Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The shapes ARE driving me insane...

For the most part, life rocks. Not stones, mind you--it rocks. It's excellent.

I'm getting better at drawing. I'm doing what I love.  And I just landed a 6 month contract (doing software) worth some nice dollarage that will make it easier for me to pursue drawing.

But there's a fire that burns frustration into my brain if I let it.

I'm compelled to practice drawing every day. It's an obsession. A severe obsession. It's such that I almost fear it... which means I may put off drawing.... the very same drawing I'm compelled to do.

Though life has had its frustrations, I'm a very joyous man at my young-ish age. I never anger any more...

... except when I can't seem to reproduce the 3D, volumetric shapes on 2D surfaces that I see in my head. Or maybe that's the trouble... I can't see them sometimes.

And that drives me nuts!

Fortunately tonight, as a sort of cure for this madness... during one of these pencil tip crushing, pen throwing, teeth gritting times... I discovered patience. Patience is a pathway to my shapes. If I calm my gritty-word thinking mind, my visual mind will quietly take over and show me the way to the shapes.

I was trying to draw a dynamic, dancing girl. The movement was all too easy ... I can make soggy, scribbly lines dance on the page. But the volume was missing. It wasn't drawing. To my crack-addict subconscious, it was heroin.

I tried every dumb thing my analytic mind threw at me.... and soon I was crumbling the page. Page rage.

I sort of calmed down (whether consciously or not) and then remembered some abstractions (wedge shapes) and that straight lines help describe volume and direction better than curves. I slowed down, began using those shapes in conjunction with the whip-like arabesque (gesture) shapes, and the drawing almost made itself.

I was relieved.

Now THAT is what my post is about. This sense of relief after successfully putting down some volumetric shapes... body parts that looked 3D. To my subconscious mind, that is the Elysian field... the elixir of life.

I was supposed to do some cartoons (which is what I was studying for), and then do some painting. I got done with the frustrating episode more than an hour into painting time.

You'd think frustration at not being able to follow my schedule and paint would have been the irritating factor. Not so. It seems that if these shapes that drive me insane can come out on my paper on a regular basis, my deep, subconscious need to draw is placated.

My subconscious mind must be a genius. After all, if I could more easily throw down those 3D shapes in everything I do, then everything I do would be so much closer to professional, exciting, and neat-o. I would be closer to my ultimate dream of drawing mastery.

The non-shape stuff is easy (relatively speaking). Rendering is a piece of cake. Bringing unity and movement to a piece is easy if you have strong construction and proportion. Even if color (which I don't know) presents difficult challenges and I can't master it right away, at least with shapes I could draw everything I want to show.

Shapes drive me insane. I hope I can learn to draw them before that happens.

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