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pontes 06-02-2005 08:09 AM

How important is drawing for sculptors?
 
Anyone here other than me think that drawing is by far more important than actually doing the sculpture?

I think that drawing is much more important to a sculptor than it is to a painter. But that is just moi. :D

iron ant 06-02-2005 10:51 AM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors?
 
3 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by pontes
Anyone here other than me think that drawing is by far more important than actually doing the sculpture?

I think that drawing is much more important to a sculptor than it is to a painter. But that is just moi. :D


Dude are you Tripping.I never had drawings for fifteen years ,and I metal sculpted full time.I enjoy the freedom of sculpting from my head with the materials at hand.Sure I would sometimes do thumbnails during the fabrication,but I work 3-d not 2-d.Now in the last five years I have had to have drawings because I do mostly commission work,but they are for the client more than me.I will also be a man and emmit that not drawing that swell has made commission work more difficult.I am in the process of designing a sculpture for the University I attend,and it has to be on paper to get the contracts ect,but seeing it in my head and drawing it 3-d are two different things.I imagine are high tech sculptors today have computer generated 3-d drawings,with cd to send to fab shop to pre cut their parts.I will post one of my early sculptures that was not drawn ,and actually started out as something else until I turned it upsidedown to weld.good thread to get the blood boiling in the morning.........m3 :eek:

oddist 06-02-2005 11:28 AM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors?
 
1 Attachment(s)
I'd love to be able to draw well. When I cant sculpt, I sketch--like in the middle of the night or when time allows at work. (It can be a real trip to look at my notes from a meeting)

For sculpture though, it serves me to toy with ideas, play with possible alternative views, and record construction solutions.

But, as the Ant says, "I enjoy the freedom of sculpting from my head with the materials at hand."

iron ant 06-02-2005 04:16 PM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors?
 
Oddist,You would probally laugh at my drawings,more like a cartoon.When I get my camera fixed I will post a picture of the wall sculpture I am building out of stainless for a developer in LA.I had to rough draw it to scale so they could hang it on the wall of there Balboa Beach house.If he had not seen my extensive book,my sculpture in person while he was in Atlanta,I probally would not have gotten the commission.I really hate drawing things out,I enjoy "winging"it as I go.Full moons are the best time......

warren01 06-03-2005 10:05 AM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors?
 
I do not draw most of my work. Just let the metal go and try to shape it the way I want. But as iron ant said because of commissions I have to present a drawing. Usually pretty crude and just enough to put on dimensions so the customer knows the size..
When I do sketch it is on bar napkins. Hard to figure out the next morning what some of them are suppose to be. :rolleyes:

warren

oddist 06-03-2005 04:45 PM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors?
 
Here's something of interest...Instead of sculpture drawing -- drawing sculpture

sculptor 06-03-2005 06:32 PM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors?
 
freestanding figurative sculpture has many thousands of perspectives----so we may strat off as a painter, focusing on one point of view, but then as we move around the piece, problems arise, and changing the primary view to accomodate the other perspectives becomes an ongoing compromise working together to create a unified dynamic whole which is equally comfortable from all viewpoints.

so; sketching

as a subordinate tool for refining concepts and exploring perspectives i find it as good as taking myriad pictures (which give a 2d perspective view uncontaminated by 3d visual memory from any other perspective) and staring at them out of sequence and by finding the uncomfortable and favorite views, reguide the hand to improve the work

I think, that if you think that "drawing is by far more important than actually doing the sculpture" ....maybe you should just do that for awhile

In all fairness let me point out that I may invest lots of hours sketching----especially when I am foundering for a bearing.......my mental sails flapping from an untethered boom......sketching soothes and focuses the meandering mind .... and most especially helps me to back off from working the piece while staying in the game.

eg: [IMG]mermaid sketches[/IMG]



JasonGillespie 06-04-2005 12:50 AM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors?
 
