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Posts Tagged ‘ancestors’

13CynthiaBridalBold

The model for this charcoal drawing was an old photo, probably 13CynthiaBridalBoldPhototaken in the 1920’s. Cynthia worked from the well-preserved, 7” high oval original.

The emotions that inevitably accompany family photos can serve either a) as fuel to keep you working at the drawing or b) they can get in the way and overwhelm you.  The class was divided along that line about half and half.

One of the people whose work was fueled by the emotions emanating from these oldies was Cynthia, who produced this strong drawing. The couple is handsome, but the artist did not glamorize them.  It’s their wedding photo, but she did not sentimentalize them.

13CynthiaBridalBoldGroom

There are three elements in this drawing, as in the photo:  man, woman and bouquet. Notice that the flowers are worked out in greater detail than the people. The outer half of the man’s face is not attended to at all. The woman’s face is asymmetrical, problematic and suggestive of

13CynthiaBridalBoldFace

complexity.There’s a dark objectivity here, alienation even, reminiscent of the faces by Matisse and Picasso.  This is good.  Staying away from the pretty and the flattering and allowing yourself to drift into irony and alienation is good because it makes you think.  Cynthia’s drawing comes out of a modern sensibility: it roughs you up a bit, because it avoids the clichés about weddings, happiness and destiny.

13CynthiaBridalBoldFlowers The drawing as a whole, showing the bride, groom and the flowers,  sets up all sorts of tensions.  The drawing is so strong that each of the three elements (man, women, bouquet) can also stand on its own. I’m showing these individually because each deserves close study. After looking closely, go back to look at the whole drawing, shown at the very top.

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com 

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://katherinehilden.wordpress.com

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13AleOmiDraw2Old family photos are great to work from.  They’re usually pretty grainy, which is good because you won’t get interested in details.  Enlarge the photo on a Xerox machine to a comfortable 13AleOmiPhoto8-1/2 x 11.   Pick one from two generations ago or more.  If you can, go back to 1910-1920.  Folks wore hats then and elaborately tailored coats.  Don’t forget the umbrella.  Dressing for the photographer was serious business.  All for you, you know, coming along a century later.  Look at that costume—gives you something to work with.  It has angles and pleats and drapey effects—all zig-zagging from collar to hem for maximum drama.  And then on top, ta-tah, an ellipse just with you in mind, so that you can practice swinging your wrist.

Let me point out just three things that make this drawing by Alejandra exiting:

13AleOmiDraw2numbers

Green: the zigzag line, always energetic in a visual work.

Yellow: here the contour is omitted completely, engaging the viewer, who has to fill in the gap.

Red: the shading of the cuff and the shading of the background mimic one another, adding depth to the drawing.

You can be sure, the photographer back in 1910 also knew what he was doing when he set up this pose. Ma’am, the umbrella just a little bit over, ah,  yes, that’s right, hooooold.  Thank you!

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com 

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://katherinehilden.wordpress.com

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