Saturday, August 12, 2006

Even MORE boobies...heh heh HEH HE HEH heh heh

Something’s been troubling me lately, and I finally worked out what it is.

I know you’re all probably bored to tears about me prattling on about drawing by now, but I just realized something, and I want to share it.

Since I took up figure drawing, I’ve found myself compelled to defend myself on my main choice of subject…namely women. If you’ve visited my gallery on deviantart, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve drawn almost exclusively women.

Now everything I’ve wrote on this subject so far has been true. Women are much harder to draw than men, and you always make a picture by drawing what’s under the clothes first. It’s easy to draw someone in baggy clothes. The problem is you don’t learn anything.

Like I read in a very good book on drawing, when someone says “This is (whoever), he can really draw!” What they actually mean is “This person can draw people.

For example, I could draw a skyline or a city street, and because I know how to draw in perspective, it would look good. However, that’s the problem. Why would I want to draw something I can easily do? Something where you learn about 5 simple rules and get busy with a set-square? Where’s the fun in knowing that what you’re drawing is going to turn out exactly as you want it to?

It’s easy, therefore it’s not challenging…which to me means it’s not fun.

So, before I go off on another tangent, the thing that was troubling me was why I felt the need to explain myself. Why I felt the need to write a 500 page rationalization of why I’m not a pervert every time I drew a woman.

Why was I compelled to explain myself? Why did I feel the need to explain why they are mostly in tight clothes? It was even effecting the figures I chose to draw…namely comic book females, for the simple reason drawing someone in a lycra costume allows you to practice drawing anatomy without the embarrassment of drawing a nude. The fact you’re drawing a character also helps out. It’s not just some random, sexy woman…That’s Rogue from X-Men. Didn’t you see that movie? Wasn’t it great?

All the greats at sometime or another have produced paintings and drawings of nudes or scantily clad women. Why did I feel embarrassment at doing the same thing? Why did I feel the need to defend and explain myself?

In the end, the truth is the human body is simply one of the most fun, challenging and expressive (not to mention the most beautiful) things you can possibly draw. You draw a house, and look…it’s a nice house! So what?

However, when you draw a person, you have endless possibilities. Is the person happy or sad? What are they doing? Where are they? Relaxing at the beach, or slumped at a desk?

When you draw a person and want to convey a particular movement, feeling or posture, and it actually comes off…it’s very satisfying. When you draw apples and oranges on a table…I just don’t see the fun in it.

Drawing females is all about curves. However, if you get one curve slightly off, she ends up looking deformed. We see people all the time, so whereas if I drew a cottage, very few people would say “Hmm, the thatching doesn’t look right, and they didn’t use brick until the 1800’s!” You draw a person, and something is slightly off…everyone knows it…so you get a real feeling of achievement when you start a drawing, and hours later manage to get it right!

Every time I finish a drawing, I’ll notice something I could have done better. So I make sure To make sure I get that right in the next drawing. So, basically, I’m not obsessed with drawing women…I’m learning to draw women.

So for the past few weeks, every time I see someone or something, I mentally work out how I would draw it. It becomes a habit. For example, a few weeks ago, I was sitting at the computer and sunny was sitting on the floor playing Zelda on the Gamecube, and before I knew it, I reached for my sketchpad and just sketched her.

So a few days ago, I stumbled across a picture on the internet. It was a stock-photo from deviantart. (I like to just click the link for everything submitted that day and browse). Plenty of photographers on Deviantart take pictures that they freely allow others to manipulate, paint or otherwise use in their own art.

The picture was a nude, and I liked it. Now before you start sniggering, I don’t mean in the way your regular guy usually likes pictures of naked women, I mean from an (almost, I won’t lie) purely compositional point of view. I liked the angle she was at, the way the light hit her face and the pose that gave an exaggerated curve to the hip. She looked relaxed and happy. Basically, I wanted to draw her.

So I pulled out my sketchpad and started.

Then, once I’d got the rough sketch down and like the overall shape, I started to automatically add a T-Shirt and a pair of jeans.

Halfway through I just stopped and thought What the hell am I doing? Am I always going to add clothes out of embarrassment? I know I was raised catholic, but this is ridiculous!

I’ll admit that no small part of it was the fact my Mum reads this blog, and therefore has a link to my gallery…but it made me think.

What was so embarrassing and shameful about drawing a nude? It’s art for God’s sake. An airbrushed drawing of a woman lying down at the beach. It wasn’t what you’d call pornographic or explicit. You see worse on cable TV. It’s not like it was a picture of a woman bent over, pointing her girly bits at the camera like a gun, while doing unspeakable things with root vegetables and a goat!

I mean, it’s a drawing, I’m not out actually taking pictures of naked women. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that either…just not my cup of tea).

So I took a deep breath and brought out my eraser. The jeans and t-shirt vanished.

I’d like to say my next thought was a freeing epiphany, how I felt liberated by my new attitude…but my first though actually was “Now how the hell do you draw and shade nipples?”

So, ladies and gentlemen, I drew my first nude. I tried a new coloring technique (skintones are a bitch), and while it’s far from perfect, (the chin, hands and feet don’t look right…as well as a few hundred shading issues) I’m fairly proud of it. I’m also posting it below and I’m not going to defend it or attempt to explain myself.

I drew and airbrushed it because I wanted to.

If it offends, please feel free to pretend it’s in black and white…and a little grainy.

I call it “I don’t like drawing backgrounds and can’t draw hands and feet worth a damn”

(Click the picture for a full size view.)

Oh, and if you're wondering why I'm proud of's because this was my best work less than six months ago:

1 comment:

MC Etcher said...

Very cool! Both are good, and you can see definite improvement right away.

It's all about the practice - keep it up!