The author of Modelling and Sculpting the Human Figure, Edouard Lanteri, said that in his opinion drawing was more important for the sculptor than the painter. He was primarily a traditional/academic sculptor from the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. This would make his statement seem dated, but his assertion is based on the idea that an artist that is dealing with form rather than shape alone must have a better working knowledge of the way objects are contructed. That dynamic hasn't changed and I would say that atleast in the figurative side of sculpting it is extremely important. One can look at the work of Michelangelo and see the benefits his mastery of drawing had for his sculptural efforts.

Perhaps the sculptor who works in forms that are more design oriented and less dependent upon realistic portrayals of nature could be excused from this exercise.

My own experience makes drawing indispensible for composition as well as sharpening rendering skills.

mtd 06-04-2005 01:19 AM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors?
 
I'd have to agree with Jason on this, Even if you don't buy that it's more important for a sculptor to draw, you have to admit that other disiplines sharpen or at least contribute to your main work.
just my $.02






The author of Modelling and Sculpting the Human Figure, Edouard Lanteri, said that in his opinion drawing was more important for the sculptor than the painter.

Blake 06-04-2005 07:42 AM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors?
 
The importance of drawing, I believe, is to communicate the idea in order to win the commission, otherwise I don't go near the idea with a pencil. I draw the idea in 3-d by producing a sketch in clay. I may keep the sketch for awhile and then destroy it when I make another variation of the pose. In the end I always destroy the sketch as I view it as a tool and not as art. I like to continue to imagine the composition in my head until I can put the actual figures together, although the figures will be roughly worked, as I tend to damage them when I place them together. Drawing, although very important for the initial idea, limits my imagination and forces a predetermined composition on the work.
Blake

fritchie 06-04-2005 11:22 PM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors? Very little.
 
The only drawings I've done in connection with sculpture were in an art-anatomy class I took near the beginning of my serious dedication to sculpture, plus quick sketches from the model while developing poses. However, my work away from the model has focused strictly on the torso, and that after I worked exclusively from the model for about a half-dozen years.

As for sketches from the model, these were very rough and quick, designed solely to remind both the model and me of several tentative poses. My method was to have the model on a stand get into several natural, comfortable poses, one by one, and then evaluate each from 360 degrees of view. I quickly sketched each pose that seemed to have promise, and then had the model repeat about three, showing her or him the sketch.

After reviewing 3 or 4 in quick succession, I would select one and confirm its suitability for long-term posing with the model. In my experience, developed from group classes and my own work, a posed work takes up to fifty or so hours, in about 30-minute sessions, so it must be reasonably comfortable for the model, and it also should look really great.

One we had confirmed the pose, the essence of the sculpture was in my head, and the model elaborated the concept with those individual features which mean so much in figurative work.

ironman 06-05-2005 09:37 AM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors? Very little.
 
Hi, I make non objective steel sculpture and I also sometimes paint but the most important thing I do, FIRST, is draw.
Learning to draw is learning to SEE. Learning to see is how you avoid making those awkward, ungainly and ugly mistakes that the untrained eye doesn't recognize and is what separates bad sculpture from good.
Life drawing is the most important discipline you can do, it keeps your eye sharp.
It's not about becoming a great draftsman, it's about learning to SEE.
It doesn't matter whether you do figurative or non objective sculpture, it doesn't matter whether you are a painter or a sculptor, drawing as a discipline to learn how to see, is the most important thing you can do.
have a nice day,
Jeff

iron ant 06-05-2005 12:25 PM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors? Very little.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ironman
Hi, I make non objective steel sculpture and I also sometimes paint but the most important thing I do, FIRST, is draw.
Learning to draw is learning to SEE. Learning to see is how you avoid making those awkward, ungainly and ugly mistakes that the untrained eye doesn't recognize and is what separates bad sculpture from good.
Life drawing is the most important discipline you can do, it keeps your eye sharp.
It's not about becoming a great draftsman, it's about learning to SEE.
It doesn't matter whether you do figurative or non objective sculpture, it doesn't matter whether you are a painter or a sculptor, drawing as a discipline to learn how to see, is the most important thing you can do.
have a nice day,
Jeff

Ironman,I also think drawing can be important,but if an artist is a metal sculptor who can draw unreal,but can not weld or finish their work as well then the drawnig meens nothing but a piece of paper with visual ideas.At a point an artist has to be "studio Wise".Books and drawings are fine tools,but hands on is the real deal.productive artist are in their studio producing,not being cool and hanging like the majority of the artist today.I am not refuering to you at all,just my opnions...............

