Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wiles of Mass Distraction

In her wonderful book The Language of Drawing, Sherrie McGraw coined the term, "Wiles of Mass Distraction". Among other things, she is referring to the superficial details that get in the way of seeing the underlying forms. The drawings I've posted here are just a few examples of how an artist can look at form.

I've been reading (actually, mostly looking at pictures) in a book my good friend Martin loaned to me. It is the Drawings of Antonio Lopez Garcia. Garcia is a Spanish hyperrealist. Here is an example of his drawing.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog about Richard Estes and photorealism, I often am not terribly attracted to hyperrealism. But as with Estes, Garcia is an exception. I will post later about his paintings and show why I like him so much. But for now, I just want to point out something in his drawing.

Masked by the high degree of finish in his final work is the fundamental, simple shapes that he is thinking about as he draws his forms. In this study of hands, look how he initially comprehends the fingers as simple circular cylinders. He then comes in with his contour lines and shading to bring the image to a higher level of resolution.

We see Pontormo, conceiving the fingers in a similar way, with blocks rather than cylinders.

Finally, Cambioso.

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