I’mmmmmmm back!

I’m back!

And I’m of course still studying with Glenn Vilppu online, with live chat and live crits etc, and this semester is going to be super-special.

We’ve had almost two months off, the first month I spent entirely copying and analysing great masters (including masters of comics, since that’s what I’m particularly interested in). For a month I studied and copied and copied again, about ten hours a day – yes I know I’m crazy, but I plan on making a living out of being  crazy!

More seriously, this has taught me a tons of things, not only do I draw better and faster due to the mere mileage of ten hours a day multiplied by a month, but I’m committing tons of things to memory from my favourite artists.

The following month was very special: I live in Paris, and Glenn came here  to teach a 5 day workshop about animal drawing, one day at the natural history museum (which I like to call the “bones museum”) and 4 days at the brand new and super modern Paris zoo. Finally meeting my mentor after working two years with himonline  was quite something. I also met – of course – his wife (a dear online friend) and some classmates plus new people – if I had ever entertained any doubt, now I can rest assured: artists are family. We all got along wonderfully.

You are probably wondering: now that I have done a live class with Glenn, what is the difference with the online academy (vilppuacademy.com) where you meet, two hours a week, face to face via video, while Glenn draws for you to illustrate is answers to your questions, where crits are recorded and where we have a very lively facebook private group that allows us students to encourage each other and be generally silly, like in a real class.

Well, there are two differences: seeing Glenn draw, correct your drawing, and being able to say “wooo stop right there: why that line?) is invaluable. On the other hand I feel (and I’m not the only one) that the online crits give each of us more “me” time. In real-life situation there are more students, also there are material considerations: wind, Glenn’s Nomad’s tripod sliding off the mossy ground – oops, should we have lunch now or later?… So I’d say that both life and online classes have their strong points. But the difference is not that big. So, online class IS a complete, perfect solution for anybody who is living far from where Glenn lives (L.A.), or is too busy to go to regular courses during the week.

And now the new semester has started, and this time I’m going to do Head drawing (my 5th time!), and the new special class reserved for those who have completed all the drawing classes. The special class is a one-on-one focused on working on a personal project with Glenn: one hour every other week, just the two of us, via zoom (a video and screen sharing system). I am finally going to get my comic book started.

In this blog I’m mainly going to talk about the “head” class, as it will show what a 5th time can bring, is relevant to many people’s interest, plus I don’t want to disclose  bits of my comic before it’s ready to go online – but I’ll also be talking about the special class, in that it will cover some topics that are related to all types of art.

Head week one….. this time I allowed myself a few cartoony drawings considering Glenn knows my cartoony style from my comic preparation. Even a cartoon must have a strong structure, *particularly* a cartoon or a caricature, because it’s necessarily done from imagination.

Here is my submission for the week:

assignment head oct 15 week one marie

Glenn immediately recognized the back view of the head of Mad magazine’s idiotic red-haired kid (can’t remember his name) and indeed that silly drawing is there just because I had an old issue of Mad next to me and wondered what the cover would look like seen from behind (the kind of odd questions only artists ask themselves, I know).

Glenn’s main comment was about consistency: the cheekbones and eyes and all-important corner of the eye socket are not exactly aligned (the left one with the right one), and it being disturbing.  I have a tendency to put the right side (right for me) higher than it should).

Also I have forgotten one plane of the face: from the side edge of the chin plane to the masseter plane.

The lower left head looking down however had some qualities of simplified realism he liked.

I know what to work on for next week. That’s the beauty of having your work critiqued by a master: you are told what is wrong and why (and generally you see it when you are told about it, not before) and you only have to correct it!

Next week some more consistency in left-right relationships.

And no Mad magazine insert, I promise (it was totally unrelated to the submission).

Now go back to drawing, and never give up!

See you next week



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