JasonGillespie 06-05-2005 03:16 PM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors?
 
I think that ironman has touched the heart of the matter in drawing as it applies to sculpture. The ability to see, to discern between the "ungainly" and the aesthetic line/contour is paramount. It isn't about detracting from the creative process while working in the materials, it's about making that process the most perceptive one it can be.

One of my figure drawing professors once asked a student sitting near me if they could see the line he was asking them to make,(using the model visually to correct their error), and the student replied that they could not. He said, and it seemed harsh at the time, "if you can't see it. I can't help you." It is only with time and experience that his words gained greater clarity and meaning.

An artist that fails to perceive is an artist that is unable to control his work and logically unable to see it to its greatest fruition. It would be dangerous to suppose that to skip or neglect a fundamental aspect of all artistic training would not somehow adversely affect one's ability to perform at the highest level.

An excellent observation ironman.

ironman 06-05-2005 03:54 PM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors?
 
Hi, Thanks Jason, for your comment on my post. To Ironant, I'd just like to say that all the welding and finishing skills that you talk about, while certainly important, don't make you an ARTIST, being able to see, DOES, and that skill is learned by drawing. Without being able to see as a trained artist, you (not personally) are just a welder, NOT an artist.
Unfortunately, there are many people that think non objective art is easy and anyone can do it. They think that artistic training, developing an EYE, creativity, intelligence and a feel for three dimensional form aren't needed. They have no idea what they're looking at and think they can just weld some scrap steel together and they're an artist.
As Clement Greenburg said, "Taste is the product of the education of esthetic response!" That means learning HOW TO SEE which can only be achieved by learning how to draw.
You seem to be implying that drawing from the model is "hanging out and being cool". I think you'd better take some drawing classes and find out how much HARD WORK life drawing really is. ALL of the serious artists that I know put in a long hard work day in their studios, it's only the wannabe's that hang out.
Have a great day,
Jeff

ExNihiloStudio 06-05-2005 06:25 PM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors?
 
I think there are different kinds of drawings made for different reasons, and several have been mentioned already. There's the presentation drawing, the image you make to show patrons to win a commission. You could make these mechanically, with computers or whatever and there would be no problem. Then there's a whole other class of drawing that is done to hone one's craft. Learning how to see, as Jeff aptly put it. When I'm drawing from life I think of it as a way to understand what I'm looking at, and I have discovered time and again that drawing something is the best way to learn about it, and later on to remember it, which may be just as important. Perhaps another kind of drawing is something to do to work problems out on paper. Also, how about the sculpture that will never get built? When the politics of reality intrude, aren't we still free to invent and imagine on paper?

fritchie 06-05-2005 10:40 PM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors?
 
I have to reiterate the essence of my earlier post here. As I see it, the essence of a good sculpture is in the mind of the artist, and if he/she has a good basic concept, drawing is superfluous and a waste of time. (I’m not saying my work is perfect, in fact, I’ve been disappointed one way or another with most if not all pieces.)

My formal art education consisted of three summer classes, about 5 - 6 weeks each, taking the same introductory class three times because nothing else was possible; then a single, evening class in art anatomy, which was drawing-based; and finally three years, about 48 weeks a year, of modeling. No drawing at all outside of the anatomy class.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I think the term I use for seeing sculpture in one’s mind, conceptualization, has the same meaning as the art-school term “seeing”. Most of the sculptors at the art academy I attended took no drawing, I believe, and many are quite good. (Essentially all do figurative work.)

ironman 06-06-2005 09:52 AM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors?
 
