April 22, 2022 at 4:50 pm #2339495
🗿 Jair’s 100 Days With Michelangelo 🗿
Hey! I’m Jair and I’m currently studying Steve Huston’s book and the Beginner’s Guide to Drawing, calmly trying to go through the NMA curriculum again (I have previous experience here at NMA but I’m trying to follow the curriculum in a more structured way this time). One of the things I love most about the process is studying the Old Masters, whether it’s a quick study or a more complex one. It’s probably what I end up doing the most too.
However, I’ve noticed that I’ve been having difficulty with holding myself accountable with putting into practice everything I’ve learned and am learning. To see if I can get around this problem, I decided to start this challenge. I’ll be combining my learning with what I like to do the most to challenge myself: I’ll be spending 100 days with the Master of Masters, 100 Days With Michelangelo.
I still haven’t mastered all the fundamentals needed to do really do complex studies of the old masters, so here are the criteria I’ll be following for this challenge:
- I can study any drawing, painting or sculpture by Michelangelo. The goal is one figure or fragment per day.
- The important is finding the basic gestures and structures/forms as described by Steve. Anything I can add on top of that will be a bonus.
- Digital or traditional are both valid. I can also mix the two if I find it interesting.
- By the end of this Challenge I hope to have improved my general representation skills and ability to juggle gesture and structure simultaneously.
Stay tuned! If I don’t post here I’ll post it on Discord! ✍️
“If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.” — Michelangelo
#PathToMasteryApril 22, 2022 at 10:31 pm #2339675
23/04/2022 — 1/100
Starting small before progressing to bigger things. I decided to start with the individual studies for the toes of Michelangelo’s Sibyl. Even something so small has so much mastery behind it!April 25, 2022 at 6:55 am #2345522
24/04/2022 — 2/100
For the second day, the right arm of the Sibyl! Dang, I just love this drawing, it’s my favorite drawing ever. I had to draw this quick yesterday because I had a few things to do so it was done a bit hasty, but I think I managed to get the rhythm that starts at the triceps, goes through the epicondyles and goes towards the hand through the forearm. Great to celebrate small victories!
(I’m late on this one because my phone battery died last night and I couldn’t take a picture in time!)April 25, 2022 at 7:06 pm #2347723
25/04/2022 — 3/100
Ended up biting off more than I could chew this time. Absolutely beautiful original drawing, but I still don’t have the knowledge to draw it satisfactorily! I had a lot of difficulty with the eye in profile and the bones of the face, I haven’t gotten used to them yet it seems like. On the bright side, I found that my hatching has improved a lot these days and I was able to draw the basic structures and fit the neck and shoulder in a simple and satisfying way.April 25, 2022 at 7:30 pm #2347792PaulDidierParticipant
Looking good Jair! Cool challenge. I’ll enjoy watching your posts!April 25, 2022 at 7:52 pm #2347864
Thanks Paul! It’s definitely going to be challenging, especially when I move on to the Last Judgment and/or Sistine Chapel figures. Let’s see where this all goes!April 26, 2022 at 1:04 pm #2351649
26/04/2022 — 4/100
I invested a little more time today to make up for my last drawing above (which I didn’t like)! This one (as always) was pretty difficult. Michelangelo always surprises me with how he uses shapes and forms, they are often overwhelming (like the deltoid, which I had to simplify a lot so I could at least understand). He really really knew his anatomy. I went a little overboard with the linework on the flexed arm, but eh, it happens. I’m happy with this one today!
The focus of the Challenge is on gesture and structure but I feel like I’m learning a lot more about hatching Lol I’ve always liked this technique of hatching in one direction to fill whole areas with tone (like the torso), I think I’m finally learning how apply it in an interesting way.April 27, 2022 at 7:19 pm #2354344
27/04/2022 — 5/100
I went back to the limbs this time and decided to draw the arm (focused on the forearm). I knew that not knowing anatomy would confuse me a lot in this challenge but I think this is actually helping me somehow. As I don’t have much knowledge to correctly draw the internal forms I end up focusing on the big shapes. Learned a lot with this one!
