Saturday, January 11, 2014

2014/365 Day Art Challenge, day 10 Getting Serious!

Well, today I decided to get serious, and actually begin a real art piece. I've chosen a seashell, and am working with both colored and graphite pencils in my sketchpad. I am hoping the paper quality is going to withstand the abuse of the sharp pencil points and comes out OK. I think it may end up being a practice for a more finished drawing on better paper, but it just feels so good to be drawing that I will gladly use the time to its full advantage. This drawing will take several days to complete. I've decided to take the time to photograph the progress.

I've loved seashells my whole life, because they continually surprise and fascinate. I use them to train my eyes to see things in detail, because while they seem simplistic enough, they are not simple at all! At first glance they appear round, but they aren't. The surface is covered in thousands of the tiniest plane changes, built one on top of the other over a long slow course of time. They aren't as smooth as they appear to be, either, ~ again because of those layers and plane changes. If you take one in your hand, close your eyes and run your fingers across the face you would begin to understand the flow, how they arch and curve and become pointed. There are only a very few varieties out of the hundreds that exist that are truly close to smooth.

Then you have to make sure you get the proportions correct in their design. Seashells follow a specific pattern called a Fibonacci sequence, invented by some genius Italian master back in the Renaissance, no doubt his name was Fibonacci. To make a long story short, the sequence is present in ALL living things. From the length of your body parts, or the spiral of sunflower seed heads, the dimensions of any animal or plant; all are based on it. Even the spread of a tree's branch growth is based on the same series. It has always been for me hugely intriguing , and it is one of the reasons I got into art, to try and replicate it with all the skill of life and living things.

I've gone on long enough, I really didn't want to bore you. I hope you enjoy watching my attempts unfold, and evolve. Wish me luck!

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