Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mini Pumpkins...observing the to's and fro's of light

were the subject of our very first drawing class.  They provide drawing material before the class survey is taken whereupon we decide which direction our class will take for the next 10 weeks.  These small gourds are greatly segmented and lightly textured, providing a tool to study the light and shadow that defines form, the rise and fall of light that creates a powerful 3-dimensional drawing.  Granted, the most valuable light for the artist, and the form, comes from a single light source at either 10:00 or 2:00 in relation to the object.  This positioning sets the scene for the most favorable pattern of light/shadow for description.  In this case, the art room lighting comes from directly above, from the ceiling, where there there are banks of fluorescent lighting shining down from above.  Such is the case in most classrooms and art centers.  We use what we have.  We then understand that the lightest lights will be on the tops of all of the forms...and, likewise, the darkest darks on the bottoms.  The biggest challenge is trying to rid ourselves of the simplistic pumpkin drawing that our six-year-old brains have memorized, where the indentations become much too solid, and shapes much too rigid.  We have to be able to "feel" the shapes, and "feel" the individual segments.  And yet, these very segments must become supporting actors to the grand gesture of the gourd itself.  Tall order.  Simple Object.  The simple mini pumpkin provides a most complex lesson for those who wish to commune with it.

By the way, the class voted on studying the human figure for the majority of class time.  Hopefully, the pumpkin lesson will translate well.

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