Aug 15, 2006
Hi, and welcome to Learning2draw.com's newsletter. This issue includes:
1) Our Q&A Answer Session, where you will learn exciting secrets
of the artworld exposed through answers to your questions.
Topic: Gesture Drawing
2) Video Game Artist Description for 3D Animators
3) Send us Your Success STories- December 5th is approaching
Congrats to 3 winners of Drawing Kits
4) Life Sketch of Michelangelo- Part 3 of 4 A Sculptor and a Painter
5) Never Give Up- 6 Tips to Help You Keep Creating Great Art!
6) Tip of the Month- The Space Between By Butch Kreiger
7) This month's quotes by:
4th grader, Zola, Whistler inspiration pieces to help.
8) Learning2draw.com Announcements, upcoming changes to site!
Spotlight on an artist, new site announcement,
New super bonus, back issues of newsletters,additional articles and more!
Feel Free to Pass This Newsletter On to Anyone Interested!
1) Question and Answer Session with Todd
QUESTION: from Mike W.
Hi, Gesture drawing is something I have been struggling with. I
don't understand the reasoning behind it as well as the technique.
Can you help me?
ANSWER: from Todd
Hi, thanks for your question. Because I don't know your specific goals
or questions concerning gesture drawing I will give you a
general run down and link to provide you with the answers you
are looking for.
First, gesture drawing is capturing the essence or the life of who
or what you are drawing. I recently wrote an article on this and
here is an excerpt from it...
When we are gesture drawing, we are looking to do more than
merely copy what we are seeing. We are looking to capture the
essence of our subject. We are literally breathing life into our drawing.
It is started in the block-in step and fully mastered
through this next level of gesture drawing. As you refine your
block in and break it down into sub-shells, you will see your gesture
start to take shape and the subject’s action start to be expressed in its
motion. Look at the subject you are drawing and try to spot the
body language and what they are saying in their action. These are
living creatures and should be thought of as such.
Capturing gesture can be a difficult process at first, but it is
nonetheless an invaluable skill that the artist should look to mastering.
The first step would be to be able to see the gesture in the subject
that you are drawing. You won’t be able to capture it in your drawing if
you can’t first see it. Do you see the movement in your subject?
Do you see the life and what energy it has? Feel what it is to be that
subject in order to better understand and capture that essence.
The purpose of gesture drawing is to be able to capture the living energy
of whom you are drawing. You want to show what the model is doing and
not just the form of what is before you.
To read this article in its entirety visit www.learning2draw.com/how.htm.
Please, if you have a question you would like answered by Todd,
email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you know of any art topics that you would like to see
addressed on our article page, please email us at
email@example.com with the subject art article. We would
love to hear your ideas and write about them.
2) Video Game Artist- How do I get Started?
3D Character Animator
Like the 2D animation world, 3D animators must also have a strong
tendency towards movement, human expression, gesture drawing, and
so forth. The best models will still look terrible if it is
animated poorly. One example of this, from my work, is when a
beautifully built character was overanimated. His gestures were
overemphasized and there was way too much movement. It looked
terrible. It will also look bad if there is a lack of personality
Animating characters takes a skill that requires the artist to be able
emulate natural movements and realistic expressions.
*Side note www.gamedesigner101.com will be functional on
3) Send Us Your Success Stories!
Congratulations to Carolyn Skinner, who received our starter kit
full of strathmore paper, pencils, and kneaded erasers.
Also special Congrats to L.Schreck and A.Rubin our special
customers who filled out our survey and won free drawing kits.
We would love to hear from you on how our site and ebook have
helped your art! So much so, that we will enter your name in a
quarterly drawing for an art supply starter kit. Just email us
your story to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line
Success in Art Stories, and we will enter your name for a chance
to win pencils, paper, kneaded erasers, and more. Please email
your story by Aug 5th for our second drawing.
4) Life Sketch of Michelangelo-
Michelangelo Buonarroti Part 2 Sculpture
Second Period -Very long but worth it!
To Michelangelo's second creative period (beginning 1505) belongs
the statue of Christ which he carved for the church of Santa Maria
sopra Minerva. It was sent to Rome in 1521 in charge of an assistant
who was to add some last touches to the statue when it was put in
position. The Saviour, a life-sized marble figure, holds the cross,
sponge, and rod of hyssop. The face, earnest, almost hard, is turned
to the left, as if saying: "My people, what have ye done to Me?"
Properly however, the figure is not that of the suffering Saviour,
but of the risen Saviour and therefore nude, according to the desire
of the patron who have the commission. The age of the Renaissance, in
its ardour for the nude, paid no regard to decorum. At a later date a
bronze loin cloth, unfortunately too long, was placed on the statue.
