Saturday, April 12, 2008

Rodin on Drawing

I have a model and a bunch of artists over to may studio every Friday.
We put on some classical music, turn on the spotlight and set the timer to 1 minute. Everyone works with frenzied speed and concentration to capture these quick poses as best he or she can. Next are 2 minute and 5 minute poses, like the one in this example.
More than a warm up, they bring out the best in us. Not only do the models strike more interesting poses than when they have to hold it for 10 or 15 minutes, but the artist has no time for, what Rodin called "..the inexpressive minutiae of execution and false nobility of gesture which please the ignorant."
Quick drawing does not give you time to be afraid of mistakes or to worry about style. And that is good. The purpose is not to create masterpieces but to practice; to grow as an artist and to keep in shape. Says Rodin: "Craft is only a means, but the artist who neglects it will never attain his end, ............. in short, no sudden inspiration can replace the long toil which is indispensable to give the eye a true knowledge of form and of proportion and to render the hand obedient to the commands of feeling."
I feel so lucky that my profession as a painter allows me to enjoy every minute of this "long toil"! Well, almost every minute, with the exception of washing my brushes...............


sandy said...

I love that technique, timed. I use to do that with some of my drawings, give myself 5 minutes and then for fun I would then "flesh" it out in photoshop.

really cool idea.


Ilse T.Hable said...

Dear Sandy,
Thanks again for your comment. You are so good with photoshop, surely you get wonderful effects with it. I use it too, but more as a means to correct the photos of my work if they came out wrong, and have a lot to learn. By the way, I found that limiting oneself in a variety of ways, like time, palette, using the left hand etc. can bring wonderful results.