Student work from our Drawing Classes with Hilmi Baskurt

Artist Hilmi Baskurt’s Drawing Courses explore the four elements of sketching – the structural sketch or basic line drawing; value sketching (light and dark); chiaroscuro (black and white) and contour sketching, or continuous line drawing. Being aware of these four elements helps students with their observational skills and will lead to a more finished drawing.

These courses attract a wide range of people – from complete beginners to artists who would like to return to the fundamentals. Because our classes are small (no more than ten students), this allows Hilmi to help everyone individually, no matter what skill level. It also allows a student some freedom in their choice of work.

The first term of classes saw some fantastic drawings being produced, especially since a number of our students had never drawn before. We love doing what we do when we see a new artist complete a drawing they never thought possible – or see an object of Still Life in a way they had never considered!

Here are some of the works produced in our recent six-week course with Hilmi:

Jamie
Jamie
Kate
Kate
Song
Song
Emily
Emily
Georgia
Georgia
Steve
Steve
Cheryl
Cheryl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also ran a Drawing Intensive Worksop over the Labour Day weekend that crammed the four elements into a boot-camp style course, as well as one day focusing on Life Drawing. These workshops are extremely popular; a lot of our students complete this workshop and then move onto our six-week drawing and Life Drawing courses. In both of these courses, students can complete folio-ready drawings, depending on their skill level.

Here are some images from our students undertook the Labour Day Workshop:

Stella
Stella
Casey
Casey
Chandrima
Chandrima
Donald
Donald
Ivana
Ivana
Jenni
Katie
Katie
Vipul
Vipul
Patrick
Patrick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come and sketch with us over the ANZAC Day weekend!

We are running a three-day drawing workshop over the ANZAC Day weekend and enrolments are currently open! You can read more and enrol in the workshop here: http://melbourneartclass.com/drawing-intensive/. If you have any questions about the course, or any classes we offer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Lauren at hub@melbourneartclass.com.

You can see all the drawing courses we offer here: http://melbourneartclass.com/drawing/

 

How to take quality photographs of your artwork

Taking quality photos of your artwork is very important. Whether you are taking for an art competition, blog or social media post, it is imperative that you achieve the closest likeness to your artwork as possible.

Subtle things such as yellow light and the angle of your camera can have a detrimental effect on the quality of your photograph. However, taking a photograph of your artwork like a professional is not that difficult to achieve!

Lighting, positioning and your camera set-up

These are the basic things you need to consider when taking a photograph of your artwork.

It goes without saying that a quality digital camera (like an SLR) with high mega pixels is going to achieve greater depth and quality in your photos, but if you follow the below tips you can create quality photos with almost any type of camera.

  • You need to choose where you will shoot your artwork – inside or outdoors. If you are taking photographs outside, be mindful of glare and position your artwork where you can get an even amount of light.
  • Set your artwork up on an easel as perpendicular as possible. Your artwork’s edges must be parallel with the view finder of the camera. If it is tilted at all, the shape or your artwork will be distorted. Try not to zoom in too much, and leave as little space around the artwork as you can (which you can edit later on the computer).
  • If you are taking photographs indoors, make sure the light is coming from one source, either natural light from a window or one fluorescent overhead. Also make sure that the fluorescent light is not green or yellow, because this can really affect the colour of your artwork. Your camera might have a “white balance” setting for florescent, halogen, lamp, candle etc. which you can experiment with.
  • You can either use the auto-focus centre on your camera, or the manual set-up if you can. For manual set-up, you will want to have the aperture lower, which will let in less light and give the image more depth. Ideally you would use a tripod, or rest the camera on a surface to keep the camera stable.
  • Try to take a lot of pictures of your artwork. It takes a bit of effort to set up the photograph, so it is better to have a lot of images to choose from when you load them onto your computer.

Once you have done this a few times you will get to know your camera and hopefully find a good location to take photographs.

In this digital age, where over 1.8 billion images are uploaded everyday on Instagram alone*, it is important to publish quality. Every image of your artwork on the internet is part of your on-line folio.

* http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/now-upload-share-1-8-billion-photos-everyday-meeker-report-224688.html

Basic proportions of the human body

At Melbourne Art Class we are offering two Life Drawing Courses in November. Tutored Life Drawing with Jesse Dayan and Painting from the Figure with Marco Corsini. We’d love to you join us in the pursuit of mastering the human figure!

It may feel like it obstructs your creativity, however learning the basic proportions of the human figure will help you produce accurate first drawings. I know I have reached a near finishing-point in a sketch only to realise that the shoulders are not wide enough, or the torso is too long. With practise, and really seeing and measuring the human form, these inaccuracies will diminish.

You can measure the below proportions of the body on yourself. Some people are surprised when they find out that the bottom of their nose lines up with their ear, or that they are eight heads tall. We’ve listed these proportions below as a basic guide to the human body (an average adult):

An adult’s head:

When you draw the oval of your head, divide it vertically and horizontally. Front on, you can fit five eyes along the horizontal line (not including the ears); draw your two eyes in the middle with one left in between.  The pupils will be on this line.

The bottom of the nose is about one and a half eye widths down from the eye line.face proportions

One eye width beneath the nose are the lips.

The ears start from the top of the eye and finish at the top of the mouth.

