March 16, 2008

Drawing Fabric - Part 2

The recent homework assignment was to drape cloth over some object and draw the tableau with charcoal and chalk on brown paper, with an eye to making the object within understandable - the assignment yielded some wonderful results (we'll try to post some soon). I tried my hand at it myself, wrapping a plastic cast of a skull in a dishtowel (I sort of threw the game by poking in the indentation of the eye socket).

It is a fascinating activity - I kept reflecting on how in drawing a face and head of a fellow human we're drawing the thin membrane of skin that covers the skull, and in recording the topography of the face we're also aware of the mass of the skull underneath. And in more mature years, people's faces become less taut, and the skin will pucker and wrinkle in ways that suggest loose fabric. I've drawn my plastic skull many many times, but drawing these studies I had an eerie feeling of evoking the actual person who in time past spoke and ate and listened to music and saw the sun shine, before dying and yielding their skull to be cast and molded plastic.

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