JUNE 22, 2011, Part 3
I gave Angie some drawing tips, starting with a head measuring system I learned from one of my teachers, Carol Police, in art school. (Briefly, when drawing from life, measure the subject’s head (or anything else) with one’s drawing utensil. Measure how many heads high the subject is. Next, on the drawing paper, lightly divide the space into however many heads high the drawing will be. Do the same for width. Start drawing. This allows one to draw quickly and accurately, without having to do a lot of re-drawing if one mis-estimates in the beginning). I demonstrated for her, sitting on the couch and having her sit as far away from me as the small living room would allow. I directed her to sketch me using the method described, measuring my head with her pencil, asking her, “How many heads tall am I… three?” (“No, four”); “How many heads wide am I?” (“You mean short-wise?” “No, long-wise. The long head measurement will be what you use for the entire drawing.”)
She spent 20 minutes sketching as I pontificated, not freaking out or getting flustered as I gestured and shifted my position several times. I directed her to include the couch, coffee table and picture window behind me. She arrived at a halfway decent drawing. I was impressed and told her so.
I tried to teach her a observational technique I’ve use on other young students: study multi-figure photographs in order to figure out where the camera eye is or horizon would be if it weren’t completely blocked by all the objects in the photo. (If you can see the horizon, it doesn’t count). When I’ve tried this in the past, it tends to be difficult for the students, at least at first. Angie got it right away, not even working up a sweat.
LATERThis drawing is a self-portrait of sorts, done while lying in bed in the bedroom I grew up using from age 5 to 17.