An adult’s body:

A “perfect” adult’s body (developed during the Renaissance) measures eight heads high. It helps if you draw the head and then number another seven heads beneath it (see diagram below).

Draw the pelvis between spaces three and four as a flattened circle. This is important because it is the body’s centre of gravity and stability. You can then draw the line of the spine from the head to the top of the pelvis.

human figureThe thighs will fill the space between four and six, and the calves between seven and eight.

The torso begins halfway between one and two and touches the pelvis.

The shoulders are three head widths on the top of the torso line.

Draw a line down from the top of the shoulders to the fourth head. These are the arms. Elbow joints sit at space number three, wrists at four and your hands take up the space to five.

Practicing life drawing

These basic proportions will aid you to see the human body in sections and will help you produce a more accurate drawing.

It is important to practice as much as you can and get exposure to different human forms if you want to master drawing the figure.

That finishing feeling

We tend to have so much happening in our lives. When we wake up we already have a list of what we need to do that day formulated in our head and on top of this, we also have constant interruptions from an electronic device in our pocket, which seem to easily distract the best of us.

Many of our students at MAC have commented on the wonderful feeling they get in our classes when they take time out of their busy lives to concentrate on sketching or painting, and then finish a piece.

Carla Murray, oil on canvas
Carla Murray, oil on canvas

 

Are you ever able to concentrating on one thing – that you enjoy – until completion?

Because of these to-do lists we create in our lives, this state of being a constant “work in progress” doesn’t often allow us to stop, take our time, complete something, then reflect and admire. Daily “stuff” inhibits the pursuit of activities that bring us joy – especially those that allow us to be creative.

Another reason why we may not finish what we start is because we get a feeling of satisfaction when we tell other people our intentions. Over a long period of time, there have been a number of studies undertaken that have shown that people are less likely to pursue their goals after they have told people about them*. This is because once we let someone know about our new idea that requires our action, we get a feeling that satisfies our self-identity, which unfortunately renders us less motivated to complete what we set out to do.

Why it feels good to finish artwork

When was the last time you admired some flowers in your garden and actually sat down to sketch them? Or walked down to the river to photograph the ripples on the water? Finishing something generally makes you feel good, and finishing a piece of art definitely has something special about it.

When we start something new we receive a dopamine rush, hence why we like to tell people about our goals. This rush is not unlike the same feel-good sensation we get from doing anything we find pleasurable. This positive sensation is linked to the increased activity of dopamine in the brain. We also receive a dopamine rush when we complete something.

Creating art is significant because it is something created and finished by the individual for the purpose (mostly) of the individual. However, it is not like writing a novel, or learning a language; these end-points seem almost unreachable. We can control the time it takes to complete a piece of art, and the completion is made all the more satisfying because we have brought an image to life from a white, flat surface which we can admire.

Although there is a sense of completion when we finish reading a novel, or watching a movie, it is different because we may feel like we have lost something; the story is over and the characters lives’ are frozen in time on the final page. Though when we see a piece of art we have completed, we may feel a sense of pride and achievement that lives on as long as the work does. Even finishing the tiniest sketch of a leaf – and being happy with it – can bring about this feeling. It is so simple, yet so special.

At MAC, we aim to inspire people who take the time out of their routine to be creative with us. Some simply pick up a piece of charcoal and make marks on paper, while others spend weeks and months touching up an oil painting they are deeply involved with, and proud of. No matter what your medium, we hope that you too feel that wonderful sensation of completion, whilst enjoying the journey of creating art. Now go and pick up that pencil!

*Peter Gollwitser, Symbolic Self-Completion

 

Six ways that Life Drawing improves you

1. Life drawing helps improve your fundamental drawing skills

Drawing the figure demands a lot of an artist as the anatomical and structural complexity of the figure is difficult to master. Many artists use drawing from a model to see and describe subtle nuances of proportion, tone, texture, space and gesture.

Student Life Drawing
Student Life Drawing

2. Drawing from a model increases the fluency and economy of your drawing.

With the inevitable time limitations of a Life Drawing session and the range of expression available from a Life Model, an artist can constantly find new and more economical ways to describe the figure. The possibilities for expression available to an artist are virtually unlimited.3.

3. Drawing the body tunes you to the visual proportions, rhythms and harmonies of the body

As with drawing from nature in general, working from the body’s complex proportions, rhythms and harmonies can tune an artist in to many rich visual possibilities. This could prove useful in in other fields such as architecture, design, various forms of composition and engineering. It could even help art practice!

Student Life Drawing
Student Life Drawing

4. Drawing as a form of meditation

Drawing from a Life Model encourages you to focus your mind upon and respond to the human body and to a human being. Not only is this a great way of clearing your mind but it can invite a reality check by reminding us of our common humanity.

5. Drawing from life is better than drawing from photographs

An authentic experience in our digital era is becoming more of a rarity. Life Drawing allows you to see and capture the human body with a sensitivity and understanding that you simply cannot achieve through copying a photograph.

6. Drawing within a group encourages learning

Life Drawing classes not only bring like-minded people together, they also help artists explore a variety of ways to approach a single subject.

We do not often have the privilege of viewing individual artists’ processes, and Life Drawing classes encourage sharing and critiquing of work in a relaxed and non-judgemental environment. You will always find artists of varying skills in a Life Drawing class.

MAC’s next tutored Life Drawing Short Course with Jesse Dayan begins on October 30. Find out more information here.