Sunday, December 13, 2009

Final Post
-Photos located in the set titled, "Second Half"

Since midterm, I have learned about the skull and have learned more about cross contour line drawings. In terms of cross contour drawings, I am grasping a better understanding of showing different planes of a form. I had never thought about lines wrapping around forms before this class. It is a very simple concept, but it takes time to get used to. In previous drawing courses, we were trained to pump out drawings using shading and value to describe a form. It was a challenge to switch gears, but a good challenge since my abilities have significantly improved. In terms of drawing the skull, I was surprised how well I did. I have never really drawn a skull before. I had mostly avoided it previously because I didn’t know I was capable of drawing one. When looking through my drawings before I knew how to describe the skull, the head looks odd on each one. It always bothered me that I was capable of drawing a decent body, but there was the head looking blank and awkward. Now that I can draw the skull, it is much easier to describe the form of a human head when drawing a figure. Once I had the bone structure of the head figured out, the features came more easily, since they all have their specific place in the skull.

The main reason I took this course was to be able to confidently draw the human form. In paintings and drawings in the past, I had always avoided subjects that include people, since I was afraid that I would not be able to pull it off. I am an Art Education major and as a teacher I should be able to draw just about anything, including human beings. This course has made me confident in my drawings and I feel better qualified to teach in a high school setting. If a student asks me how to draw the facial features, I will be able to answer that question and draw an example.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Last full week of classes

It was really beneficial learning how to draw the face. I have never been instructed on how to do so, and it made a huge difference for me. I have always had trouble with ears and noses, but the lecture about facial features really helped me. My first classmate drawing did not turn out very good, but the second one was much better. Devoting a day to practice drawing hands was very helpful. I definitely needed some practice with it. I definitely improved with each hand I drew on Thursday.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Big Shell Drawings

My line weight has drastically changed in this drawing. I usually draw much darker, but I was careful with my line weight in this piece. I am slowly beginning to understand what the direction of line does to a form. There is not a whole lot of depth, which is something I could improve on. It gets a little better with each shell drawing. I enjoyed working on a larger scale. It forced me to think about composition and the better quality of the paper made me take this drawing more seriously. I liked the thickness of the paper. I erase a lot and this time I didn't end up with any holes in the paper!

The group I was in was very helpful. They explained that if I had an extra plane to show the underside or lip of the shell, it would give the shell more depth. Something that would also help the depth of my shell would be to add extreme lights and darks to my line weight. This would be especially helpful where the shell sinks in. Overall, my group said that I had a good composition and that I used my entire paper well.

To help my group, I drew a diagram to show a way of mapping out bumps on the shell. I also explained that if you have tight curves toward the edge of an object, it will appear to be round. One of the shells was really well done. All it needed was to be lightened up with an eraser in a few areas.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bodies Exhibit

*The first 5 drawings = in class drawings
*Last 4 drawings = field trip drawings

I really liked our field trip to the Bodies Exhibit on Tuesday. It was so interesting to see what the muscles actually look like under the skin. I think this experience will really help me in my future drawings. I will always have that experience to look back on and be able to pinpoint where each muscle is and what it looks like under the skin. Not only was it beneficial to my drawings, but I honestly learned quite a bit about diseases and the organs. It was all so interesting.

I did enjoy the MIA, though I have been there many times. I always seem to find something new that I never saw the time before.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My cross contour drawings are slowly improving. I am starting to understand line weight and how to use it in terms of atmospheric perspective. The direction of my lines are improving and do not look like a grid anymore.

With the first couple feet drawings, I would say I did okay. I am having a little trouble understanding the bone structure of them still, but I get closer with each drawing I complete.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


I feel like my gesture drawings were taking on a sense of movement this past week.

My mannequin is looking alot better since I have redone the thigh muscles. I have also gone through and smoothed the clay out to make it look a little nicer.

Something I need to work on is my line quality. The long pose we did has a very heavy use of line and there is hardly any variation. I have always struggled with this and will need to figure out how to remedy it.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Midterm Portfolio


This class has been very beneficial to all of my artwork in general. I now understand the value of looking deeper in order to get a better understanding of a structure. This enables me to portray a form to the best of my ability. It is easy to see which drawings are the beginners, since they consist mainly of outline (gesture drawings 4, 5/ large drawing 8). As the drawings progress, there is more bone structure depicted, as well as some muscles (muscles especially shown in large drawing 1).

The gesture drawings have been helpful as research to my larger drawings. Practicing drawing muscles and bones in different positions has really helped me understand how parts of the body move and in what direction. I think the most helpful thing that I have learned is how to draw the spine, rib cage and pelvis. In the past, when drawing a person, I had no idea where to start. It is very helpful starting with the four curves of the spinal column (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral). It maps out where everything else on the body will be placed.

Through the three contour drawings, I have learned how the skin moves over the muscles and bones. At first, this way of drawing was foreign to me. I had never really attempted to draw with this technique, but I am slowly improving (starting with homework drawing 1, then large drawing 7, then large drawing 3).

