Thursday, August 27, 2009

Analyzing Contrasts-Pushing The Exaggeration

TJ is a very talented student and he has asked me to critique some of his studies.Here's one that perfectly illustrates a point I was making the other day.

This copy is well done, and I only have one critique:

It has been toned down. The original is more exaggerated. Where?

Especially in the eyes:
Let's analyze the expression in the original.


The open eye is wide open and big or tall -taller even, than the left eyebrow. The closed eye is small and the eyebrow that goes with it is also small.

If you wanted to caricature this, then you would take the descriptive adjectives and add "er"

I would make the open eye TALLER. The closed eye SMALLER. MORE white space than pupil.

I haven't yet asked anyone to take a drawing and caricature it, but that's coming.

But I have cautioned about toning down drawings - or "maintaining the guts" when copying. When you draw a pose or expression less specific or exaggerated than the original, you are underturing.

This is something that seems to happen with a lot of us naturally and something we should resist. Analyzing the contrasts (in words) in a drawing helps you avoid underturing them.

Thanks TJ for the example and I will critique more of your drawings in the next week if you like. This particular one just happened to illustrate this: