honoriartist (honoriartist) wrote,

Your cheating white highlighted eyes

Nick's story about his drawing:

This is a quickly rendered study of me. Done on a 11x14 with HB, 4B and 6B pencils. I cheated a bit and used some white paint in the eyes. I didn't feel like I could get a good bright white without it. The eraser doesn't give me enough control on something as small as 11x14 and also doesn't give me a bright enough white due to the paper itself.

Why do students think they are cheating if they use 2 or more media on a page?  I've been encouraging them to do so all semester.  Here's my reply to Nick.

Is white paint cheating?

You are the artist. If you see the need to get a bright white, putting it into a drawing is not cheating is it? Who said you have a rule about mixing media? No one. You set the rules for your creative process. Once you see the need for a relative value you should look at all the places that may benefit from being darker, lighter, bright white or black black.  Where the white comes from is part of your decision-making, problem-solving job as an artist.  Enjoy experimenting with lots of white.  Cheat Cheat Cheat - it's fun.  More fun than following rules that don't exist.  The rule here for the purposes of this class is that the white come from a traditional art supply source rather than in post production using a computer.  OK that's a rule, but in the art and office supply store the options are wide open.  I use white out often, I even draw with white out pens.  I also finger paint with gesso - the medium for priming canvas. 

This drawing is based on hatching. Straight lines that are roughly parallel to each other to create various values. Dark in the hair, eybrows, and lips. The dark in the pupils and irises seem to be more blended.

If you squint your eyes you will see that most of the darks are in the upper 1/3 of the drawing. The lower 2/3 have very light sketchy lines to indicate the forms. If this were a skull instead of a skin and hair covered head what kind of shading might give the lower 2/3 more depth and substance? What if Nick curved the lines around the forms instead of relying on straight hatching lines?

How can a portrait extend into a strong statement?

Compare these pencil portraits by the same artist Ed Taichen. Which portrait screams the loudest? Why? Which portrait seems introspective and why?

Ed Taichen Mad Face Drawing

Ed Taichen Pencil Portrait

Tags: cheating, drawing, life drawing, teaching

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