Wednesday, June 2, 2010

GCWS June Meeting: Greg Albert guest speaker

Summer began for me today. I know school ended last week, which is usually the benchmark for most. I too note my calendar in this manner. However, today I attended the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society's meeting. They meet year round, but I am only able to  attend during the summer months.

The meeting gave me information on the clubs annual exhibit at Evergreen (9/19 - 10/30) and the opportunity to listen to an enjoyable and informative speaker.

This month's speaker was Greg Albert. He is an artist, art historian, teacher, writer, editor and publisher. I was excited to hear him speak because I have read his articles in the Artist Magazine and I have participated in a focus group that he lead for FW Publishing several years back.

Today's topic was perspective drawing. Now when I hear the word perspective I think of technical or architectural drawing...City scapes....Winding road disappearing into the horizon....  It always seems intimidating when I think of this aspect of my drawing.

Greg began with the horizon line like all the books except he stated that the KEY was that the horizon line is synonymous with your eye level. How simple and clear is that statement. Greg went on to show us posters, explaining the KEY to perspective drawing with his own drawings. 

These drawings showed us how the horizon line was at your eye level, while the picture plane was like looking through a large picture window (which represents your drawing paper or canvas) and the ground line was where you stand.

Greg then showed how this understanding of the horizon line worked for the 1 pt., 2pt., and 3pt. perspective drawings. Next, he explained how the eye level concept could be used whether you are looking straight ahead, on top or underneath the object.

Perspective drawing can be used with figures or organic objects by placing the figure or object in a cube that is created by the 1 pt., 2pt., or 3pt. perspective. His eye level or horizon line concept helps with keeping figures and animals to scale.

I purchased one of his books called The Simple Secret to Better Painting which shows you how by one rule you can improve your compositions. The rule is Never make any two intervals the same. Greg calls it the golden rule of design.
Greg stayed after the initial talk, and spoke about the importance of drawing daily.  He personally draws every evening for 15-30 minutes before he goes to bed. This exercise is about practicing his skills and to do something fun. The word "fun" is the key to not getting bogged down with the "work" it could be if the creative piece was planned out.

Greg has a box with objects in it that he uses for these drawings. He uses several or maybe just one that he turns a few different ways to create the drawing. If time is short he uses a pair of shoes.

His tools are a sketchbook, a gel pen, and some type of medium(s) for color (wc, wc crayon, art sticks/pencils, oil pastels...) Using a few objects from his box, he takes his pen and begins a contour drawing. He puts down just enough detail to get the shape somewhat to scale. The "fun" happens when he adds color. Greg experiments with mixing different mediums. Maybe working out something that he might use on a fine art piece. The goal is to see how far you can take the drawing in the alloted time. What a great way to use your "right" brain!

I left the meeting feeling excited and confident in how I could improve my drawing skills.  So, HURRAY for summer! I can not wait for next months meeting :-)

The studio is calling----

1 comment:

debwardart said...

Great post - and so good to see you!!!

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