Scale

Today we will discuss bringing objects closer to the picture plane. To do this we will look at the work of Charles White, Diego Rivera, and George B. Tooker. The goal of this lesson is to see how we might treat the figure differently by bringing it closer to the viewer. 

Charles Wilbert White, Jr. (April 2, 1918 – October 3, 1979)
Charles White Harvest Talk 1953

1) In this image we can see the figures have been cropped and the arms are exaggerated both in size and technique. 2) The muscles have been subdued but the drawing technique enhanced. 3) Both the musculature and the drawing techniques have been enhanced and match each other beautifully. 

Charles White Trenton 6 1949
Charles White Native Son 1942 ink
Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez 1886 -1957
Diego Rivera Nude with Braided Hair 1925

Here we see the that figures have been brought to the edges of the paper but pains have been taken to fit the figures on the page. Most of the focus is on the formation of the lines with some internal shading and hatching. Form, line and composition are carefully considered and shade is used to enhance. 

Diego Rivera Nude With Beads Frida Kahlo
Diego Rivera Reclining Nude with Snake
George B. Tooker - 1920 - 2011

In Tooker’s work line is a result of edges meeting but otherwise is almost non existent. 1) Lighting is paramount and crowding the picture plane to the point of breathing the fourth wall (to borrow a theater phrase) is acceptable. 2) Images break the the borders and recede in space. We can focus on depth, negative space and drawing technique. 3) Composition and shade movement are paramount. 

George Tooker, Night 1998
Study for "Sleepers IV", 1978

For our work tonight, let’s decide;

  1. how much we want to crowd the picture plane
  2. if we are going to allow for crops or keep the whole figure 
  3. if drawing technique is going to be paramount 
  4. the balance of line, composition, lighting and depth

As always I am here to work with you on your drawings and discuss anatomy and the figure itself. 

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