Life Drawing: Better Photos?

After a very helpful comment by Jana Bouc I decided to try and take better photos of todays drawings.

When I draw I have a lamp over my left shoulder. When I finish a page, I snap a photo of it with my iPhone. Yep, that is as technical as I get with photographing my daily work. Jana commented that the charcoal drawings were hard for her to see and that I should increase the contrast or take better photos, and I think she is correct. So for all of the photos in this post I did two things, I did remove all the saturation from the photos and kept the original color. Then I increased the contrast on each. I think some are better, but not sure.

Life Drawing: Better Photos?, warmup
Life Drawing: Better Photos?, 1.5 min poses
1.5 minute poses
Life Drawing: Better Photos?, 5 min poses, photo 1
5 minute poses, photo edit 1

The photo above was taken from my drawing board right after finishing the page, then in helped the contrast a bit in Photoshop. The photo below was a second photo I took with double lights on the page and treated it the same in Photoshop. I don’t really see much of a difference.

Life Drawing: Better Photos?, 5 min poses edit 2
5 minute poses, photo edit 2
Life Drawing: Better Photos?, 10 minute pose
10 minute pose

This one is just a bad photo, no helping it with Photoshop.

Life Drawing: Better Photos?, 10 min pose
10 minute pose #2
Life Drawing: Better Photos?, 20 minute pose
20 minute pose
Life Drawing: Better Photos?, 20 min pose #2 PS edit
20 minute pose #2 PS Edit

The issue I’m seeing with adjusting these photos is that I can increase the contrast but I loose a lot of the subtle nature of the drawing…

Life Drawing: Better Photos?, 20 minute pose #2 original
20 minute pose #2 original

Thank you Jana and Linda for commenting on my last post your thoughts have been very helpful. Because of your feedback I have begun to reevaluate the importance that I place on these daily life drawings. For me personally they are extremely important but for anyone following my blog I can’t expect them to treat them with the same importance. Also, the way that I’m displaying this work further illustrates their insignificance to the public.

A lot of artists separate their more significant work from their blog. Maybe I should do this? But I’m sure or one thing, I’m not ready to do “finished” work currently. Not because I don’t feel as if I lack the skill set to complete a major work, but for the fact that I haven’t found a subject matter that I want to focus on. All I know currently is that it will include the figure.

Also I’ve made the mistake in the past of rushing into finished work just to satisfy my need to feel like I’ve accomplished something. I think lots of artists feel the same. We feel as if the training, the daily sketches and the learning is a means to an end. That we are not really artists unless we have shown our work to the public and made money on it. I’m beginning to see it differently. The training is the most important, the day-in and day-out work is what makes us artists. Eventually a finished work is done and is the culmination of all the years of previous training. Our “finished” work wouldn’t have ever happened without the training. Maybe I should put my failed sketches in a show and trow away my finished works? Or would that be to avant-garde?

2 thoughts on “Life Drawing: Better Photos?”

  1. Okay, I’ve got it!
    We were discussing and contemplating you providing some illustrations for my fitness book. Well, what if you took the illustrations for the exercises and made them paintings? Or even just skipped the illustration step all together and provided the illustrations AS painting?
    Just thinking out loud for the internet universe to hear…


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