Today I got a bit carried away with one of my other resolutions that I’ve been completely neglecting since getting sick. It’s that super common new years resolution of getting into better shape. In this case more specifically it was supposed to be improving my flexibility by stretching three times a week. So far I’ve stretched about three times this year. When getting up and moving around makes you feel woozy and gives you a headache it’s a bit hard to motivate yourself. I’ve been feeling better lately though so I went a bit gung ho on the stretching today and started googling yoga poses and doing all sorts of strange things. Doing like five times the stretching in one day totally makes up for a few weeks of not stretching at all, right? After a few hours of trying to come up with new muscles to stretch I was feeling quite proud of myself. I bragged to my husband about the new stretches I had learned and he said “And have you done your sketch yet today?” and knocked all the wind out of my wings. “Ummm … no. I got a bit carried away with all the stretching stuff” I mumbled as I pulled out a reference book and my sketchbook and promptly began working on my sketch.
Today’s sketch will probably require a bit more explanation than I usually give. My husband’s reaction when he saw it was “Ummm.. okay. That looks interesting.” And I had to show him the reference photo I used before he could understand why I’d drawn something so demented looking. It’s actually an infant’s skull. I specifically chose the same angle as my previous human skull sketch for the sake of comparison. I find it fascinating just how different a baby’s skull if from that of an adult. The proportions are drastically altered and since the skull isn’t fully formed yet the shape is actually different and there are membranous gaps, called fontanelles, between the separate plates that form the skull. The cranium (at least of this particular baby) is about 2.5 times as big as the face. I’ll have to keep some of these differences in mind next time I try to draw a baby. I made up my own shading again to try to give it depth because my reference photo didn’t have much shading. I also didn’t get the shape of the head quite right which is something I should try to fix for next time. Here’s the reference picture I used:
As with the previous sketch I’m actually using a clinical textbook, a “Color Atlas of Anatomy: A Photographic Study of the Human Body“, rather than an artist’s anatomy book. This is partially because I don’t own an artist’s anatomy book and partially because I like the idea of going off of photos (or even better, the real thing if I can get my hands on it) rather than trying to copy another artist’s interpretation of something. If you’re sketching based on someone else’s drawing you never really know how many degrees of separation there are between your drawing and the actual subject. A few years ago my husband showed an interest in clinical anatomy for physiotherapy so I bought him some textbooks as a gift. Mostly they’ve just been sitting on the shelf ever since but now at least one of us is using them.
I also had another truly horrifying artistic endeavor today. I have a tendency to play with my kneadable eraser all the time, which drives my husband crazy for some reason. Last time he complained about it to me I joked about picking up some clay so that I could play with that instead. I actually think it might be fun to try making something out of clay again one of these days. I haven’t given it a shot since I was about eleven years old and then it was just a short half hour workshop and I didn’t have much of a chance to give it a proper shot. So today when I was once again idly playing with my eraser while working on something else I decided to try to actually make something with it to see if I could justify actually picking up some clay at some point to myself. The results were quite sad:
It’s supposed to be a cat in case you couldn’t tell … Yeah, I know … It’s pathetic. Poor thing, it never really had a chance. Surprisingly, kneadable erasers do not seem to be the ideal material for molding into shapes. Shocking, I know. It’s almost as if they weren’t at all designed for that purpose. But surely everyone tries to mold their art eraser into something at some point? It’s so fun to play with! You’re not giving me that same disgusted and disapproving look that my husband gives me when I play with my eraser, are you? Okay, okay, I’ll try to stick to erasing with it in the future :(. Maybe I will pick up some clay at some point and try to make something that doesn’t look completely deformed.