Friday, 4 April 2014

Project: Structure Research Point.

As this was a research point about structure, I took the opportunity to look at the structure of the parts of the body with which I struggle the most - namely the hands and the feet. I have been using the book 'Anatomy for the Artist' by Sarah Simblet (Dorling Kindersley 2001). This is a great reference book containing numerous anatomical diagrams as well as photographs of models in various poses. I copied some of the diagrams from the book. I also made lots of drawings of my own hands. This type of drawing is very different from the previous gesture drawing exercise. I didn't find this as exciting but I did find copying the diagrams useful in improving my understanding of the structures.
I was particularly pleased with my drawing of the skull and cervical spine which I did in a combination of white ink and pastel on black paper. The drawing was accurate and using the white ink with a thick bamboo pen meant I had to be confident with the lines.

I also adapted one of the diagrams of the musculature of the face. I drew the muscles and the cartilage of the nose in oil pastel on black paper. I then scraped away lines of the oil pastel with the nib of a dip pen before paining over it and around it with black India ink. The india ink went into the scraped areas to describe the texture of the muscle.

I started an online course entitled 'Figure Anatomy for the Artist' tutored by Roberto Osti. I got some useful information about the basic proportions of the skeleton for this bit I didn't complete the whole thing because I felt that it contained more detail than I actually needed as he seemed to draw every muscle even if it was subsequently covered by another and not visible. The course was very dry and not very creative.
Sketchbook 4 Page 8 and 9
Anatomical Drawings of Feet after Sarah Simblet
Sketchbook 4 Page 10 and 11
More structural drawings of feet
Sketchbook 4: Page 12
Medial aspect of foot
After Sarah Simblet
Basic skeleton: White Ink on Black Paper
Sketchbook 4: Page 34

Sketchbook 6 : Page 14
Anatomical Drawing in Pastel and drawing Pen after Sarah Simblet

Sketchbook 6: Page 15
Anatomical Drawing after Sarah Simblet

Skull and Cervical Spine. White Ink and Pastel on Black paper
Sketchbook 6: Page 16

Drawings of my own hand
Sketchbook 4: Pages 36 - 42

Drawings of my own hand
Sketchbook 4: Pages 36-42

Sketchbook 4 : page 42 and 43
Fat pads in a young adult female (not well proportioned
the legs are too short and the feet are too small)

Sketchbook 4: Page 44 and 45
anatomical image from Wellcome Images and lines of
cleavage or tension in human skin.

Sketchbook 4: Page 56
Anatomical images from Da-Vinci's Notebooks

Sketchbook 4: Pages 48 and 49
Anatomical Images Research
Sketchbook 6: Page
Anatomical Image research and paintings by Fernando Vincente

Sketchbook 6: Page 18
Musculature of the Face
Oil Pastel Sgraffito and India Ink on Black Paper.

During my research for this I came across the Wellcome Images website which has many high resolution images which are free to download of anatomical diagrams of various eras. From the 16th to the early 18th century anatomical etchings depict skeletons or flayed people posing in attractive gardens or woodland as though they are blissfully unaware of their incomplete or eviscerated state. To my 21st century mind these images look quite absurd but in those times this was the norm for scientific diagrams. In fact when Stubbs tried to find a publisher for his anatomical diagrams of horses he found it very difficult because his lack of embellishment was not in line with the tastes of the time. Nowadays we expect scientific diagrams or illustrations to convey the information clearly and concisely without superfluous trees, columns, urns or rhinoceroses! I'm not sure whether this is progress!

During my searches I came a across several artists who produce works containing figures posing in classic poses but with areas of their bodies stripped to reveal the anatomical detail underneath. Included are Fernando Vicente and Danny Quirk. I liked the combination of art and science in these paintings particularly Vicente's very cold looking sophisticated model - type women in little black dresses with large areas of their skin removed to reveal the underlying muscles and the irony the lady wearing elbow length evening gloves smoking a cigarette and proudly displaying her bronchial tree.

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