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Member Drawing from
Steve R. Blomfield
of England


Hi Everyone, I encourage all of you to send me one of your assignment drawings (taken from any of the 15 lessons sections) . Steve Blomfield sent me pure and modified pure contour drawings of his hand from Lesson 4 .

I'd love to fill the whole e-Sourcebook up with your masterpieces - and these will be distributed in the permanent collection - so you're helping me and you're helping everyone benefit from your creations. Steve I'm truly thank full for your courage and willingness - plus you'll be famous!
- Jeff

Preface: Steve, a real renaissance man, asked me to give him an honest look-see and evaluation of his pure contour drawings - three of his hand. As I point out right away, the Pure Contour assignments (Lesson 4), are the best way to to get deep into r-mode - probably the best way there is. I point out to him that the more detail you observe and record, the deeper you get. I find it a truly fascinating process and a bona fide form of meditation.

Accuracy of the overall picture in pure contour is unimportant. It's observation we're after.In the modified contour, the drawings do get a good more accurate - since you can now look back and forth between your drawing and the your hand. As you can see, Steve's got his foot well into the door. Here's parts of our email conversation:

 

Jeffrey O. Kasbohm wrote:

J: Hi Steve. Broke away a little time here!

S: Betty Edwards' book is fab. These R mode exercises relate to any artistic medium where one is creating.

J: Yes they are.

S: As an actor I have to defeat those preconceptions and get into the R mode and then you feel yourself taking off moment after moment - not worrying about the lines or whether you're going to cock up (which are all L mode related) and simply find the fun - electric feeling believe you me - then anything is possible in the course of an evening at the theatre.

J: You're very very right.

S: I look forward to your comments on these. I tell you I found the fun good and proper with the top one I just took off - and this is with a Gary Oldman film going on in the background ( diamond geezer!). Also attached is the pure contour drawing without looking at the paper.

J: And... to your drawings:


For Steve's Pure contour drawing of the entire hand (45 kb) : click here.


The hand pure contour: very fresh, very unplanned. Spontaneous feel. The lines are loose, (a very positive thing). Close to a gesture drawing. I
like it. You're touching on the edge of "deep" r-mode. (I'll get to drawing 2 in a second)

Taking pure contour drawing to a deeper level
And here's the further challenge: I want you to redo the hand. Can you carve out 45 - 60 minutes? If not, put aside as much time as you can, get a good sized sheet of drawing paper.

Redraw your hand - this time take all the small excursions into the skin folds like the little wrinkles you see on the palm side of your fingers - the little step-ladder creases on the opposite side of the fingers from the knuckles.

As you telescope in, you'll be surveying smaller and smaller areas. Don't think about the scale your drawing hand is drawing at - just try to match every tiny movement your eye makes across the topography of the hand you're viewing with your drawing hand on the drawing paper.

There's a whole new level of detail
Now that you're comfortable at this level of detail, start looking deeper. Look at the finger prints and the tiny repetitive contours on the surface of the skin; if you look long enough you may even start seeing tiny tiny beads of sweat (!). Record all of it. Everything you see.

If this seems like a ridiculous amount of detail, it is! But the point is this: that you're seeing it, that you're perceiving it. You're not to worry for a second what this looks like as your drawing hand marches out a written record. Keep your eyes on your hand.

Slowing Down
Part of the difficulty with this is slowing down. (I think I said something like this in the last email - sorry if I'm a broken record - it's just that you're closing in on THE major key of all drawing Steve :-) And what's that? This: unrushed, almost leisurely, laser-sharp observation - free of thinking, language or conscious referencing, outside of time, in-the-moment. (I know, sounds like some sort of Zen thing.)

Don't' worry if all you draw in the time you've given yourself is the thumb and all it's nooks and crannies and contours and edges. What I
want you to get is this: after times up, you ought to have this
feeling of having been "elsewhere", a mini-trip. It's in retrospect
that you know you've "been there". Like the way you mention you feel
after you've been deep into an acting exercise.

(And you've been there, that's obvious in all your drawings. This is
just to keep carving deeper and deeper into it.)


Drawing number 2: (this is referring to both of the following hand pictures) That's just excellent! Modified pure contour. (Where you get to measure and compare and proportion the parts.)



Steve's Modified Pure Contour # 1

 


Steve's Modified Pure Contour # 2


The 15 minute drawing (the lower one - number 2): my eye gets pulled immediately to the thumb. The foreshortening is absolutely accurate. With just a bare minimum of line you've captured depth and perspective: the index finger overlays the thumb just a tad, the line is deeper and darker in the creases of the index finger folds - gives a shadow affect, and 3-d feel. Small shadow / contour under the tip of the index finger - very observant! (Excellent details Steve). The middle finger, first knuckle, is tucked-in right behind the index finger and the side of the thumb.


Very Accurate Foreshortening

In drawings of somebody referencing memory (i.e. drawing the brains'
stored pictures and not the object in front of them), you see all sorts
of mistakes and inaccuracies: fingers that turn into "carrots" or sticks
- just "place holders" for the difficult territory that's really there.

You do NONE of this Steve. You're well into "the room".

In the 45 minute picture I see you've tackled a more complicated view of the hand. (Don't' all those folds and wrinkles get confusing!? :-) And you're diving into the thick of it! (That's great.)

The ring and little finger, the way they jut out from behind the thumb
is very, very accurate, have depth, even have a vanishing point (off to
the upper right rear - horizon line is mid palm I think). And there's a
level of detail here that leads me to suspect you bite your nails? Is
this true? Be honest! (Sometimes you have to give away a little of
yourself when you're doing honest art - and that's the highest kind of
art in my opinion. If I'm way off, just ignore me there :-) Wait! It
just came to me - if you don't nibble on your nails, I'm seeing your
guitar-playing calluses....


Great detail!


Jeff gets overly critical :-)
The nail on the thumb is masterful - even if the thumb appears a little
on the small side as a whole. (That's really nit-picky on my part
especially since you haven't got to the section on proportion and
perspective yet Steve.)

1) The nail and the skin fold around it is extremely accurate and
well-honed. Right down to the tip-of-the-nail's lightened two-tone
margins. The angling (perspective) of the cuticle and that little
sun-rise looking whitened part at the base of the nail are just about
perfect! (I'm very, very impressed!! - and I'm enjoying working my way around your pictures.)

2) The part of the thumb between the last knuckle and the base of the thumb - the long fairly straight line on the side facing the palm, right where the index finger tucks in behind the thumb, looks a little rushed - my guess is you drew it fairly rapidly. Maybe getting a little impatient?


See the numbers for further comments - great work Steve!

3) Small areas where the 3-d effect fades: the last curve at the end of the
tube formed by your palm and thumb and the tip of the index finger. Both again suggest a little impatience - not lack of ability. (I know I get
impatient!! - and I can always go back and look at my picture and say
"yep, I just wanted to get the heck off my behind and get away from this
drawing right there".) Minor details.

I have no fears though Steve - you prove it time and time again all over
these drawings you've got the skills and the talent!!

Excellent, excellent work! Keep it up mate :-)

Now I have a quick request: it would honor me if would you allow me to
post your drawings and our email discussions (edited apropos to the
drawings) on-line as part of the permanent collection. Would you mind giving me your permission? I think everybody will benefit, and I can't
always take the time to do detailed evaluations so I really benefit too
by getting "double duty" out of these efforts.

Let me know.


Talk to you soon ,

Keep up the great work. You're progressing beautifully.

Warmly,

Jeff


Kasbohm & Company's

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