Clothed Figure: What's Next?

As far as semesters in university go, I'd say this was a banner 15 weeks. If only all my semesters were like this when I was a student, learning and experimenting, rather than being the instructor – I'd have felt more in charge of my education and not a ball of stress all the time. As it stands, this was my fourth year and 12th semester teaching and I'm humbled each time I walk into the classroom from the first time I meet the students to the last day, and last lecture, and that final salute as they charge off to continue on their path to the subsequent goal of redefining the visual language of the future. It's a powerful weight to bare, of the many dreams and choices my students entrust to me and I'm constantly searching for the right answers to all the questions hurled at me, and I truly hope I make things a little easier, a little less confusing, and a little more fun for my students.

That being said, here's a small cache of drawings from the semester. Cheers!


Sketchbook: Robot #4

I've always found something relaxing about painting robots in my sketchbooks. Perhaps it's the simplicity of shapes that somehow yield a character almost out of thin air, or maybe the freedom of designing something that doesn't have to necessarily work in reality but lives fully in the realm of my imagination. I can always just sit down at my drafting table and hammer one of these guys out in a few hours without having to do any preliminary work. I start with a severely limited palette of black, white (gesso), and a mixture of burnt sienna and raw umber. I use a few little techniques for texture I learned from Kazu Sano throughout the process, but, really, I'm just experimenting with flat shapes and seeing where that takes me. Obviously I add more color to the palette but there's a lot to be said for keeping everything simple almost until the end. 

I'm not going for photorealism or anything like that. I just use my 'bots as a way to escape and do something that doesn't take much thought. On that note, relax, turn off the screen every once in a while, and create something you can touch. 

The Instagram version of the finish.

It all starts with a shape and some value. At this point I have a pretty good idea of where I want the image to go.

There's something nice about the quality of this phase. I could have stopped here and I'm sure I would have been happy with it.

Some unexpected results that I can use later on came from this final. It's more about the experimentation than the end sometimes.


Clothed Figure: 2013 Holdovers

With the beginning of a new year comes the opportunity to go through the archives of the previous year and do some "house cleaning." For one reason or another these are some drawings from my classes and workshops that haven't made it on Banal Obsession. I don't necessarily think these drawings are my best efforts, but on the whole, I think they represent a range of the work I do as an instructor at the Academy of Art University. Explaining different principles of drawing to a vast range of visual learners, sometimes, calls for many hats to be worn, even if those hats aren't your particular brand. I take a lot of pride in my versatility as an illustrator and instructor, and hope I bring life to everything I draw and teach. Often times, I have to show the entire mental process in my drawing to explain things, so there end up being a lot of lines that don't make sense to the viewer but were completely relevant at the moment of instruction. Also, these drawings range anywhere from 1-20 minutes. That being said, always have fun drawing, and it's a privilege and honor to get to do what I do for a living. Cheers!