Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Week 6 of Nicolaides Challenge

Started using "watercolor". Since I did the whole thing digitally, it wasn't a big transition, but it still had an impact, which actually surprised me. I can imagine how different it feels when the whole things is done in real media.

I want to complete this challenge again using real tools and materials.

Week 6 of Nicolaides.

Week 5 of Nicolaides Challenge

Nicolaides week 5

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Week 3 of Nicolaides Challenge

Here is week 3: gestures and cross-contour drawings (yep, good old rubber band lines).

Although the drawing ends up looking like a regular silhouette, it was drawn over several hours, one cross-contour surface line at a time. Builds character :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Monday, July 21, 2014

Week 1 of Nicolaides Challenge

Hi everyone.

Some time in early March of this year, I realized my approach to art training needed a significant change in perspective and direction. My work and practice have become way too analytical and made me feel like I stuffed myself into a straitjacket.

Obviously, any form of training gets tough from time to time, but this feeling of constriction and anxiety immediately spilled into my sketching and my personal projects. Walking around with nothing but dread in my chest and crappy lifeless drawings in my hand was making me very concerned.

I suspect it was mostly due to the fact that my training was focused 100% on technique, speed, precision and "accuracy" of lines and proportions. All the necessary production skill, which have very little to do with the quality and the nature of art itself. I'm sure some would argue, but this is my opinion.

I realized that I needed to re-acquire that original spark of inspiration which has been guiding me through my life. I decided to crack open my old "The Natural Way to Draw" manual by Kimon Nicolaides which has been sitting on my shelf collecting dust for more than 10 years and on the very first page I saw this amazing quote:

"The supreme misfortune is when
theory outsrips performance."

~ Leonardo da Vinci

Obviously , this was my answer and the solution.

"The Natural Way to Draw" is a 25 week-long drawing course with 15+ hours of assignments per week.

I figured out how to adapt the training to my situation (I don't have access to live models, nor to a full studio) and I got to work.

It was one of the hardest, most demanding training experiences I ever had, but it was worth every minute of the frustration and emotional exhaustion. And I finished it this time (after many unsuccessful attempts through the years).

I'm pleased with what I've learned and with the fact that I now have a method I can use to continue  improving my art and my skills for the rest of my life.

Every day for the next month or so, I will be posting a new image showing the work that I did for each week of Kimon Nicolaides' training.

Week 1: