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.

Chiaroscuro Class wk 4

Da Vinci assignment week 4

From the feedback I got last week on fixing my composition, I ended up fixing the lines and making sure the relationship of the angles from side to side matching it in regards to the center point, etc. This week we had to block in the shadows, I kept layering on the vine charcoal… it is so dirty! And to me charcoal is just so hard to work with, I have a love and hate for the medium. =)

Some notes from this week’s class:
Our instructor talked about analyzing and our feelings, which was really interesting as to how we felt about our drawing. She was saying how are feelings are much more precise and to use our feelings to decide if we feel right about our drawing in regards to composition. Analyzing our drawing too much logically… our mind starts to distort our drawing and our vision of it. Which I think is so true… sometimes we have to step back and allow for some distraction before coming back and looking at it again or working on it.
-the feeling or the click when things fall into place or finally feeling the drawing looks right.

Also some more notes:
-you have to be honest with yourself as an artist, you can’t be a good artist if you lie to yourself a lot.
-shapes are organic with humanly forms
-to also look at the drawing through a mirror to see if there is any distortion or anything that looks a little off
-measuring distances and comparing it to the other shapes
-checking where the lines and angles meet, referring to verticals and horizontals as marking points
-looking at how and where things line up.
-actual light and reflected light, light and highlight areas.

Chiaroscuro Class wk 3

Chiaroscuro wk 3 Leonardo Da Vinci Drapery


This is the beginning of a 3 week Da Vinci assignment, so the first week was just sketching out the composition and fixing the angles and placement of the drawing. I had to adjust the lines, some were higher and the left knee needed to be lower and the right knee was a little too low.

Original Da Vinci master drawing

Also in week 3 we discussed in class about composition and the 4 elements:
1) Focal Point – one area that attracts the attention of the viewer through a strong value contrast, bright color or the first thing that would be noticed within a composition.
2) Lead the eye – through composition by following lines and shapes.
3) Odd numbers – to break up the eye, even numbers are boring
4) Variation – variety of shapes, size, value, and color

Chiaroscuro Week 3 – Notes Perspective & Composition

I didn’t realize I took so many pages of notes! Nonetheless the lecture was really interesting. I’ve learned all this Art History before in an Art History class almost 10 years ago back in my community college days… before I had any idea of what and who I wanted to be! Well I am very much sure of where I want to go now and embracing the journey that’s taking place. Read on!






Chiaroscuro Week 3 Assignment

Light and Shadow Block-in

This assignment was about drawing the figure from the image below of Prud’hon’s “Academie of a seated woman, hands folded”. The concept was to get the proportion accurately, then we had to block-in the shadow to see what parts of the figure it fell upon. It was also about learning to see the bigger shapes and how all the parts relate to the whole. It definitely was an exercise of learning to see the bigger picture of the drawing and not getting caught up in the smaller details of it. It was a little intimidating to get it started at first, mine isn’t at all perfect but I did get a pretty good grade for it. Looking at all the different shapes and angles of the body really helped me to see all the individual parts. I really learned a lot from this assignment, sometimes its easier to rush through the drawing and draw all the little details. It really forced me to look at the overall figure and see the bigger shapes and from there it got easier to see the connections within the smaller pieces. I found that it helped me as well to allow a good amount of time to work on it, I’m so used to rushing through projects… so I tried a different approach and started early in the morning, took a few breaks during the day and finished it before dinner time. And I was stress-free and didn’t lose any sleep over it.

Anyway, Prud’hon’s work is amazing, he had a great understanding of the human body and anatomy. I messed up a few times making the head slightly bigger than the rest of the body, but as I stood back and observed my drawing it became clear that there were a few things off that I had to adjust. Now that I put the original alongside of it, the tilt of the figure in my drawing is a little stiff… and now see that the figure in Prud’hon’s piece is a little more tilted and slouching naturally. Its like training my eyes to see these little details that most of the time we wouldn’t naturally notice. My Instructor for the class Sadie Valerie mentioned that Prud’hon wasn’t very popular during his time which was during the Impressionist Era where everything was loose and rebellious. Sadie also mentioned that in our own era we have been trained to appreciate the rebellious Impressionists and to disregard certain masters of a more disciplined style, he was considered a perfectionist. I think his work is flawless and he had a great sense of 3-dimensional space and proportions in regards to the human body.