Hi Fritchie, First thing, all my work is non objective so I'm wondering what I'm doing in this "figurative thread" and I'm amazed that I seem to be arguing "for" life drawing and most of you figurative sculptors are not.
You speak of "the essence of good sculpture" and "a good basic concept", things that I do not think possible without a background of life drawing or maybe it's sculptural equivalent, modeling from the figure.
I took classes where the model was positioned on a revolving stand in the middle of the room with the students positioned all around. Every so many minutes the stand would be moved and each student would get a different view. Finished work was not the aim, learning how to SEE was. It was very intense and probably developed those skills just as well as life drawing (maybe better).
Life drawing was such a basic element of my art education that I just can't conceive of ANY artist not knowing how to draw or at least learning how to SEE as an artist!
To me, drawing skills ARE AN ESSENTIAL part of an artist's education. I still, every now and then get together with other artist friends and share a model.
I was a painter first, still paint once in a while, but draw constantly. I have sketch pads all over the place and always take one with me whenever I go away on a trip.
I'm not the best draftsman in the world but I just can't imagine my life as an artist without a pencil and paper.
I work my 3D pieces FROM drawings, and although I don't slavishly adhere to the drawings, they are an essential part of bringing my work to fruition.
I want to go on, but have to go,
Have a great day and for God's sake learn to draw!
Jeff

warren01 06-06-2005 01:41 PM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors?
 
1 Attachment(s)
Jeff, you have brought up some excellent points about being able to see. Many years ago I took some drawing classes. At that time I really did not expect to get much out of them but I wanted to develop myself further. I was more of a found item type metal sculpture. But I was surprised how it made me learn more about being proportionate, depth/perception, and of course the lines.
So now when I make something these all become more natural. The lines you can vision easier and pick out which ones are necessary. Since this is the figurative forum, I do not do people, but figures of animals. Since having computer access it has changed the way I sketch or draw. Now I search the web and find different poses to composite a drawing. From those if needed I can skew it in photo software. It also enables me to get the proportions correct. One way that I do this is using a digital projector on a large piece of paper. Or what I am doing now is projecting on the blue foam used in buildings. With this I can cut out a buck and use to help get the dimensions correct and save myself extra time.
I guess the bottom line is you still draw, it might be in your mind, on paper, or using computer images. How important, I guess it matters on what you are trying to create. Now I am not a top notch sculptor, but for example this is a little horse that I did (4ft x 2ft). I never did any drawings, but I probably used 20 different images to understand the muscles and flow of the body. For me to take the time and draw out every line would have been of waste of time. It was all visual.

warren

iron ant 06-06-2005 07:52 PM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors?
 
Hey now I got you guys all worked up,ah.Look I have been drawing all my life,and I am an artist whether you think so or not.I see things in my head ,and then I work with materials at hand.Also ,I do thumbnails on the way sometimes,but what I wa ssaying was drawing is a tool thAT IS USED AS EACH ARTIST "SEES' to use it.I guess I totaly worded my point wrong about being cool,what I was trying to say studio artist producing are functional artist where many just talk about it.Whether I draw a freeking model was swell twenty years ago in art scool,but I just seem to "See" just fine.Guess what Ladies and Gentlman,I am an artist,and My spelling sucks but my portfolio and collections are doing just fine.Seeing a brighter world through the flames of metal........

fritchie 06-06-2005 09:22 PM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by warren01
Now I am not a top notch sculptor, but for example this is a little horse that I did (4ft x 2ft). I never did any drawings, but I probably used 20 different images to understand the muscles and flow of the body. For me to take the time and draw out every line would have been of waste of time. It was all visual.

warren

Warren, I think your work is fine, both your general posts and this horse. The horse is not anatomically perfect, and neither are my current torso’s done from imagination, but in the same vein, the work of Giacometti, El Greco, Picasso, and other “great” artists is not anatomically perfect either.