In this drawing, Michelangelo thought of the forearm as a big egg; the wrist was thought of as a rounded box form (like a toy joint). The hand is also thought of as a box. Unfortunately I only understood how I could have drawn the hand correctly now, after I was done.
The upper arm seems to me to be a cylinder transformed into a box as well. The corners and also the deltoid give the impression of two well-defined planes.The deltoid was thought of as a double-egg.April 28, 2022 at 7:04 pm #2355008
28/04/2022 — 6/100
I wasn’t really in the mood today to do something very complex due to so many things to do so I decided to do a single gesture study of the master. It’s amazing how much anatomy Michelangelo used even in his quick sketches, total mastery of the subject was really something the Renaissance valued as a core tenet.
I also find this cuboid shape that Michelangelo used for the torso interesting. The first time I saw it was in an explanation by Josh on Master Monday and since then I haven’t stopped looking for moments when he opted for that particular form. I also love the figura serpentinata concept from that period. Vasari praised Michelangelo for his nearly infinite capacity for inventing figures and I agree, he was truly brilliant in that regard. Everything points in a different direction, everything is so alive.April 29, 2022 at 7:16 pm #2355981
29/04/2022 — 7/100
Another drawing that I did quickly because of other tasks (in this case, doing the homework of the Constructive Head Drawing live class that for personal reasons I had to leave for today). I love this head by Michelangelo, it well embodies the characteristic of terribilità that is characteristic to him.
Now that I flipped this drawing, there are some notable errors that I’ve noticed. The forehead is too tilted back, the amount of “cables” in the neck confused me a lot and things seem to have become distorted in general. It could have been better but apparently I got at least the shape of the nose and mouth right. I feel, however, that it was pretty insufficient.
I’ll certainly come back to redraw this head in the future.April 30, 2022 at 7:37 pm #2358478
30/04/2022 — 8/100
Going back to limbs, this time I decided to go for David’s legs. Again, as I’m rusty on anatomy, I focused on shape and gesture.
I think I got a pretty solid leg on the left. It could have been more beautiful if I hadn’t done that heavy line on the inside, it looks cartoonish. This leg was intentionally exaggerated (now that I’ve mirrored the drawing I can see that the foot is under a lot of pressure), I think I got a really good rhythm and gesture. Better to have a lot of life than none like Steve says! The lower leg forms are also good to me, in contrast to the upper leg. It could be a little thicker but it’s ok.
The leg on the right is a little wonky. The top part is pretty good, very simplified and built with clear basic forms. The lower leg looks weird to me. I think I got the leg outline right but I’m missing forms on the inside. Maybe the proportions are a little weird too.May 1, 2022 at 7:44 pm #2362346
01/05/2022 — 9/100
This time I chose to draw the body minus the head (!), it tends to confuse me a lot in Michelangelo’s drawings (especially the neck and the gestural connection with the body). Eventually I will get there! Gorgeus drawing too, very graceful and vivid. In this drawing I tried to keep things gestural. I think in overall it was a good study, I think I managed to put all the pieces together and keep everything simple.
Drawings like this are making me learn to better articulate the gesture in Steve’s method, it’s been a good experience. As they are very dynamic drawings I learn a lot, even if I only absorb a part of the master’s skill. I mean, a part of Michelangelo’s skill? That’s a lot.May 2, 2022 at 8:02 pm #2365015
02/05/2022 — 10/100
I just love those Michelangesque torsos. I’m in love with these fleshy forms, squashes and stretches, all of which are even more beautiful in dynamic poses. I feel like I’m absorbing some of these mechanics and that’s great! I misplaced the belly button tho, it should be more in the middle. When I advance more through the curriculum to the Figure Drawing track everything I’m learning will be more useful, I’ll finally learn anatomy properly.
I was a little bored of using graphite so this time I decided to use a simple black pencil to achieve something more oily and soft. I liked it, I think I will continue to draw with it!May 3, 2022 at 3:35 am #2366589David CarterParticipant
Hi Jair, very nice work and good proportions. I struggle with proportions so I will take note of your work! Good luck with the challenge.
David.May 3, 2022 at 7:47 pm #2370684
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