I have found the mannequins extremely helpful in understanding what is in the body. While I do drawings during class, I find myself thinking back to what I built on my mannequin as a reference to what I am drawing. It is helpful to hear lectures and watch demonstrations about where the muscles and bones are located, but it is helpful on a whole other level to experience building the muscles on my own. I am a hands-on learner and tactile experiences greatly help me.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

In terms of my drawings, I would say a weakness would be my line quality. I typically draw very dark and it would benefit my drawings to vary my line weight. A very obvious problem I have is planning out my composition. Almost all of my drawings go off the page in odd places. I have a bad habit of jumping in without thought. I also have a long way to go before I really understand how the muscles look under the skin. I need to improve my ability to understand how the muscles connect and where they connect to one another. This goes for my mannequin as well. Some other weaknesses in my mannequin is I am a little unsure as to how the sizes of each muscle relate to one another. There are areas of my mannequin that look a little off and I think it is because the size of the muscle is incorrect. It is difficult for me to see how big one muscle is compared to others surrounding it. A way of solving this is going online and searching pictures to get other examples.

Some strengths of my drawings would be that most of my proportions are working for me recently. I feel like large drawings 4, 5, and 6 are especially successful in terms of proportion. In these drawings I periodically drew diagonal lines to make sure all of my angles were matching up. I believe that this is why they ended up so successful. I am finally getting the hang of how the rib cage and pelvis relate to one another and this is also a strength of my recent drawings. Strengths of my mannequin would be craftsmanship. I feel like I did a pretty good job of keeping the clay clean looking and in the correct areas.


I would like to improve my knowledge of how the muscles attach and look together. I also need to improve the aesthetic quality of my drawings. Right now, they look very structured and rigid, but I would like them to look more pleasing to the eye at some point. I will need to improve the appearance of my mannequin by looking up examples of muscles on the internet to get other points of view rather than just from our books.

Advisement Day Week

I feel like the clay building really helped me this past week. I have a much better understanding of how the muscles should look under skin and I think it is apparent in my hour long drawing from last Thursday.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


So, I feel like I was doing better last week. I don't know what changed, but I feel like my drawings got worse. Hopefully this next week will be better. I almost feel as if I am concentrating too hard on getting the rib cage and the pelvis aligned correctly. I haven't been paying much attention to the figure itself, and my drawings end up looking like crap. For example, my figures are going off the page because I get so involved in just getting the bones correct. Oh well, I guess maybe I have to get worse before I can get better.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Feeling some success

I can honestly say that I had no idea what I was capable of when it comes to drawing the human figure. In the past when I have drawn people, they looked like there was no bone structure and almost looked cartoon-ish. I can happily say that I no longer have this problem. I am very excited to see how much I have grown in my drawing ability in just a few weeks. I've learned that with the right instruction, drawing humans is not such a mystery to me anymore.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First Clay Assignment

With the first additions to the mannequins we were assigned, I definitely have a better understanding of the human form and what makes it work. By understanding where certain muscles are located along the spinal column, it is easier to see how and why we move the way we do. I will be able to relate what I have learned through the clay forms to drawing models in class. Through my own experience with forming these muscles, I have a better understanding of the four curves in the spinal column (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral) and where the muscles should attach. I have a feeling that in my drawings to come, the figures will be a lot more proportionate and a lot less distorted.

At the same time, I feel like I might be jumping to conclusions on assuming that I have an understanding of all this. I am wondering if my clay forms are even correct. Hopefully I can understand my mistakes when I attend class and get it right for the next assignment.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bones, Muscles, Shells

This past week I have significantly learned more about muscles and bone structure. Before this class, I never realized how much anatomy matters when it comes to drawing. My drawings are becoming much more successful with the knowledge of the bone and muscular structures. I am excited to start working with the mannequins and really get a feel for muscles and the best way to draw them. In the past, I mostly focused on the surface of what I was drawing. I now know that if you can understand what lies under the surface of the form, it is much easier to comprehend proportions and angles.

In the critique for my shell drawing, I learned that I went a little too far with the cross contours. If I kept my lines moving one direction through the whole object and then came back with only a few lines going the opposite direction, the drawing would have been more successful. The way it appears now is too dark and busy. If I had some variations in my line weight, this would have also helped. In my next drawings I will be more conscious of atmospheric perspective. One more thing I should have considered, is drawing a different angle of the shell. If the shell was positioned at more of an angle, the drawing would have been much more dynamic in appearance.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The First Full Week

I feel like I have significantly grown in just the two days of class this past week. My first gesture drawings were pretty rough, since I had not done any in quite a while. When I page through my newsprint pad, there is a huge change from one page to the next. My lines started out looking very rushed and sketchy. As I continued, the line quality became more confident in appearance. Slowly my understanding of proportion starts to come together. On the second day of gesture drawings, one can see the beginning of an understanding of axis lines through the bodies. With the start of contour drawings, it seems to be a bit challenging, but I am sure I will improve.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The First Post

A little about me:
My name is Jillian Alberg.
I am from Monticello, MN.
My major is Art Education.
I absolutely love to draw.
I like to water-ski, downhill ski, and cross country ski.
I like to figure skate.
I make jewelry.

Pictured here are some earrings I have made and a little sketch of a frog.

Since I have always loved to draw, I approach this class with excitement and am eager to draw the human form for a change (I typically draw animals).