I could largely divide my approach to drawing into 3 main stages: The pre-Atelier, Atelier, Glenn Vilppu stage, and lastly the (omg I can’t believe I’m saying this) Russian Academy stage.
This might be a technical article for most people who might read this, but very interesting for me. If you are not an artist, you might still find it interesting because I will go through different approaches to drawing and try to explain them in simple, non-technical language. If you ARE an artist, you might still find it uninteresting because you have your own approach and who cares about the rest? So We’ve established that everyone will find this boring except for me, and now I’m ready to proceed writing it.
Most interesting to note is that, throughout my life, my motivation as an artist has hardly changed. The things I want to express are mostly the same, even though the way I express them is different. The method hasn’t affected the content very much, but rather gave me different tools to express it.
My pre-Atelier stage, or the childhood stage, is, I think pretty common. I drew the appearance of shapes and outlines, the way most people who haven’t learned drawing do. It had very little sense of 3D and the idea of shading or rendering was foreign to me. I drew in order to tell a story and shapes were more or less enough for that.
The stage before the atelier was a couple of years when I attempted to teach myself observational drawing by copying photos. I thought I was awesome because I could copy well. Tooks a few years to remove this false pride off of myself and realize how foolish it is. But yes, I did the photo-copy thing for a while, until I realize I was somehow stuck. Not knowing why or how but just having it as a feeling.
The next stage is the Atelier stage. I spent 3 years studying in the full time program at Georgetown Atelier in Seattle. It was rigorous and meticulous training that taught me a few key ideas.
For one, it was the first time I spent a lot of time drawing from observation and gained tools to learn to observe. It’s a funny thing, that observing is something that has to be learned. But you literally, cannot successfully copy the complexity of what your eyes see without a method in mind.
But more basically, in terms of drawing the figure, I learned to establish logical connections within the drawing, I learned the idea of proportions