“Let’s try life drawing. (t/n: A “life drawing” is a drawing of the human figure from observation of a live model) Well, you should already know this, but to explain again, it’s important how much you express the liveliness of the living model. Remember, unlike still-life drawing which you draw inanimate objects in a prepared location, life drawing is about drawing a living being.”
“Professor, who should we choose as our model?”
“Good question. In truth, a nude model was supposed to come today, but it seems something came up and she couldn’t come. You there, what’s up with that sad look? If I could, I would like to be the model myself, but…”
The professor paused and smiled as he looked at the students.
“You guys probably want to draw your friends or someone young like you, no? Therefore, draw the person next you. Draw one picture with a pencil, one with a charcoal, and one with an ink at a total of three, and you can go after handing them in. That’ll be all for today’s class.”
At the professor’s words, a girl raised her hands and asked.
“So we can go early if we finish first?”
“Yes. If you finish drawing all three, you can go.”
“How should we pose?”
“Any pose is fine. But it’ll be better if you do something dynamic, since that’ll be easier to express. Now, I’m going to go buy the morning coffee I forgot to buy. If you are ready, you can start drawing.”
The professor gave a quick answer to the question, and walked straight out of the class.
The current situation where the professor left the class.
Jinho, dumbfounded at the sight, looked at Fei, who lightly shrugged back.
“I told you, he’s funny.”
“… I don’t think ‘funny’ is the right word here.”
“Anyhow, it became like this today. What do you plan to do now, Mr. Jinho? Do you want to draw too? It’s not mandatory, and it isn’t really a lecture… but it should be a good practice.”
Even while she spoke, Fei took out a sketchbook and prepared to draw. She was a student, after all.
Before Jinho had the chance to answer back, Fei placed her sketchbook on the easel, placed a pencil, charcoal, and ink on her desk, and began to sketch using Jinho as the model.
Jinho chuckled and nodded. After all, there weren’t any other choice.
“The people at Parsons seems quite strange.”
“Even so, it’s not a bad place.”
“It’s not bad at all. To me, it’s amazing.”
Jinho took out his sketchbook and the art supplies he brought just in case on a desk and asked.
“What kind of pose should we take?”
“Since we have to draw while looking at each other, let’s start with a sitting pose.”
Jinho nodded at Fei’s suggestion.
At the same time, Jinho’s hand holding the pencil quickly moved on top of the sketchbook.
Drawing an oval outline of the face first, Jinho proceeded to draw a long line going down and roughly sketched lines for the spine and the pose.
Jinho got a rough image of what to draw, and his hands began to move rapidly over the sketchbook.
He first drew the skeletal frame. After that, Jinho drew in the finer details of body parts, such as the rib cage and the curved neck, and tried to express Fei’s distinct curvatures.
‘One bone from the shoulder to the elbow. And below that to the wrist is made up by two large bones. But Ms. Fei’s wrist is rather thin… I should express the individual bones between joints too… the pelvis should be about this big.’
Jinho set the skeletal outline, and after checking that the proportions are correct, began to draw in the flesh.
If one didn’t draw the skeletal outline first and skip to drawing the body, various problems including broken body balance would arise. The body drawing with a broken balance gives an impression of floating in the air. Like so, human body wasn’t something easy to draw.
But if he made the skeletal outline first and then draw the body, he could prevent the balance from breaking beforehand and reduce the awkwardness. Additionally, Jinho lightly added shadow to increase the stability.
Jinho who roughly finished drawing in the body compared his drawing with Fei’s body and fixed the ratio. Thankfully, there wasn’t anything too off.
‘…. now then.’
Usually, one would begin to add in details to increase the liveliness of the model within the picture, but Jinho decided to do something different.
It was the inspiration from the wall of posters he saw before. He probably won’t get it right since it’s the first time he tried it, but since creativity and innovation was something indispensable for arts, Jinho resolutely moved his hand holding the pencil that day.*
‘What’s he trying to do?’
Fei’s curiosity naturally increased.
Jinho’s picture she secretly glanced at was being drawn in a completely unexpected style.
On top of the already-finished sketch, Jinho drew another sketch on top with a small gap.
And Jinho drew not only one, but three different sketches that overlap each other at different distance. Then, an interesting effect appeared.
‘Because of the subtle shadow that overlaps and shows here and there, the drawing looks three-dimensional?’
After a while, Fei simply stared at Jinho’s easel with an open mouth rather than looking at her own drawing. But seemingly unaware of Fei’s stare, Jinho continuously opened and closed his eye to borrow the mysterious power and slowly worked on his picture.
“Hoh, you’re doing quite an interesting style.”
And the professor, who returned who-knows-when, stood behind Jinho while holding a coffee cup and peered at the drawing Jinho was working on with fascination.
Jinho and Fei turned their head in surprise, seemingly unaware that the professor was standing behind them.
But the professor paid no attention to them, and only after carefully examining the picture, did he talk to the two.
