Friday, June 8, 2012

Gross Roundnesses: Harold Speed 10

Fall - in Fort Worth, years ago
Don't forget the auction for Baby Jayden - it goes through Sunday, June 10.

It's about time for another post in the Harold Speed Drawing Series. This post contains a few highlights from chapter 9 entitled "Mass Drawing: Practical".

My entire series can be found on my favorites page.

Once again, this is an extensive chapter. It should be noted: mass drawing for Speed is always accomplished using a brush and paint. As I am a colored pencil artist, I have to adapt his advice to my situation. I've always thought that was easy though, if I apply my CPs in large areas of color - broad areas made of several strokes instead of the single stroke of the paintbrush.

"Keep your early work both in monochrome and colour quite solid, but as thin as you can, reserving thicker paint for those occasions when you wish to put a touch that shall not be influenced by what you are painting into."
-- Harold Speed

  • Clearly this is about oil painting and drying time - you can make mud very quickly with oil paint.
  • But, I also think it applies to CPs. You want to start your CP work very lightly, very gently - any scratches you make in the paper are forever there, anything heavily applied is nearly impossible to remove or cover, and your ability to blend colors and add more layers depends on there being some tooth left to the paper.
  • I actually read one Australian artist who said that she starts each piece with the feeling that she wants every mark to be removable - she wants every stroke to be undoable until she decides she likes the piece and then goes for it. The step where she decides she likes it is fairly far down the path.

"We saw, in speaking of line drawing, how the character of a line was found by observing its flatnesses and its relation to straight lines. In the the same way the character of modelling is found by observing its planes."
-- Harold Speed

  • Why is it so hard for me to remember this?
"Good modelling is full of these planes subtly fused together. Nothing is so characteristic of bad modelling as 'gross roundnesses' The surface of a sphere is the surface with the least character, like the curve of a circle, and the one most to be avoided in good modelling."
-- Harold Speed
  • Maybe "gross roundnesses" will help me to remember to see individual planes in surfaces and how they meet together!
On a personal note, today officially began our summer break - my posting may drop to once a week for the next few months, we'll see. We spent the morning playing Boggle, which was a huge hit, and then hit the pool in the afternoon - also a big hit. I definitely see sketching at the pool as a big activity for the summer!

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