In conformity with the spirit in which the whole composition is conceived,
the figure of Christ is not stiff and severe like the statue of an
antique god, but expresses a resigned humanity. A youthful Apollo
produced at about the same time has also little of the classic in its
design. A dying Adonis comes nearer to classic models in its conception.
But the gigantic David, the embodiment of fresh young daring, in reality
a representation of a noble boy, resembles an antique god or hero. It
can hardly be said that the colossal size, over twelve and a half feet,
is suitable for a youth; however, the deed for which David is preparing,
or more probably, the action which he has just completed, is a deed of
courage. The right hand is half closed, the left hand with the sling seems
to be going back to the shoulder, while the gaze follows the stone. The
figure resembles that of an ancient athlete. The body is nude, and the
full beauty of the lines of the human form is strikingly brought out. In
1508 Michelangelo agreed to carve the twelve Apostles in heroic size
(about nine and a half feet high) for the church of Santa Maria del Fiore,
but of the whole number only the figure of St. Matthew, a great and daring
design, was hewn in the rough. Similarly, he executed but four of the saints
which were to decorate the memorial chapel to Pius II and left the rest of
the work unfinished. A bronze statue of David with the head of Goliath under
his feet was sent to France and has since disappeared. A pen-and-ink sketch
of this statue is still in the Louvre.
His powers fully matured, Michelangelo now entered the service of the
popes and was entrusted with the carrying out of two great undertakings.
In 1505 Julius II called him to Rome to design and erect for the pope a
stately sepulchral monument. The monument was to be a four-sided marble
structure in two curses, decorated with some forty figures of heroic size.
Michelangelo spent eight months in Carrara superintending the sending of
the marble to Rome. He hoped in carrying out this commission to execute a
work worthy of classic times, one containing figures that would bear
comparison with the then newly discovered Lacoon. His plans, however,
were brought to nought by a sudden change of mind on the part of Julius,
who now began to consider the rebuilding of St. Peter's after the designs
of Bramante. Julius may be said to have driven Michelangelo from the Roman
court. Fearful of the malice of enemies, Buonarroti fled in despair to
Florence and, turning a deaf ear to the pope's entreaties to return to
Rome, offered to go on with the work for the monument at Florence. To this,
however, Julius would not listen. In his exasperation Michelangelo was on
the point of going to Constantinople. However, at the invitation of the pope,
in the latter part of 1506, he went to Bologna, where, amid the greatest
difficulties and in straitened circumstances, he cast a bronze statue of
Julius II, of heroic size. This effigy was destroyed during a revolt against
Julius in 1511. Once more in Rome, he was obliged for the time being to abandon
the scheme for the monument to Julius and, against his will, to decorate the
Sistine Chapel with frescoes. Julius II lived only long enough after the
completion of the frescoes to arrange for his monument in his will.
After his death in 1513 a formal contract was made for the construction
of the memorial. According to this new agreement the monument was no longer
to be an independent structure, but was to be placed against the church
wall in the form of a chapel. The plan for the structure was even more
magnificent than the original design, but was in the end abandoned,
both on account of its size and of other circumstances which arose.
The new pope, Leo X, of the Medici family, was a friend of Michelangelo's
youth and looked on him with much favour, but had new designs in reference to him.
After Michelangelo had laboured for two years on the monument to Julius, Pope Leo,
during a visit to Florence, commanded him, to construct a stately new facade for
the church of San Lorenzo, the family burial place of the Medici. With tears
in his eyes, Michelangelo agreed to this interruption of his great design. The
building of the new facade was abandoned in 1520, but the sculptor returned to
his former work for a time only. The short reign of Adrian VI was followed by
the election to the papal throne of another early friend of Michelangelo, Giulio
de' Medici, who took the name of Clement VII. Since 1520 Giulio de' Medici had
desired to erect a family mortuary chapel in San Lorenzo. When be became pope
he obliged Michelangelo to take up this task. The new commission was not unworthy
of the sculptor's powers, yet an evil fate prevented this undertaking also from
reaching its full completion. Michelangelo suffered unspeakably from the constant
alteration of his plans; he was, moreover, beset by many detractors; the political
disorders in his native city filled him with grief, and the years brought with them constantly increasing infirmities.
