Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Man with A Mile Long Nose

I had my first class session for summer quarter, an intro to drawing principles. It's the first of a three class series and let me tell ya, it ain't gonna be easy.

During my three dimensional design course, I had to make sketches ala storyboard style because I tended to favor making entire scenes versus singular objects. Sketching is one thing while drawing accurate representations is a totally different beast. Especially when it comes to organic, living things that have lots of little inconsistencies and variations.

As for accuracy, sure, I had to draw an reasonable facsimile of a pipe wrench for the foam sculpting at the start of the 3D class but even that had its problems. The width on one of the orthogonal drawings was out of proportion. It was easy enough to deal with since the drawing was only a general guideline. I let my fingers do the walking so to speak. I'd carve and compare visually to the original pipe wrench. I only used the drawings for roughing out the shape. Ah, but this quarter, I'm not going to be able to simply doodle-sketch my way out of this.

So after attending the first class, I came home and set about tackling the first homework assignment: to draw a self portrait. The idea was to zip through it fairly quickly by only spending 30 minutes or so on the process. Cool. After a few minutes of mucking around, I set up a web cam to stream data into a product called VLC. I pointed the cam at my face and positioned one of my monitors behind it. With more fidgeting around to get a comfortable position, I finally put pencil to paper. Scribble, scribble, scribble... erase, erase, erase, scribble, curse, erase, scribble... bing, and pencils down.

I stepped back to take a look. Oh my god, I almost laughed my ass off after I looked at my final
Note the expression. 
product. I'm one warped dude. Mostly nose and forehead along with some 4:00 O'clock shadow too. Them eyes, they're definitely focused. Hell, I might even be suitable for a post office wall with the words, "Wanted" beneath. Cool.

I'm sure there will be a few naturals in the class who walk in with near photo-realistic sketches. Set mine beside theirs and I'll look worse than my self portrait. But at least this won't be as bad as that time I took saxophone lessons. Oy! What a fiasco that was. The music instructor was so happy to see me leave the last day when I finished class he probably muttered, "Don't let the door hit you on the butt on the way out." I can even imagine he watned to post a drawing like this afterward with the caption: "Musically challenged people are contagious. If seen, run like hell in the other direction."

Thinking about the long term, I have a friend who is hoping I can help them out with some illustration work for some children's books. Heh heh heh, it would have to be scary dead-time, oops, I mean scary bed-time stories if I took a stab at it now. Looks like it's going to be a long quarter. But ya gotta start somewhere and when you're near the bottom, you can climb a long way if you try.