figure 1 week 4 squish squosh squash! (ouch, my back!)

“For every action there is a reaction” said a science guy, a long time ago in our galaxy – and it’s true: when a samurai bows down to his shogun (I know, I’m should stop watching Kurosawa movies), the back of this kimono stretches to the point of pulling his belt up, while the front of this kimono becomes all wrinkled. Same for his body I guess, but we rarely see topless samurai – so look at the Sixtine Chapel (all nudes): Adam stretches reeeeeeeaaaaal hard his arm towards God, and as a result his torso becomes compressed.

In a word: if you have something stretching in a “thing” you’re drawing, you must have something on the opposite side of the stretching part of the “thing” squashing!
And while you are at it, you’d better exagerate it, and this even if you are doing a realistic drawing. Reality is not just what we see, but what we feel. You might say that the Sixtine Chapel’s ceiling is realistic (ok – muscular women, I know….. other topic). Take five minutes the next time you want to make a fool of yourself (I often do, it’s as relaxing as stretching), and try to take the positions of the characters on that ceiling. The *exact* position, and you’ll find: it’s impossible!, Just like David, the statue by the same Michelangelo – unless you are suffering from severe spine and pelvis problems you won’t be able to take that pose. Why? the stretch and squash are exagerated every bit as much as in a roadrunner Vs. coyote cartoons. Why do we feel David is realistic when he’s not (by the way his head his way too big for his body, that was done on purpose to compensate for the fact that the statue would be viewed from below, google a picture of that statue taken from midheight and you’ll be freaked out!). That is because the stretch is exagerated but *feels* ok as an expression of effort: Adam is, like I said: reeeeeeeaaaaallly (think effort, all powerful need and want) stretching towards God, which was part of the message that a painting in a church was supposed to give. (I’ll take this opportunity to remind everybody: the Sixtine chapel’s ceiling is high, very high, higher than you think, standing in the chapel you can hide this Adam and God scene with your thumb, hence the exageration too, and it also explains the big eyes on some of the characters (they look like normal eyes from the floor, and the women look normal, not super muscular when seen from where they were meant to be seen – modern close up “from up there” photographs of that work are totally betraying the work of the artist.

Here is my submission for this week:


I dont like it much. Glenn helped me see what was wrong in it (even though it’s not the worse drawing I’ve done). the critic and his draw-over and the two-hour chat were as usual very helpful.
He took the time to redo almost completely the main character, and I can see better, not only that his version is better than mine (lol), but also why: each line he draws has a part to play, a precise one, in describing the form. As a result, he uses less lines than i do. I “noodle” like crazy trying to get a shape to appear, he does a minimum of well-calculated lines and gets the result I always miss.

Also my values are messy – meaning some parts are too dark – or not enough. But that is probably a result of my “linear impediment” (the politically correct way of saying: “my freaking noodling!” lol)

I feel stronger, now I see the direction to take and where my weak point is (my main weak point, I’ve got others!)

See you next week
keep drawing!!

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