All these pieces are filtered through the artist’s mind and imagination. To a high degree, it is that filtering, and the final output, that produces excellent art.

ironman 06-07-2005 09:23 AM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors?
 
Hi Warren01, love your horse and I think it would look great 3-4 times that size.
Iron ant, I got a good laugh out of your post. Yeah, you're right, your spelling is awful. We (the world) are all grateful that you're a much better sculptor than speller.
Fritchie, It's the knowing how and where to filter that is an integral part of and the result of learning how to SEE.
Have a nice day,
Jeff

oddist 06-07-2005 09:56 AM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors?
 
How important is drawing for sculptors?

It teaches you to see?

ABSOLUTELY!!!!!

For figurative work, if you use photo's only to do sculpture you are not experiencing the personal visual connection with the 3-D object yourself. If you are working from the drawings of "others" you are seeing the image through someone elses eyes -- their style--their impression -- the things "they" saw as important to depict in their drawing. (wouldn't it be just wonderful to assist in a medical disection?)

If you are doing abstract work it is possible to "assemble" bits and pieces that are lying around on the floor and "create" as you go...but...when deciding where to place a piece...one is probably picturing, or should I say drawing, in ones mind the sculpture being envisioned. For example, David Smith use to lay pieces of steel on the floor -- drawing you might say -- as he developed a composition before finally welding the pieces together.

We tend, as adults --by virtue of being so-called mature-- to believe we are sometimes capable of doing much more than we are really able to do. Ego maybe? Self esteeme maybe? If something is too hard we either shrug it off as unnecessary or just give it up altogether.

Classical training for sculptors includes "life and cast drawing." There must be a reason for this. I have heard something to the effect that a good drawing or painting is "sculpted." I assume this means the illusion of three dimensional space is created for the visual appreciation of the image -- modern, planer painting excluded.

If we come late to the field of sculpture we may have lost out on much of the early training required to truely excell. Who knows for sure..The battle is one for the individual to engage in.

Here are a couple of links to what I believe to be enlightening about "the importance of drawing."

http://www.bartelart.com/orchid.html

http://www.arts.ufl.edu/art/rt_room/...symbolism.html

In the last link...don't miss the other stages linked at the bottom of the page -- "scribbling, pre-symbolism, and realism"

Just the two cents of one who is struggling...

ExNihiloStudio 06-07-2005 10:14 AM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors?
 
The only art-making approach I can think of in which drawing has no place is a theory driven, concept driven “top down” methodology that places no value on aesthetics. The found object tradition that gained steam in the 20th century and exemplified by Duchamp is what I’m thinking of. However, once you step out of this narrow confine drawing becomes more important. The moment you look at your work and ask yourself “Is this attractive?” is critical, no matter what you’re doing, because it means that you care about what it looks like, which means drawing becomes important for every reason given so far in this post. There is no contradiction for both an abstract artist concerned about pure form and a representational artist working from nature to consider drawing vital because both are interested what the art looks like.

Of course you can just manipulate materials without doing any preliminary drawings, and I personally have done lots of work the same way, but consider Richard Serra. Do you think his latest steel coils could have been done without drawing? Did he just pick up those massive steel sheets that weigh thousands of pounds and just start pounding on them until he was satisfied? How did he communicate with the tradesmen that did the fabrication? It was all kinds of drawing, of course, and it all had to come from him. So the point here is that you can regard drawing as a waste of time, but there will be a price to pay, assuming of course that you’re not working in the Duchamp tradition.

ExNihiloStudio 06-07-2005 10:33 AM

Re: How important is drawing for sculptors?
 
Another great thing about drawing is you need next to nothing to do it.
Get a #2 pencil and a sheet of typing paper and you're in business.
You don't need all the high-dollar high-overhead equipment that so many of us love to accumulate. You can easily talk yourself into believing that if you don't have an unafordable thing-a-ma-jig you can't do anything. If you can't buy it, draw it instead. You don't need approval from the board to set it up outside somewhere, you don't have to jump through hoops, you don't need a big grant. A blank sheet of paper gives you complete freedom.


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