Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Shape...AND how to break it ever so slightly.

So call me a jerk for not updating.  I guess i have a Valid excuse this time.  My scanner must have took a beating during my move to San Francisco because ever since I got it here it doesnt want to respond.  Either it doesn't like the way I treat it...or it pooped and died on me.   Either Way Im hoping to get a new one Very Soon.   Thanks for all the comments and love you guys show.  For you, I thought I would give my First Little Tip----

So here Goes - - 

Fabian's Tip #1 

When Drawing out in the field (well not really a field of green grass but a coffee shop or public area) I Try and remember that I am trying to focus on clarity of shape  and a sense of simplicity. The first thing I do when I put the pencil down is think of the shape that my subject is going to take.  Oval, square, equilateral triangle.... any crazy shape is possible as long as it has a sense of direction or force applied.  Then after my shape is blocked in I try and look for subtle ways to break it and.  By Breaking it I mean adding detail to give the Eye a rest, or breaking point.  Think of it of a rest stop  Ill show you a couple examples of what I mean.   

 Below the man in the center reading the paper has a sort of asymmetrical egg shape to him.   I repeated the shape in his ear to give it a sort of  visual pattern.  The man next to him with the tie is a good example of direction.  The shape of the head is pushed by the direction of the hair, and even the directional tilt of the glasses are going the same way.  And both the glasses and ears are those breaking of shape, in these two sketches.

In this example symmetry is being slightly broken by end of the trunk.  The overall compositional shape though is a triangle.  (uh but please dont look at that hideous tangent..ahhhh)   Thats a whole other topic! ) 

Here I drew the same woman on the bus 5 different ways.  Just really quick pen drawings with not much detail.  She got off after one stop.  

I added some contrast in color in Photoshop to help notice the shapes.  I wasn't trying to keep a likeness of the woman but a similarity in the shapes.  Every face here except number 1 has a angle to it where the chin protrudes farther from the forehead. The angle is slightly different in every one and I kept the features similar...just changed the distances from one another. Lengths from one point to another point of the face can be pushed and pulled to get different cobinations of the same person.  In this case the noes and bottom protruding lip are the details that give the eye an interesting  point for it to rest.

With the same woman I drew a similar shape for both body masses just rotated 180% 
Here is a tree I drew this weekend while at Golden Gate Park.  Once I am set on a shape for my drawing I then look for places that I can break that shape ever so slightly to give it some variety and organicness (is that a word?)  What i mean is to add something that will break the shape and then bring the eye back to the shape and not away from it.  Here the leaves at the middle of the trunk serve as a good breaking point for the line and the eye to focus on.  Then as we move up the tree the breaks are in the way the "bushes" of the tree create one mass and shape that resembles a shell or slight s Curve.  So whether its leaves, glasses, ears, noses, lips  or even wrinkles in clothes try and break the shape...ever so slightly.  Thanks. 

I hope that all made sense!  Let me know what you think  ... or even offer feedback.  Fabian 


JeremySaliba said...

nice man- really cool. thanks for taking the time to post it.

Kyle Van Meurs said...

Very good post Fabian! Thanks.

californiagrown said...

Thank you guys!I hope it helped!

Dan Atherton said...

Your giving away such great advice seemed a little too generous... this wasn't court-ordered, was it?

Daisy said...

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy looking at this tree?