Thursday, July 26, 2012

     Quick Sketch is a great way to understand form in a simple approach.  Based on gesture and shape one learns to interpret and design what they see. Many are the uses of this discipline from laying in a figure and simplifying elements for composition to drawing more efficiently for storyboard and concept projects in the game and film industry.  All require efficient figure drawing skills and Quick Sketch can facilitate the editing process of the human form.

     The principle tool of exploration is the line, and in Quick-Sketch the path your line takes has a definite purpose. One path is the gesture; The life of a drawing. Think of gesture as blood coursing through the entire body as one or a river flowing over all forms in it's path. The line that explains the gesture also serves to unite the forms in one or 2 flowing strokes. Curve and flow is found within the body's structure (use of the median line) while the silhouette helps enforce and set the stance and attitude by means of the big shape.  

     Time is the opportunity to hone observational skills. The Quick-Sketch approach keeps the figure simple, minimal using clean shapes in the space of 2-3 minutes.

Or, in 5 minutes to 20, vignette a part of the body or simply practice simplifying construction by means of gesture and shape.

      Another important value of Quick-Sketch is in setting down simple comps with minimal shape and value to describe the pose, invaluable as a tool to use for thumbnails before tackling the final image in another medium. Using, for example, a charcoal pencil and inexpensive paper one works out the light and dark pattern, where it's possible to explore different paths and focal points for the same subject. It saves re-dos and distressing of the surface of a final piece as issues can be worked out at the Quick-Sketch stage.

The principles of the Quick-Sketch can help capture the energy and establish a cleaner workflow of a longer study.

     Quick-Sketch springs from the basics of human proportion and drawing concepts of design but emphasizes efficiency 
 and hones the skill of editing information while still explaining the figure in 20 minute or less poses.

Esmeralda Acosta - Quick-Sketch Instructor, Kline Academy

Monday, July 23, 2012

News from Color Workshop at Kline Academy!


  This weekend was the Color Mixing for Skin Tones workshop at Kline Academy. Students did such a great job and exclaimed how much the color wheel has opened their eyes to color mixing, so I thought it might be a great opportunity to explain the top 5 Reasons to Use a Limited Palette:

This limited Palette, also known as the "Zorn Palette" after artist Anders Zorn, contains the following colors: Ivory Black, Cadmium Red, Yellow Ocher and Titanium White. Here are 5 great reasons to stick with a Limited Palette:
  1. 1. Using a limited palette creates a natural color harmony in your painting. Virtually all colors of the spectrum can be mixed- from blues, violets to greens, yet they are made up of only three colors plus white!
  2. 2. Learning to mix colors (such as green) using primary colors (blue/black, yellow/ocher, cadmium red) instead of relying on pre-mixed tubed colors such as olive green, you will greatly expand your understanding of color theory.
  3. 3. You will begin to realize how many neutral colors exist in nature and thus acheive more accurate colors in your paintings
  4. 4. A chart (picured above) will aid you in analyzing the colors you see. Color is very logical and this chart helps you (see) the mixtures
  5. 5. Once you gain control over a limited palette, you gain an understanding of when it is appropriate to add a more intense color, such as Ultramarine Blue, and also how to control the chroma of a color.

                                                                 Photos from the Weekend Color Workshop

Does Color elude you? Learn to approach color in a logical, step-by-step manner in my classes at Kline Academy. Current and Upcoming Classes at Kline Academy with Brianna Lee:

Figurative Painting with focus on Color: Friday 10am-2pm Starts in August

Figure Drawing and Painting (live model): Saturday 2pm-5pm Starts in August

Tuesday Cast Drawing 10am-2pm Ongoing

To Register, Contact Kline Academy of Art at (310) 927-2436

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The How-To's and Why of Cast Drawing

Written and Illustrated by Brianna Lee

Cast Plate by Charles Bargue

First, lets start with a little bit of History.

Cast drawing is a tradition that originated in the Ă‰cole des Beaux-Arts academies in Paris, established around 1648. Here, young artists would apply to participate in 4 years of rigorous art training. 
Before students were allowed to approach drawing a live model, they would begin by learning to copy prints, drawn by other artists, of classical sculptures. This was the best way for the student to learn about contour, light and shadow. A popular series of plates were created by artist Charles Bargue (see left). 

    Once proficient at copying the plates, the student was then allowed to draw from plaster casts of famous Classical Sculptures. Once they had a mastery over form, the student was then brought in front of a live model. 

Ecole De Beaux Arts Students working from a Live Model
Bargue Drawing by student    

Why should you learn Cast Drawing? Well, to put it simply, it will teach you to see the errors of your ways. 

We all have bad habits when we draw. We make things too long, too wide, too big, too small, too round, too square. The number of ways you can make an error is as varied as Nature herself. 

Cast drawing using the Sight-Size approach can help you understand the way you perceive the subject and help reveal your tendencies towards one habit or another. Essentially, what we are doing when we draw from observation, is translating. Cast drawing can help you learn to translate better. And drawing from Classical casts teaches you a lot about design, anatomy and enables you to carefully study the true nature of an object. Even for the abstract painter, there is much to learn from Cast Drawing.

Think of your artistic skills as tools in a toolbox. One tool does not fix everything. But it serves a special purpose and does that task very well. Sight Size Cast drawing is one of those very special tools every artist should have in their toolbox.