Thursday, July 12, 2007

Drawing from the Masters #5

This is my working draft for the Parrish/Rockwell project this month. The soldier is from a Marine Homecoming cover that Rockwell did. The window is inspired from some train windows that Rockwell drew on a troop train. The lighting will be inspired by Parrish, so it is different than on the original soldier. The window or framing idea is also common to Parrish. I am still playing with ideas for what to put out the window. Nice trees are found in both illustrator's works. Certainly there will be blue sky, but what else? I thought about an oak tree and then calling it "The Mighty Oak", but the soldier looked rather young to be called a mighty oak. Any ideas?

Now a bit from Hale, which dovetails in nicely with all this consideration of lighting. He's discussing light and planes in chapter 3. He says "the contrast of light and dark is one of the most important devices we have for creating the illusion of shape...Be careful not to put a black line or blotch in the highlight. Your line or blotch usually represents an unimportant detail; but it will be in extreme contrast with the highlight and will seem like one of the most important elements in the picture."

Hale seems to repeatedly stress these two themes:

  • drawing takes practice (he constantly uses phrases like "hundreds of times" when refering to doing exercises)
  • artists don't draw what they see, they draw what they want you to see

Both of these points can be controversial, but in a great measure I think both are very true and part of what makes this book such an encouragement to me.


Belinda Lindhardt said...

Rose, this is going to be great :) I can see it already !

As to what to have out the window..depending what theme your looking for ..from what i have seen Parish often did fantasy type scenes you could do something like that or if you are going more realistic aside from trees you could have a passing farmhouse or building?.. like the soldier is longing for home ? hmmm its a toughie but it will be great.

One thing i might suggest with your your drafts is to push your values a little more to be more what you will paint/draw. ie. work out your shadows how dark they will get on a value scale .. then that part is already worked when you move to the next step. You have started to do it on this one, take it a bit further if his face is in dark then his shoulders etc would be dark is dark ??.. this will help you with the comp for the window too ...(i have to force myself to do this its hard :)

Rose Welty said...

Thanks Belinda! You are right about the values in the draft. Before I saw your comment I had decided to do another sketch, focusing on the values and refining the drawing some. Seems like as we study these guys I see how they all did a million drafts, fussing over all details and by the time they got to the finished work they were on auto-pilot! Thanks again for your encouragement - some days I just feel such a clod :-)