Thursday, May 26, 2005

Foreshortening and Golden Retrievers


Click to enlarge
What could this be about you ask? Well in the past two days the two subjects have come up separately on Laura's blog. So I thought I would combine the two and do a sketch of my dog Dusty using foreshortening as a main ingredient. As you can see from the humongous nose, I was right in his face. His nose just a few inches away from me. This is a common pose for us when I have a treat and he's patiently waiting for it.

Here is my thought on foreshortening: There is no such thing.

OK, let me explain. When I am drawing or painting something in a representational way (non-abstract) I try to completely focus on the shapes of color and value in front me, and how they all relate to each other. All of this is in an effort to disassociate any "labels" in my mind from my subject. Such as this is the eye, this is the ear, and so on. It's called "Right Brain" thinking. For more on the subject read "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards. (and no, I'm not her agent)

Using a term like "foreshortening" in your mind while you are drawing is just another hook into the left-brained world of labels and symbols for things. In the end, my drawing has the same effect, I just didn't think of it as foreshortening while I was doing it. I just compared distances between shapes I see in the drawing of Dusty's face to his actual face while I'm drawing it.

Now if you will excuse me, I'll try not to trip on the way down from my soap box. :o)

24 comments:

Laura said...

WHOA!!!!!Chuck! This is one amazing drawing! Now I have to go back and see what you said on your soap box---first I had to register my intense delight with this great take on your dog's face! Fabuloso--but I guess I'm repeating myself.

Chuck Rose said...

Hey thanks. It's easy to draw such a sweet ol'face. I just love his floppy ol' jowls.

Courtney said...

It's been a long time since I picked up a pencil (or pen, or paint, etc.), but you kind of inspire me to try my hand, again, after all these years. I'm only afraid at how rusty I must be!

Chuck Rose said...

Hey, I know exactly how you feel. I feel that way every time I start a drawing or a pinting. I felt that way when I started this sketch today. The hardest part of painting is starting. But once you start, the fun begins. I have found that it helps me to say to myself that what I am working on is not precious. If I screw it up, so what. It's not like it's going into a museum, you know? It takes the pressure off. So as they say at Nike, Just Do It!

Linda said...

That's one sweet dog! I'll agree with you about the foreshortening when drawing from life; the problem comes when you draw from a photograph taken with a lens that views objects differently than does the human eye. A well known art magazine ran an article on a wonderful portrait artist recently -- he was technically GREAT, but a few of the pieces were obviously done from photographs and had problems with, well, foreshortening. Dusty, however, has no such flaws and is just perfect! :-) (now I'll get off my soapbox, too...)

Chuck Rose said...

Hmmm... could that be the recent article in The Artist's Magazine - The Portait Edition?

Jim said...

Wow! Wonderful art work, and I love that dog sketch. The very first thing I thought when I saw it was, "foreshortening," then I saw the title. Someone, somewhere, in a class I think, once said that true foreshortening presents just a touch of exageration of the feature. From what you've written, I think you would disagree. And I think I would agree with you, that nose makes me want to move back just bit so I don't get dog slobber on my cheeks.

Chuck Rose said...

Oh man, you must know my dog. Just when you think you're safe, he'll sneeze on you. As for the exageration, I would disagree that we do it on purpose, but that maybe it is a natural outcome of what we see.

Chuck Rose said...

Oooou, that sounded so Zen-like. I need a cup of coffee.....

Kathleen Marie said...

Chuck, Dusty is adorable. Then again, I'm partial to big, hairy, needy Golden Retrievers! We have a three year old Golden named Bentley who will never grow up. This is a great inspired-filled drawing, and a view that I'm quite familiar with... I mean, can a Golden get too close? Nah!

Courtney said...

It's really cool that there are blogs like yours where you discuss what you're working on. It's helpful to get a play-by-play, if you will.

Chuck Rose said...

Welcome Kathleen Marie,
Aren't Golden's the best?! I love having a 90 pound lap dog.

And welcome back Courtney,
You know, I didn't start this blog with a step-by-step thing in mind, but I kind of like the way it's going. I think I am learning from it too.
I hope to finish the captain portrait over the weekend. But I will photograph the stages as I go for the play-by-play.

Shelly McC said...

Wow, He is gorgeous. What a wonderful drawing. I have been wanting to read that book for ages, now I am convinced I have to read it. Or perhaps I can just take on board what you have written! Great blog. Thanks.

Chuck Rose said...

Don't just read the book. Do the exercises. It will change the way you see things.

Jim said...
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Jim said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jim said...

Hi Chuck, Those deletions are mine, I was trying to post a link and it didn't work.

I discovered something you and Leonardo have in common. Find it at this link:

Leonardo

Do you know what it is?

Chuck Rose said...

The bags under my eyes? :o)

I don't know. I give up. Do tell!

Jim said...

Look at the cross hatching. You're both left-handed. Right handed cross hatching goes from the southwest to the northeast; left handed from the northwest to the southeast. Check your dog picture with the link to Leo D DaVinci a couple posts up.

Chuck Rose said...

OK Sherlock Holmes. That was very estute and very cool. Made me smile. Thanks

Lori Li said...

Well, Goldens are known for being excellent obedience dogs-- my dog's half Border Collie, and she'd never hold still long enough for me to do a portrait of this calibre, EVER. I'm a dog nut, and you caught the character perfectly. I half expect to get licked!

u l a n said...

what a sweet puppydog!!! welcome to the everydaymatters egroup =)

ian [philippines]
http://ulan25.so-phobic.com/paperjournal

Chuck Rose said...

Thanks Ulan. I saw the sketch you did of your editing station for the "Tools" entry last week. It made me think because I was assuming power tools and things like that. But you made me realize we have lots of different tools in our daily lives.

Claudia said...

Love this! At the risk of sounding terribly ignorant, what media did you use for this?