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Adrina Distracted_053024
Adrina Distracted_053024
Digital_Cintiq 24 Pro_PhotoShop
Printed copy = 36" in the longer dimension

I originally made "Adrina Distracted" as a demonstration drawing/painting as a 'demo' drawing for my digital drawing and painting course at UNCG. I often see my work for my classes having dual intents, as demonstrations and teaching tools and also as independent works of art. Also, many of my single figure artworks end up being used again in larger, more compositionally complex, multi-figured paintings.

I reworked this artwork into this present version. My intent was to be much more accurate in the figure’s proportions. Note that I made the head smaller, the torso a bit thinner, and the legs longer. Even so, much to my distress, it still was not perfect, proportionally speaking! Although it matched closer to the photo reference I used. Unfortunately, I cannot post the photo reference I used for viewers to compare against, but for my students, I can. I am sure that when they compare the photo with my artwork (this and the previous slide here on my website--i.e., the first version), they will see the difference. Placing the photographic reference side-by-side with the drawing one works on is a cruel task master in regard to proportion because one cannot escape the absolute stillness of the photograph. This is in opposition to working from life, in which the model poses and then leaves, or if she takes the same pose multiple times, it’s never ever exactly the same twice. The vagaries of movement and difference in observational drawing from live models can work to an artist’s advantage!

I learned a few things from this struggle for accurate proportion: that typically an artist can only approach perfect proportion through eyeballing and without scientific measuring instruments. Perhaps proportion is not the end-all-be-all, but one many moving parts in making a drawing? I’m reminded of de Kooning’s metaphor of making the perfect sphere without scientific measuring instruments, and of Matisse’s adage that “exactitude is not truth.” Thus, posting these two versions of the same model without the reference allows one to judge the works solely upon their artistic merits. As a seasoned practitioner my inability to achieve absolutely perfect proportions might teach my students something valuable: that perfect proportions are hard to get. That when they are achieved, it’s often at the expense of something perhaps more important: I prioritized exploration, energy, texture, mark making, and liveliness over exactitude because I felt these things were more important than a careful and often more stiffly drawing and less lively rendition.