Tuesday, October 25, 2011
LAAFA - Nathan Fowkes
I started a classes with Nathan Fowkes, a living Master ! His classes are exceptional ! As an (ex)-autodidact I really appreciate having classes, you learn fast and the main difference: you get critique from others. Normally I critic myself to progress but you don t get always at the point.
So back to Nathan's classes: the way to construct the face is totally disturbing but is the foundation of solid drawing knowledge. It is all about understanding the relationship of all elements that keep the facial tissues together and stopping just looking at the surface. Its about keeping the foundation of the structure as clear as you can and think in planes. Each step is the condition "sine qua non" to the next one.
Line needs to be clear, so stop doodle-ling approximately ( I know almost everybody do that). Put a line, don t put the ones you are searching for, choose the right one and fix it on the paper. Its like a Disney story, looking for a charming princess, choose one and it has to be the right one, seek for the particularity and uniqueness. :-)
So lots of good artist work is the consequence of good artistic decision. Question about what value range will you paint, how will you choose to paint the subject (light and shadow organization, soft vs light round vs square, and and and...). Adding to that the observation skills and understanding of form. For example why is a shadow sharp or soft. So many things that most of demos shows but don t explain.
Finally there is the famous 3 rules....practice, practice and practice !
A good thing at Nathan classes: he wont allow you not to do homework, so pressure is high but that is exactly why you should take the class, trying to improve is not the point...just improve. Even with 7 classes a week and lot of homework I m here sitting and putting the charcoal pigments on the paper.
Something remarkable looking him drawing is to see how comited he is to his drawing. Organizing, squinting, corecting and most interesting putting just few strokes on the paper but just the rights ones, like a chess player will put his pieces before the final sentence. What I will do in 50 strokes he probably will choose just 5 of them and that s the magic. And when the structure and value are placed the magic suddenly appears. Behind all the technical aspect that we are looking for, the master has just do what distinguish his drawing from all the others. The spectator is manipulated by the picture...the eyes can t stop looking at something he can not catch...The focal point, the sharpness of the edge are leading our eyes to one point and the other. Subtle variation are not happy accident but decision taken to drive us where the artist wanted. A simple portrait. Echec et mat.
Still so much to learn. Even knowing what to do, nothing is done ! It wont be easy. I struggle a with Charcoal, but its a relief suffering if you compare to the menu of 3D autodesk s maya ! (hehehe)
I hope to see some progress on this blog...if not shut it down !
By the way, just to be more humble check Nathan's blog he is also a master of Color (workshop coming soon).