The focus of this class is on the structural, anatomical and expressive elements of the figure. The class will squeeze in as much information, as much analysis of these elements as possible in a five-day workshop. The forms of the figure are universal, from person to person and race to race. The uniqueness comes in the particular proportions of one ethnicity to another or within individuals.
The universal planes, volumes and patterns will be the first topic. This understanding of the forms gives the artist a manner in which to break down the head in a systematic, step by step, large to small manner. Down to the smallest forms, the human body follows a pattern. We will examine this pattern of forms in the arms, legs, torso and head. The examination is a good part of the class as it gives each artist a kind of visual map of the forms and an understanding of the essence of each form.
The underlying anatomy of the figure is what creates the volumes, forms and patterns. An in depth analysis demands an understanding of the bone structure first as everything is dependent on that. The muscular forms are applied to that and not only help to create the forms but also lay the basis for mood and action. Then there is the morphology or surface form.
It is important for artists to understand the connection of anatomy to the surface. With all of this, we will be doing charcoal drawings, building up what is known as an ecorche but in charcoal rather than clay. One layer builds on the previous one as we work toward the surface. In this part of the class, we essentially create a figure from the inside out.
Much of the class is analytical, gathering information to utilize. We will however put this into practice in drawing the figure as well. The whole purpose is to expand our abilities in this art form. We will work in charcoal on paper.
Demonstrations and critiques will be the method of instruction.