“You shouldn’t pause halfway through drawing. I’m sorry for breaking your concentration, but do focus and continue.”
At the professor’s words, Jinho quickly nodded and once again held the pencil.
Watching from behind, the professor merrily smiled.
‘Overlapping Drawing. He really is trying something interesting. Well, even if it was a life drawing, it really isn’t necessary to use detailed expressions to liven up the drawing after all.’
The professor smiled proudly at Jinho trying a style that broke the norms.
A style that stacked the same model in different poses over and over. Because the pictures overlapped each other on a same piece of paper, the style was called ‘overlapping.’
‘Although the model within the picture is still, by expressing like so, the picture seems to move as if alive. It’s a good idea.’
Although the person herself is said to be sitting still, the pose changes continuously. Since the model is a living being, this is something obvious. Whenever breathing, or turning the head, the human body continuously move.
In Jinho’s picture, the professor could feel that change. The drawing within the picture really seemed alive.
‘It’s going better than expected.’
Jinho lightly smiled while holding the pencil.
Even though this was the first time he tried this method, it worked perfectly.
It was bit different than the usual life drawing, but Jinho himself was quite satisfied.
’Now let’s go ahead and finish…’
Jinho’s pencil moved faster.
Although the drawings overlapped, a point to center and balance the sketches was an obvious necessity, and Jinho used the first sketch as the center point.
With delicately detailed and heavy expression in the center and subtle increase in density, the picture guided the viewers’ eyes to faintly spread out and created a stronger impression of complexity and naturalness.
A satisfied smile formed on Jinho’s mouth.
Simultaneously, the allotted time ran out, and the professor lightly tapped on a desk and announced to the students.
“You can leave your works here and go. Although we didn’t have much time, it seems there are some who managed to finish all three and go. Good work everyone, and I’ll see you next class.”
The students who stayed and worked until now finished drawing and neatly stacked their works on the desk in front of the professor. Fei handed in her picture and took up her bag as well, but Jinho was conflicted as he held his artwork.
‘Do I have to hand it in too?’
Since Jinho wasn’t a student at Parsons yet, it was an obvious predicament. In the first place, Jinho simply came to observe the lecture, and never expected to partake in the class.
Seeing Jinho looking around and standing about, the professor took his coffee cup and walked up to Jinho.
“No, it’s just…”
“Is it perhaps because you didn’t finish all three pictures? It’s fine. For now, just hand in what you have. Truthfully, I saw you draw, and it was good enough to count for three works, so don’t worry too much and…”
“It’s not that.”
Jinho cut in, and scratched his head with a troubled expression.
“I’m not a student at Parsons.”
The professor stood in front of his private office and struggled to open the door.
It really wasn’t easy to move while holding a coffee in one hand and students’ works in another.
As the professor entered his office, he awkwardly laughed at the sight that greeted him.
“Huu, it seems I really do need to clean. I’m pretty sure I threw that out yesterday…”
The professor put his bag and the artworks on a sofa and pushed whatever he saw into a corner, starting with the things on his desk. Although it was more of sweeping the things aside than cleaning, because he knew too well how everything will turn back by the very next day even if he cleaned the room, he wasn’t very concerned about it.
Nothing much seems to have changed, but the professor dusted off his hands and smiled as if satisfied.
“Good enough. It’s not like I’m aiming for world’s cleanest office space.”
The professor chuckled to himself as he spread out the artworks on the sofa onto his desk, and sat down. Sipping the coffee that had become cold, he began to look through each drawing.
The professor’s expression, unlike before, turned completely serious as he looked at the drawing on top. Although he was usually hearty and often laughed, he turned extremely critical whenever he worked with arts and was called ‘immigration inspector’ by the student. Considering how he criticized if there was even a single mistake and crush the students, it may be the most fitting description for him.
“Ridiculous. I told this students again and again, but he still couldn’t set the skeletal frame. Just how did he get in this school? Hah, the ratio here is completely off. Just where in the world would there be someone with such difference between hand and face size? Did he draw a dwarf or something?”
The professor’s hand holding the red pen moved faster as he wrote comments on the empty space of the student’s artwork.
To think he have to critique such things. If there was a sign of improvement, he could at least sigh at it. At the students’ works that showed no change despite nearing the end of the term, the professor felt a headache.
The professor’s face that at least momentarily smiled at Fei’s drawing frowned as soon as he saw the next student’s work.
Giving up reviewing any further, the professor leaned his head on his hands and wrote the comments as if a machine.
‘The center leaned too far left… the frame isn’t that of a human being… it’ll have to be an ogre to have such frame, too small… this one’s a hobbit.’
“Hey, inspector. I knocked several times, but why the silence?”
“Huh? Professor Heimdall. What is it?”
“Just wanted to check if you haven’t forgot about my request to stand in for me in tomorrow’s class. But you didn’t respond despite all the knocking, so I thought you died.”
< Miracle Drawing! 11. > End
Translator : CSV
Proofreader : Saquacon (PR)