Banner for Art110, Fall 2014

We’re heading back to some of the earliest art media as we look at Drawing this week, and Painting next week. But we’re going to change it up a bit and try our drawing with a mobile app instead of charcoal or graphite.

ScreenCao from FrenchGirlsApp website showing a diptych of the original photo selfie and what the French Girls user drew in response.

Drawing is Easy

I’m sure some of you in class are pretty good at drawing. But I’ll also guess many of you feel like you’re pretty bad. Like maybe you feel like you’re so bad that you don’t even like to try because it’s just embarrassing. Well, I’m here to tell you that Drawing is easy!

You just put pencil to paper and move it. Or in our case: finger to screen, and move it. No big deal. No special muscles. You don’t have to be Michael Phelps or Venus Williams to make a nice drawing.

What’s hard is Looking! And it turns out that “Drawing” is as much, or even more about “Looking” as it is about moving pencils. The problem, actually, is our big brains! We like to quickly abstract things: What’s your point? Cut to the chase! Give me the Spark Notes version! Bottom line me baby!

If I ask you to Draw a chair. You might spend 10 seconds looking at the chair, and then 10 minutes moving your pencil around on paper. What you did then was to quickly abstract what you think the chair is, and then draw the idea of chair that’s in your mind, instead of the real chair that’s in front of you. We especially get into trouble when we try to draw things like human arms. If you see an arm in profile, we’ll that’s easy, this long thin thing. But if the arm is facing you or “foreshortened” OH MY! That’s hard! But it’s not really “hard” because your fingers can’t make the circles that represent this arm-thing in space, it’s hard because your mind doesn’t “understand” arms to look that way.

In a way the secret to “easy” drawing is just to turn off your brain and stop “thinking” about what you’re drawing, and instead simply LOOK and draw what you see. We often do exercises like “Contour Drawings” or “Blind Contour Drawings” to help you learn exactly these things. Quick “Gesture Drawings” of the human figure are another great way to begin to understand form in space.

ScreenCao from FrenchGirlsApp website showing a diptych of the original photo selfie and what the French Girls user drew in response.

French Girls

In a one week activity we don’t really have time to learn to draw. It’s easy. But it takes a lot of practice. So this week we’ll poke around the French Girls mobile app and see how drawing is alive and well in cyberspace.

Oopsy!

I thought French Girls App was iOS & Android, but I can’t seem to find the Android version now! 🙁 Since Art110 is something like 85% iPhone, let’s do this: if you’re on iOS you can use French Girls App, if you’re on Android you have your choice of:
1. Borrowing somebody’s iOS device. (you can use my iPad on Thursday also)
or
2. Find any other free drawing app on Android and try that

The Plan

Here’s the info for French Girls App, and if you do use an alt Android app, you’ll do pretty much the same thing.

  1. Post a bunch of selfies. See what you get back. Most of what you get back will be bad, but if you try to post about 10 or so, you’ll get at least 1 or 2 back that are pretty cool.
  2. Draw some other peeps. It doesn’t have to be great. But do slow down, take your time, and try to look.
  3. Take screen caps of a couple OF you, and a couple BY you, and post those on your website with a write up of your experience.
ScreenCao from FrenchGirlsApp website showing a diptych of the original photo selfie and what the French Girls user drew in response. ScreenCao from FrenchGirlsApp website showing a diptych of the original photo selfie and what the French Girls user drew in response.

ScreenCao from FrenchGirlsApp website showing a diptych of the original photo selfie and what the French Girls user drew in response. ScreenCao from FrenchGirlsApp website showing a diptych of the original photo selfie and what the French Girls user drew in response. ScreenCao from FrenchGirlsApp website showing a diptych of the original photo selfie and what the French Girls user drew in response. ScreenCao from FrenchGirlsApp website showing a diptych of the original photo selfie and what the French Girls user drew in response. ScreenCao from FrenchGirlsApp website showing a diptych of the original photo selfie and what the French Girls user drew in response. ScreenCao from FrenchGirlsApp website showing a diptych of the original photo selfie and what the French Girls user drew in response. ScreenCao from FrenchGirlsApp website showing a diptych of the original photo selfie and what the French Girls user drew in response. ScreenCao from FrenchGirlsApp website showing a diptych of the original photo selfie and what the French Girls user drew in response.

Leave a Reply