|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!
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
especially since you haven't got to the section on
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
margins. The angling (perspective) of the cuticle and
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
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.
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