Friday, December 6, 2013

Top Lit

Yesterday, I finished my final for Figure Drawing Intensive with Dan Thompson, here at the New York Academy of Art. The assignment was to choose one of the techniques that we used during the semester and make our final with that, the theme was completely our choice.
So, since I'd never done any of the techniques that we used before (I'd kind of done gesture drawing before, but never the way I did at Dan's class), I had a lot to choose from. Because I'm a big fan of overhead lighting and just really heavy lighting and heavy shadows, I chose the wipeout technique. For this technique, Dan instructed us to buy Canson's Mis Teintes paper and to tone it with charcoal, so this is what I chose.
I chose an orange and a grey colored paper, it's kind of what I saw in my mind's eye, I saw the same image on both papers, both off center, top lit. Self-portraits with my beanie. I've been drawing self portraits on the train, I've done several already, where I'm sitting on the train and I see my reflection on the glass across from me and it's top lit and I just love what I see.
Here is an example:

So for Dan's final, I kind of wanted the self-portraits to make it out of the art journal and become a kind of more finished and polished piece. When I was talking to Dan about it, he told me that I could play with how much of the eyes I wanted to reveal and he also suggested me not to use white for the highlights and lightest lights, he suggested to use something within the color range of the paper. So for the orange one, the lightest color is yellow and ochre and for the grey one, there's just different tones of grey, some blue and a teeny tiny bit of purple.
After a while, I decided (with the constructive criticism of a couple of colleagues and classmates) to treat both of them just slightly different; and so, with the orange one, I decided to go with the whole thing of revealing only part of the eyes and revealed part of the eyelids and with the grey one I played a bit more fantastically with it and drew in a bit of the irises and the pupil. The orange one feels super colorful, the background and the face, I used oranges, yellows and browns. The grey one, I think actually has more color, but doesn't feel colorful at all.
Both of them, I think are cool in the sense that there is that capacity of discovering those details of the eyelids and irises if you look long enough.
Since I've been here in New York, there has been a surprising influx of self-portraits. I generally don't think or care enough to dig deep into why I do certain things, sometimes a "meaning" just happens to come along whilst I'm making the piece and if it does, that's cool, I go with it.
I definitely have found it interesting how I'm suddenly making and wanting to make a bunch of self portraits, although that's definitely not all I'm doing. I haven't read much into the psychology of the self-portrait, maybe I will at some point, but I think that maybe (specifically with the ones in the subway), I'm kind of trying to SEE myself HERE in New York and in this school, just because it doesn't feel real. It feels like a dream or a twilight zone or a parallel dimension. I KNOW that I'm here, I just can't seem to believe it, so the self-portraits in the subway, I think are kind of a way of making myself believe that I am here in this completely foreign and new environment, that I really am living in New York, that I really did move to New York, that I really am studying at the New York Academy of Art.

So here are the drawings:

In other news, I have obtained a domain and I'm working on the website itself, I'm just gonna go with linking it to tumblr. The website address is just going to be, 'cuz I have a lot of imagination.
Either way, don't forget about my Facebook page, which by the way, I got a regular handle for:, easier to share!
Thank you for reading!

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