Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Night school

So I decided I might sign up for a community night school figure drawing class. I love figure drawing, the cost was respectable, and regardless of what I learned from the teacher I could get some time with a live model. Right? Well turns I out it's miserable. The teacher, and I am choosing my words carefully here, is a jerk. He's got nothing but negative comments about anything I do (example: he pointed out that the left hand above was no good and couldn't see the suggestion of a hand in my shape, plus the model moved a lot). I'm in the class with a large group of beginners so I don't think I'm bad comparatively. He's just a jerk.
More importantly, I have no clue how his teaching method is supposed to help. No wonder there are so many untrained artists with teaching methods like this making things more confusing. One thing, I am not high on is overboard study of muscles, this guy is clearly proud of himself because he knows the name of every muscle in the body. I don't really think it is that important. I have a good basic knowledge of the bones and muscles and most of that is thanks to drawing them. I took an anatomy class once which I thought would help, it didn't, instead it was the lowest grade I received in college and a lot of stress. I think I have learned much more through observation of models. I am interested in being able to draw what I see not necessarily what the reason for these shapes are. My philosophy is learn to draw the shapes and masses and you can draw anything regardless of it's interior makeup. When I taught we only had a couple of models, students would ask for others but in my opinion you are learning to draw what you see if you can't draw one model that you are looking at you wont be able to draw a different one(though it may be more interesting for the artist). I am not trying to say it has no place for the study of anatomy but I think people like this get carried away, he can name them but can he draw them?
Chapter 2
Anyway, it is not fun but we'll see if the misery and practice helps my art in the end. You'll probably be seeing more figure drawings because I do a lot.

15 comments:

Blake Loosli said...

I had a figure drawing class from the Fine Arts dept. and an anatomy test was half of the final grade! I've never understood that mentality.

Tim Bye said...

Your figure drawings are great and I admire your self motivation! I guess some people just don't know the difference between constructive criticism and plain old criticism!

Igor Busquets said...

Your figure drawings are reference to me. I'm a beginner myself, like those in the night class and recently I took some classes that were frutrating too. What you said about our current teaching methods are very true, people seem to be lost. I want to learn to draw what I see but instead of teaching new wasy of getting better at this teachers flood the students with overwhelming information that gets in the way. Sometimes I feel some teachers are afraid of some students to get better than themselves, wich is just stupid, we gotta help ourselves. Thanks for sharings your drawings. I check every single one!

Brian Cutler said...

Awwwwww, quit your whining. I think the teacher's right, that left hand is pretty weak. I bet you were an even bigger jerk when you were teaching. I know how you love to make fun of people. ;)

justwilliams said...

I reckon that your teacher is utterly clueless or totally jealous of your drawing capabilities.
Fully agree with your remarks about anatomy.

Jasons-Brush said...

I see nothing amiss about your figure drawings, they are done with great attention to detail, superb work. They remind me of the Charles Bargue plates.

Best, Jason

Aaron said...

A long post deserves a long comment...
Some community college teachers are GREAT. Others are just angry that they are community college teachers. It's the same with a lot of people who have positions of authority in lower degrees (i.e. fast food managers, etc). I think they know that they have no control over anything really important, so they delight in making others feel small as well. You should be teaching that class.
My current figure drawing teacher is great-- he is positive, even if my work sucks. (I'm in that class with your sister) It's a great class.

Tony Montano said...

Man... that teacher is wack... don't listen to him.... understanding human anatomy is good for basics and to reference back to in difficult positions and foreshortening... but drawing what you see is key... that's what makes it "Life" drawing... just keep doing what you are doing....

Flydesign said...

WOW! I ran into a couple of guys like that. Anatomy is hard enough to understand alone and then you put someone like that in the mix, sucks. I try to keep with a favorite of mine, Glenn Vilppu. His Son-In-Law is my boss so he let's me know when he is doing some weekend classes and I go attend the figure classes that he is teaching. Works out pretty good in the end and at least I know I'm getting solid info from a great teacher. Maybe get a couple of artist and together pitch in to hire a model, works out pretty good.

Your artwork looks awesome as always!!

Gary Dombrowski said...

Personally I think your teacher may be on the tad bit jealous side. If this guy is so sharp maybe he can bring in some of HIS work to show what it SHOULD look like. Your work is great and everyone has those moments when something might look a bit awkard.Drawing with a model is tough enough for me, drawing without it is a nightmare. ~Gary

PMBC said...

The pleasure you take on figure drawing is seen in the quality of your work. I hope this story doesn't take it away from you. How about changing for another group?

shannon said...

I know you haven't heard from me since school but...
2 words - Drawing Envy
OK more than 2 words. I remember your sketchbooks from school and you draw so beautifully it was amazing. No need for you to be frustrated, leave him behind. And congrats on the Artist of the Month on American Artist website. Here's where I am.

shannonsportfolio.com
shannonchristensen.blogspot.com

Felicity said...

Your drawings have been inspiring me for some time now, so this is a real shock! Your style is unique, you constantly seek to improve (I'd be pretty satisfied to be this good!) so I can't see where this sort of criticism is going to help. Personally, I think people who need to know and get uptight about the names of things tend put more importance on that than looking and seeing their qualities.

Messages said...

Awesome drawings, as usual. Keep on doing great stuff!

Tom Scholes said...

Hahah damn dude, where you going?