Anna and Tomy your new best friends (ok this is a crappy pun, sorry, I’ve been glazing too long – read on)

Head painting going rather well, we started a new portrait and glazed for the second time the first portrait we did. It was less scary than the first time (it was also a lighter glaze) and I am beginning to see the point of glazing and repainting: glazing brings out the brush strokes and unifies the colors, so if you did put a bit of re on the nose and a skin color next to it it makes it unified and look less like it's the portrait of a drunk!

I dont know why but I have the premonition that we are going to go on glazing again and again all of our portraits (meaning in week 10 we'll be glazing 9 portraits?) of course it should be lighter and lighter, I quite look forward to see the effect.

Last week I spoke about figure drawing 2 and 3. You know what: the following class to take could be drapery or anatomy, personally I took anatomy and I think it makes sense: you draw a human being - knowing how it's made is a must. As Glenn Vilppu always says "you can draw something you don't know" if I may dare I'd go further that that and I'd say you can't draw something you only think you know. Proof: try and draw a bicycle without looking at one - you have used a bicycle since you were a kid.... can you draw one? er....ok two wheels a seat and a handle bar but the rest....... not obvious.

Anyway anatomy is a must because it allows you to see in a person things you did not see before: their wrist and front part of the forearm are rectangular in section contrary to the top of the forearm which is made of round muscles... now that is helpful when you are sketching fast. Same for the landmarks, those bones that I already mentioned in an entry and that show in super muscular people, average people and super heavy people. How convenient. But more than that: the back of a human is full of lumps... what are those? why do they change with the pose? When French sculptor Rodin went to Italy and saw Bernini's work and others' he was shocked and came back to Paris cursing and furious: he had wasted his time so far, sculpting. For a real sculpture (or drawing) is built from the inside out, not the reverse!

Knowing anatomy is useful only if you don't know anatomy once said Glenn. True: These days thanks to zoom I do a lot of nude model and I don't even have to think about "where is the rib cage, where is the scapula in that pose? the iliac crest is where?" I see them as naturally as my next door neighbour sees her flower beds (she knows all about them, I can recognise a rose from a tulip and that's it). 

Seeing naturally the anatomy is a huge help in making the gesture come out more. The one danger is falling in love with anatomy and drawing it instead of the pose and it's action.

I hear voice saying: "but must I learn the names of all those muscles and bones?" first of all you are not studying to become a doctor. Glenn has had many doctor studying drawing with them, they knew all the name and they could not draw to save their life. Artistic anatomy is about bones (all of them yes) and the muscles that have an influence on the surface of the body. In any case the names  may be in latin but they are descriptive: sterno-cleido-mastoidian simply mean the gizmo that goes from the sternum (sterno) to the clavicle (cleido) to the back of the chin (mastoidian) once you've learn a few names the others come naturally.

You  DON'T need to know the names to draw but how do you communicage with fellow students and your teacher: "Glenn that thingamajig that goes from here to here, and I mean the one under the one that goes from - you know, the pelvis on the side and to the what's it's name" not very convenient. I'd advice having a basic knowledge of he name of the main muscles and looking in a book for the others (my advice not Glenn's!)

I love the anatomy class because Glenn really takes you by the hand and shows you anatomy being used for drawing, not medical books type of anatomy, it's easy also because you can ask him any question not only on the facebook group but during the 2 hours weekly chat and by email of course.

Dont be scared of anatomy: use it to draw, that is the trick! and Glenn is the best at helping you with that.

Talking of anatomy and considering halloween is coming here is a last thought for you: there is a skeleton inside your body! believe it or not this thought terrifies a lot of people, but if we did not have a skeleton we'd be a mass of flesh  flat on the ground so hooray for skeletons.

Talk to you next week and of course: draw like mad! (sanity is overrated anyway).

Stay safe

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