Posted on Leave a comment

Figure Drawing: The Illusion of Depth, continued

We continued to work with creating the illusion of depth in our figure drawing session at Studio b. again this week.  Instructor Heather Clements reviewed the 4 ways we had been practicing:   size and perspective or foreshortening, degree of development, Mach bands, and value or color contrast.  Our model held a long pose at the end of the session, and I focused on her face in my final drawing.

I love when a face shows elements of one’s life, giving a glimpse of the joys and laughter over the years, and sometimes the pain and fatigue.  This model has a novel in her face.  I wish I had the skill to do it justice.

I drew slowly on this night.  From the beginning of the session to the end I was frustrated with how quickly the poses were over.  I had difficulty clearing my head.  This week marks  the beginning of tourist season here in sunny Northwest  Florida, when my pool service business, my day job, starts occupying my mind 24/7.

Posted on Leave a comment

The Illusion of Depth

This week Studio b. instructor Heather Clements gave us the exercise of creating illusion of depth.  She asked us to exaggerate it,  to make the foreground appear much closer than the parts of the model that were further away.  Perspective of course is the most obvious method of creating the illusion of depth on a two-dimensional plane.  The parts of the subject that are closer are much larger in proportion to the parts that are farther away.  In figure drawing, perspective already is exaggerated, because the model is in close proximity to the artist.
The highest contrast of values, and if working in color, the brightest colors, also tend to advance toward the viewer, while midtones and duller colors tend to recede.  Purposefully muting the lights and darks will cause that part of the subject to appear farther away, and purposefully heightening the black-white value contrast and brightening the colors of the near portions will advance the closer part of the subject.
The degree of development also creates the illusion of depth.  Highly developed areas advance, whereas silhouetted shapes with perhaps hazy edges, recede.

This is the second week Heather mentioned Mach bands, an optical illusion causing forward edges to appear lighter against darker values behind.  This optical illusion occurs even though the local value does not change — our eyes do it for us.  If the artist will exaggerate Mach bands, that too will help give the illusion of depth.

The examples in this post exaggerate depth.