Monday, February 28, 2011

indignities fit for an undergrad

Hey Team,
As you may know, this semester I am in a professional practices course where each week the gang is given a presentation from a successful professional. We have already been lectured by Yuko and the legendary Milton Glaser. We also hear from creative directors and get our portfolios reviewed. Before any of that could happen, our professor, the great and wondrous Mirko Ilic reviewed our portfolios to offer direction on what we should show to the bigwigs.
He announced in front of everyone that I need to learn to paint hands.
I could have died of shame.
He told me the hands were bad in this piece and this piece and this piece and that he sensed I was deliberately avoiding painting sets of hands in this piece and this piece (if that's true I swear to you that it was subconscious).
Now to complete my humiliation and to avoid such future chastisement I have been doing a page a day out of Hogarth's Drawing Dynamic Hands, which is an activity appropriate only for a college sophomore. THE INDIGNITY OF IT ALL!
Hopefully it will cure me of this affliction, even if Hogarth's hands are strangely stylized. He simplifies knuckes into little upside-down hearts/buttcracks, and I don't know anyone who's finger tips are shaped like long skinny shovels . . .

I hope you appreciate the vulnerability I am sharing with you here, team


Vincent said...

My heart goes out to you, Tony. I *thought* those blue fingers looked familiar... As long as you keep the superhero-y exaggerations down, I think the exercises might help. I don't know that your hands ever caught my eye as something that needed work, but in reviewing those pieces extremely critically, there's a softness to them that you could easily punch up with a few more sharp angles. and double-check the direction of the fingers against the direction of the knuckles. It's so subtle that I don't even know if this might've been drawing his criticism, but it seems like the angles of the fingers are softly twisting out of alignment in some places (like the teacup and in the paper crane guy's right hand (our left as audience)).

So, yeah, that's a hard thing to hear and your hands weren't terrible, but think of it this way: you're paying these guys a LOT of money to break you apart and make you excellent. This is just one of those tiny smash-y moments.

A.E. Kieren said...

so very true, Vince. So very true.

Once in senior year at undergrad a professor told me that I painted fingers in a "sausage-like" way, but he did so politely where no one else could hear it, and as a result, I took no course of action to correct it. Since Mirko made a fool of me, I intend to FIX THIS

Vincent said...

don't spend too much time with the angles though or you'll end up with MY problem: regardless of whether I'm drawing skinny, medium, or fat people, I tend toward hands and fingers pointy sharp enough that most food preparation duties wouldn't even require extra chopping utensils.

Aaron Rossell Illustration said...

I recently devoted a couple of pages to tiny drawings of hands. Although nobody pointed it out, I realized I SUCK at drawing or modeling hands. My method involved copying the hands drawn by __ from Blacksad, and trying to redraw them from memory, a trick I learned from Sterling Hundley.
I spent a couple hours each day for 2 days doing nothing but hands from Blacksad and I can tell I improved drastically.
I hope you realize it's a huge privilege having someone who knows what they're talking about be boldly honest with your work. It's a difficult position to put yourself in, but a necessary one!

A.E. Kieren said...

so wise and so true