Draperies, talking ladders and portraits

What did you do for Halloween? (personally I drew 6 hours thanks to zoom model pose sessions, google them)

I’m pretty sure some of you decided to go traditional and simply took a bed sheet and put it over you, going around shouting “booooo!”.

Without knowing it you were experiencing what it actually means to draw drapery (and yes I’m talking about Glenn Vilppu’s online drapery course which goes just fine after the anatomy course.

Why? well…. people you met while covered by a sheet probably did not think: “oh look a sheet over a chair” or why is that ladder covered by a sheet shouting “booOO!” I did not know ladders could talk, could be a work by Bansky”.

More seriously they recognised you were a human under the sheet because of the shape of the sheet. And that is the keep of drapery drawing: you are not drawing drapery or folds but the shape that is underneath. The points of tension (your head serves as a point of tension for the drapery over you) and the types of folds (more about them later) show the “thing” under the drapery so you must first draw what is under the drapery, calculate the tension points, the folds (bend you are if you are not wearing a T-shirt: here is a fold showing where your elbow is!)

I confess the first time I took Glenn Vilppu’s drapery class I panicked a bit, I had in mind all those complex classical draperies rendered to perfection and….. well no need to panic, those complex hyper rendered drapery by great masters were either a plan for a painting (had to be detailed, apprentices who would work on the painting were not….. masters) or they were simple showing off – read Michaelangelo’s life, showing off was his main hobby.

I had no reason to panic because you simplify as needed! you want to show off, ok go for the 10 hours rendering and thousands of folds that are indeed on the model, but if you “just” want to learn to draw you simplify and I might say I did the drapery class several times and what I got out of it was: learning to simplify and drawing what is under the drapery are all it’s about! Dont draw every fold and shadow (even in a portfolio, potential bosses will want to see how you simplify).

I loved that class once I got what it was about (I panic easily: I tend to compare myself to Leonardo….. no wonder I’m often depressed lol).

Hey let me tell you a little about the state of the class I’m currently taking: head painting. It’s going surprisingly well, and working with only three primary colors which drove me nuts at first is beginning to change the way I see color. I look qt a color I mixed and sort of “know” what to add, a bit like a chef will taste his sauce and know that it just needs a little bit of such or such an ingredient. At first I thought I was just having delusions of grandeur until a fellow student on the private facebook vilppuacademy (fellow student and friend, you make real friends there, people you have no problem telling “I’m a failure a fake! I’ll never make it and what is lesson five about anyway I dont understand a word” we are all in the same boat and there are no bullies only people climbing the same mountain. As I was saying a friend on the group told everybody he was beginning to see colors differently too – same class same result! Those are Aha! moments that I’m sure Glenn Vilppu has a map for without our knowledge “and so in week four they finally understand that part of colour so I can move on to something different and more difficult because they are elated by their aha moment” I’m kidding. Or not, I confess I suspect (and I’m not the only one) Glenn of being a time lord (a time traveller visiting us from the renaissance) or a wizard that reads minds.

Oh and as an extra here is my submission for this week, the left portrait has been glazed three times already, the right one only once.

Draw! and take your time eating your halloween sweets (your liver will thank you)

see you next week

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