Friday, 7 March 2008

Lots of rules

I've had my eyes opened a bit this week at my new portrait class.

When I'd run out of time at the end of the session the man next to me looked at mine and said "Hmm has anyone actually ever taught you the rules of proportion?" Ouch (I didnt think it was that bad!)

Of course nobody had. I've studied art for years and nobody has ever actually taught me how to draw or paint in a technical sense. It just never happened so I've always made it up as I went along.

I did see them this week in the class holding up pencils and rulers and doing a lot of squinting. To be honest I didn't know what this is supposed to achieve but thanks to my friend next to me I am enlightened!

So I've got a book out from the library and can now learn the eyes are supposed to be exactly in the centre or the head (I always put them about two thirds up?!), three eyes across, four noses across, nose and ears same size etc etc.

Does anyone else actually do all this?

It might be a bit hap-hazard but I like the style Ive developed. Its mine and I developed it (blagged it) as I went along. When people "teach" you how to draw and paint aren't they just teaching you to draw like them? Its something I've been pondering.

Anyhow it can't do any harm to read up about all these rules so I've got homework to do now before my next class on Wednesday.


surrealmuse said...

Actually, my husband, Brian, studied under a major realist artist that would make them draw spears and what not until they were blue in the face.

As for myself, I never formally studied outside of a couple high school art classes. Even then, they let me do my own thing.

But I definitely I think that there is power in serious approaching art studies. I'm a firm believer in studying other artists techniques. Observing the masters, and at the same time, going with the flow. cheers!

Leah said...

yeah, i was taught the pencil/squinty eye thing somewhere along the way as well as the proportions of the head (eyes in the middle). i do think it's helpful to know that stuff, but as you develop your own style, you have to learn to forget all the rules. i think it's good to know the rules before you forget them. hehe. but it's not absolutely necessary.

your artwork is gorgeous, so don't worry about it too much. i'm sure learning some of these techniques will only help to further inform your style.

nowadays most of my art comes from my imagination, so the squinting isn't a part of my repertoire that often anymore. but i'm still glad i learned it.