Also some other lecture notes in class that I thought interesting:
-Drawing is about taking the scales off our eyes
-To let go and to really see beyond our own biases and misconceptions in regards to replicating a master piece
-To go beyond our own cultural biases
-That looking at a painting can alter one’s soul (that’s what they believed back in the day)
-Paintings have a way of influencing the masses

But overall this week I learned that it isn’t about really finishing something, but the process and what I learned through the process.