Friday, October 30, 2009

Even Homework can be Creepy

When I was in college, one of the first things we learned to do was to draw the human skull. It is imperative for every successful representational artist to know the ins and outs of the human bone and muscle structure. We were given a homework assignment to draw the human skull using dramatic lighting and to really push our values.

My drawing was a straight-on view of an open mouthed skull with extreme lighting from one side. It gave me fantastic lights and shadows to work with, and ended up being more of a spooky finished piece of art than a tightly rendered studio study. The next day all the students hung their drawings up for our professor to scrutinize. All the other students and even the professor seemed a little taken aback at the creepiness of my drawing.

After class, I took my drawing home and showed it to my roommates (they were always curious to see what project I was working on). They all just stared at it with open mouths and didn't say a thing. Later, one roommate that was particularly close to me said, "You know Dena, I never thought that you would ever draw something like that. It just doesn't seem to fit with your personality. Is that the kind of art you are going to do?"

I started laughing and told her that it was simply an assignment for class. She relaxed a great deal after I explained the assignment and how it was a study of light and shadow on a human skull, and not some inner disturbance that I had been harboring for years!

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