We started out by tracing two anatomical charts of the face and looking at a slide show of skull proportions. When the model came we began with 1, 2, and 3 minute gesture drawings .
GESTURE WARM UPS
These are 3 minute gesture drawings. The model posed twice, once as a aggressor and one as the victim. After the live gesture I encourage students to add background and drama to gesture drawings.
Student Critique observations put together the elements in the drawing with the power of visual storytelling.
- The choice of lighting in the background increases the sense of fear and anxiety. You really feel as through someone important is about to be killed. The man cowers before the sword.
- It feels very excitable due to the warm colors and zigzagging lines in the background. I could really feel the raw fear radiating from the victim.
TWO PERSON CRITIQUES
I gave students a critique form to fill out and share with the student they are critiquing. This two person team created a personal non public way for students to give feedback. I will gradually increase the size of the groups giving feedback about the drawings so that students become more comfortable stating their ideas on the creative process, their own work, and the work of their peers.
ANATOMY OF THE HEAD
Class focus was the skull and facial muscles, on emotions and facial expressions. Our model Shawn is an actor who is able to hold strong emotional expressions. He also brought a few helmets that added a martial air to some poses. We lit the figure with strong side light and as always turned off the overhead lighting. After the pose I held up an anatomical chart next to the models head and discussed what muscles were contracting and what muscles were elongated in different expressions.
PROFESSIONAL MENTOR REFLECTIONS
To encourage a reflective practice I gave students the points sheet form with a new twist. In the Leveling up in Learning section students are to envision a professional animation mentor (real or not, living or dead) and write a brief email about what they learned in class.
- Hello Mr. Rotnem, Today was my first drawing day in class. I've never done this (drawn from a live model) before and I'm eager for next week. I was taught many different shading techniques and highlighting. I used charcoal for the firsts time ever. I will buy some different supplies for next week. There are a lot of muscles in the face. The one I saw most prominently in the model was the obicularis oculi because it stood out in the lighting.
RESULTS I found that having the students write to another person, a pro of choice, in an informal email format composition loosens their writing style and helps them see their learning from a vantage point outside the classroom and in a professional context.
Overall I am thrilled with the first life model session in Anatomy this term. The class has set a serious yet experimental and professional pace. Onward through the charcoal dust.