Figure Drawing

One of my freshman drawing teachers re-taught me how to see. I laughed then (and I laugh now) but I still quote him to this day. Paraphrased, “Don’t draw the chicken nuggets. I don’t care about their chicken nuggets. I want you to draw gravity and tension and energy.” He’s the one who taught me to see past the surface and find the balance and weight of a physical human being occupying a three dimensional space. You can feel the pull from one corner of the pelvic bone to the opposite shoulder, and from the shoulder through the elbow. And from the knee, up the thigh across the abdomen with a wrenching twist. You can feel the weight of their feet and the heaviness as they lean. Who cares about fat rolls and hair. Luis Alonso taught me to draw energy. And he taught me how to see.

The following semester I was lucky enough to have the late Al Decredico for his last ever semester. He took drawing to a whole new level for me. He was more about reason and form and deliberation than technique. In essence (also paraphrased) "Why would you draw the corner? I can see the corner. I want you to show me something new. If you put a line on the page I want you to be able to tell me why you put it there and why you drew it that way instead of another way. You could draw with fish scales for all I care but make it real." He took drawing further than observation and into the realm of emotion and passion. I'll never forget what he taught me and I still use that kind of thinking today.