In 1545 the designs, some of which still exist, for the monument of
Julius II were carried out on a much reduced scale. The monument is in
the church of San Pietro in Vincoli; in the centre of the lower course of
the monument between two smaller figures is placed the gigantic statue of
Moses, which was originally intended for the upper course, where it would
have made a much more powerful impression. When seen close by, the criticism
may be made that the expression is too violent, there is no sufficient
reason for the swollen veins in the left arm, the shoulders are too
massive in comparison with the neck, the chin, and the forehead; that
even the folds of the robe are unnatural. Yet, seen from a distance, it is
precisely these features that produce the desired effect. The great statue,
which is double life size, was intended to express the painfully restrained
and mighty wrath of the leader of a stiff-necked people. It is plain
that an allusion to the warlike prowess of Julius II was intended and that
the sculptor here, as in many of his other undertakings, has embodied his
own tremendous conception of force. The way in which the Tables of the Law
are grasped, the bare arm and right knee, the heavy beard and the "horns"
heighten the effect that is aimed at. The flanking figures of Rachel and Leah,
symbols respectively of contemplative and active life, were carved by
Michelangelo himself, but they are not as satisfactory as the Moses. The
monument itself and the figures on the upper course were not executed by
the great master, though they were worked out according to his suggestions.
On the other hand, two shackled figures out of the series planned by
the sculptor are in the Louvre, though incomplete. The "Slaves" were
intended to typify the power of the pope in the domains of war and art,
and were to stand in front of the hermae pillars, where the inverted
consoles now are. In the "Slaves" in the Louvre the antithesis between
resistance to the fetters and submission to the inevitable is expressed
with remarkable skill. There are also in Florence some unfinished figures
belonging to this monument, namely a victor kneeling on a fallen foe,
and four other figures, which are merely blocked out. About the time of
the completion of this monument Michelangelo carved a striking bust of
Brutus as the hero of liberty. Michelangelo regarded the freedom of his
native city as lost after the second return of the Medici from exile and
the assumption of the control of affairs by Alessandro and Cosmo de' Medici.
The sorrow this caused him suggested the bust of Brutus, and cast a shadow
on the tombs of Giuliano and Lorenzo de' Medici in the chapel spoken of
above. The greater part of the work in the chapel, however, had been done
before this time, and so the expression of embittered sorrow must be
explained by the general depression of the artist not less than by his
failure to realize his highest ideal, which also accounts for the gloom
characteristic of his other creations.
Twelve figures included in the original design for the sepulchral
monument of the Medici were never carved. According to Vasari's arrangement
in 1563, a seated figure of Giuliano is placed in an upper niche of one of
the monuments, while symbolical figures representing Day and Night recline
on a sarcophagus below. If Michelangelo's words have been rightly understood,
these symbolical figures are to be regarded as mourning for the untimely
death of the duke, and as grieving that life for him had not been worth
the living. "Not to see, nor to hear must be happiness for me", are the
words attributed to Night, which is represented as a giantess sunk in
heavy and uneasy slumber, and symbolized by a mask, an owl, and a bunch
of poppy-heads. The other allegorical figure, Day, a man, is represented
as having no desire to rouse himself to action. The plan of the second
monument is similar to that of the one just described; the figures of
Evening and Dawn make the same impression as those of Night and Day.
The two Medicean dukes are ideally treated as ancient warriors, rather than
portrayed as in life. In the statue of Giuliano it is the superb modelling
of the different parts that delights the eye; in the statue of Lorenzo the
charm lies in the pose and the way in which the face is shadowed by the
helmet. This figure of Lorenzo bears the name of Il Penseroso (the Meditative).
Against the wall of the chapel stands the unfinished and really
unsuccessful Madonna and Child; the pose of the Madonna is unique.
*this article is part 3 of 4 on the Michelangelo life study it is taken
from the NewAdvent group. IF you wish to see part 1 of this article or
any of the DaVinci and Bougereau series you may check out our
newsletter archives at www.learning2draw.com and look under the news and
tips signup for the article archive section in white.
****Note on Sketch by Todd
I just wanted to mention that art is about devotion and passion and
that Michelangelo is a prime example of this. From sculptor to painter
he was amazing. I put him in this issue because the human form was
central to his studies. I think this is key. To rise so quickly
in the study of the human form takes hard work, dedication, and
great teachers but can be done! He was able to master many
different genres of art. He did art in place of sleep.Don't give up!
You can always check out our page
at www.learning2draw.com for more info on how to draw faces and
the human form.
5) 6 Tips to Help You Keep Creating Great Art!
Art is tough stuff! Anyone who tells you different, doesn't know
how to master art or the business of art! With your art dreams at
stake, what can you do to stay passionate and succeed in your art
goals? Where can you find the push when all you see is discouragement?
Here are 6 tips to help you out!
1. Picture yourself achieving your goals. "Visualize your dream--
Picture your art hanging in a gallery, or Picture yourself working
for Disney, or Picture yourself owning your own gallery, or
Picture yourself creating masterful art! Whatever your art
desire or dream is...Picture it, Visualize it!
If you start getting discouraged it's because you lose sight of your
goals and dreams. Tell yourself things are great, then it will happen.
2. Ignore the Negative People. People can be a big downer in the world
of art, telling you you're a dreamer or you can't do it. Sometimes people
throw negativity at you because they have their own agenda. Sometimes
they think you are wishful thinking. Whatever the case is Ignore them!
You can do it!
3. Build relationships with like-minded people. Setting out on a dream in the
art world can be a difficult, hard and lonely journey. Meet other artists
for support by visiting forums, websites, conferences. Networking and
communicating with other artists can help in times of discouragement.
4. Find mentors. Whom do you admire who is successfully doing what you want
to do? Write to them. Call them. Find out how they got where they are. Pick
artists who are doing what you want to do. Share ideas. Why learn the hard
way? Mentors really help speed the process along.
5. Take care of the boss: you. Even if it's only a few minutes. I know this sounds
a little hokey but find time to do something for you. Exercise, read, take a
break. Let your sketching hand rest!
6. Take action. Feeling discouraged because your artistic goals are far
seeming far away? slow? How do you break out of the funk? Get busy! Draw,
Keep it fun and build your momentum! You can do it! When this
does not work, try it again. Just keep drawing!
6) Tip of the Month
The Space Between
Negative shapes are just as important to successful paintings as
the objects they define.
By Butch Krieger
Have you ever looked at a painting and noticed that, while each object
is well-rendered, the painting as a whole doesn’t quite work? It’s
probably a matter of composition but, more specifically, the culprit
may be an often-overlooked design element: negative shapes.
Negative shapes, the spaces between and around the objects in a
painting are widely disregarded by many artists, particularly new painters.
Instead, positive shapes (figures, trees, flowers, clouds, fruit) get
all the attention, since they are, after all, the primary subjects.
Yet if the negative shapes aren’t right, the overall picture will fall short.
Negative shapes are by no means incidental they’re crucial to the success
of your work.
The Danger of Thinking Too Positively
Because the negative shapes buttress all the positive shapes in a painting,
they affirm the definitions of their forms and can work to push them forward.
If the negative shapes are insubstantial, the positive shapes will be mushy.
The structure of an image, even a painterly image, with softly blended edges
can only be as robust as the negative shapes within it. They serve as part
of a contiguous network of shapes that form the structure of a painting’s
composition and give it a sense of unity.
The compositional devices of repetition and variation can also apply
to negative shapes. A negative shape can repeat a positive shape, whether
it’s the same size or larger or smaller than the original.
The trick with all in-between spaces is that because they don’t
usually take on a recognizable form, there are no objective standards
against which to measure
them. So it’s up to you and your own subjective, aesthetic instincts. You must
make judgment calls every time you compose a painting. To read negative shapes
means to perceive the dynamic interrelationships of all the shapes, then to
fine-tune those forms and fuse them all into a firm composition. It’s a
challenge at first, but once you master negative shapes, they’ll be one of your
most powerful visual tools.
Butch Krieger is a contributing editor to The Artist’s Magazine.
7) Inspirational Quotes
Inspirational Quotes by 4th grader, Zola, Whistler
"I love art because I can impress myself." ~ fourth grader
"I am an artist. I am here to live out loud." ~ Emile Zola
"An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision."
~ James McNeill Whistler
8) Upcoming changes to site!
Yes, it's true, we really are adding more articles to our how-to
site at www.learning2draw.com/how.htm. If you have a subject
that you would like addressed or would like to submit an
article topic, please send to email@example.com.
Yes, Yes, Yes! We are adding yet another bonus to our ebook, it
is the full notes by DaVinci that we had in our first issues of
our newsletter. It is the complete notes! See our homepage for
We have added the newsletters to the archive now and you can check
out back issues by clicking on the article archive button beneath
the newsletter sign up on the left hand column of the site.
By popular request we are starting a new sight for you video game
artists out there. It will be ready soon! Keep your eye open
for the announcement and details. The site will be functioning
on 8/26. Check it out at www.gamedesigner101.com.
SPOTLIGHT*** We would like to start spotlighting artists who
subscribe to this newsletter. If you would like to be an artist
who is spotlighted, please send us an email with your name, info
about what kind of art you do, how you got started, etc, etc. and
email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Spotlight.
Also, if you would like back issues of any of our newsletters
or our series on DaVinci's Proportions, please email us at
email@example.com with the subject title newsletters followed
by which issue you would like or have not received.
Thank you everyone for your comments on our e-book and for your
support of our site. We've extended our promotion based on your
Peace and Have a Great Weekend!
Todd Harris Learning2draw.com
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