Friday, October 29, 2010

Life Drawing so far....

Well guys, It's been half the first term already. Being someone who's been through Sheridan and Calarts, its interesting to get both sides of life drawing expectations from both schools.

I'm possibly too interpretive for Sheridan, and maybe too focused on structure in Calarts. Sheridan really stresses on line quality, proportion, and construction while Calarts is more explorative and experimental. I think this also has something to do with the two degrees being different. Sheridan's animation couse is BAA (Bachelor of Applied Arts) while Calarts is BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts). Most of the life drawing teachers here, are complete fine artists. Although they do teach anatomy and structure, I can tell they hate it.

There are weaknesses and advantages to both teachings. In Sheridan's animation course, you really understand form, proportion and line quality, a huge HUGE biggie in animation. However, this can limit you in the way you draw and design characters, environments, etc. It still happens to me, I start drawing things as a stock symbol. In Calarts, you really get a sense of observation, design and interpretation. This is exceptional and super important for design, composition and exploration - giving new takes on characters. This gives you new ways to solve problems. The down fall to this: they don't want you to focus on structure. Your drawings will suffer having solidity in them without them. Thats a huge problem when it comes to animation. The program still sees itself as experimental.

There's always this debate of sheridan kids seeing calarts as "too artsy farsty" (which i can agree) and calarts kids seeing sheridan as "too constricted, playing by the rules" (which i can too agree)

It's like saying Sheridan prepares you to work in studios, while Calarts prepares you for innovation and invention. Both have their own ways of problem solving. That's what I learned.

I'm sure the schools can learn well from each other.

So in other words, both schools have their ups and downs, so its always best to remain in the middle ground with this situation. As far as where I'm at, I suck at life drawing. My drawings at calarts are too "boring", and if I were in Sheridan it'd be too "artsy fartsy". Anyways, I shall upluurrrd.

My attemps to academic drawing. (AKA My attempt to the Sheridan way)

  Structure, structure, structure... Line quality, line quality, line quality...

For me, the sheridan way is my time of purely studying the model. Looking at proportion, shapes, form, construction, etc. My life drawing classes is 6 hours long, I use the first three to do complete studies. Most of it is just lines and a lot of gesture work. I also study arrangements of the face, and specific body parts.

Most of these were done between 30 seconds to 5 mins for each pose/face/figure. The last 2, I think they were 10 mins? I can't remember.. For this section, I mostly use a conte stick (a sheridan favorite) and charcoal.

The interpretive way (The Calarts Tradition):
In other words, f*ck the rules and f*ck around. Explore and make design choices...

So yeah, there's me with barely any structure. Now this is interesting because I am getting some really exciting design choices and approaches. I'm using any medium I can find, like a twig and some ink, or drawing with my none dominant hand. The rules that I learned in Sheridan does not apply, and I am making some crazy choices.

The interesting ting about Calarts' life drawing course is that they want your models to have story. Story, character, narration etc. If they are wearing a witch costume, dont draw the witch in the costume, draw an entirely different character or something. Even up to now, I find this insanely hard.

Well, there's that to this entry.


  1. VERY INTERESTING!! loving your blog and entry.
    btw...i do like the sheridan way, but i find your calarts stuff more interesting.

  2. hey i'm glad you took the time to compare the wo schools ! i thought they were the same, and thx to you now i know a bit more ^^

    talking about your drawings : i think it's very nice and good you try the two styles. however, you gotta play the game : i think your 'sheridan' approach isnt constructed well enough. it's still kinda loose, so you should really set up these verticals and horizontals and go for some anatomy ....

    and thats why i agree with ravendall; i think your calarts stuff is more interesting because your line is loose and fits very well with all these different mediums. and weirdly enough, i feel like you calarts stff is sometimes better analyzed (better proportions and such).

    anyhow keep it up, life drawing is awesome (;

  3. I completely understand your dilemma with these two different styles...trying to prepare a Calarts portfolio at Sheridan is super hard. Even in extra life I feel pressured to draw structurally and the way they teach rather than experiment, because that's what everyone around me is doing. I really need to start getting loose!!

  4. Hoshit, they're very good. But I do prefer the Calarts sketches; they're much more expressive. Still, like you said, I bet you've taking the best from both worlds.
    I go to a 2-hour-life drawing class once a week and my teacher is a comic-artist, illustrator and animator, so the best thing is that he wants us to focus on being expressive, and THEN, get to getting all anatomy issues right. I think it's the perfect balance.

    Man, 6 hours life drawing? I'm guessing you don't have the energy to do anything else for the rest of the day xD

  5. The most important thing here is for you to find your PERSONAL balance. You're on the right path by breaking down, analysing and absorbing both.

    Now, I would like to point out even in the most rigid of structured academic life drawing, the intention is always to find the story within the pose.

    The artistry comes from where you place the figure (the negative space around it) and where/how you choose to bring out the values and structure of the figure. This can apply to the 'loosey-goosey' method as well.

    It's certainly the trend at the moment to be caught up in the personal interpretation so it's good your exploring BOTH.

  6. i love how our styles were so similar and now theyre completely different!!, i think the most important thing in drawing is to do what pleases you personally, don't change yourself or your style for anybody! and dont lose ur love for the art meep meep

  7. very interesting analysis of our program (sheridan student here) I've been feeling constricted lately and yea, when I think about it we are being conditioned to use linear but effective design choices. I wouldn't have thought of that on my own and I've been trying to break out of it, so thanks : >

    Also I hear you're friends with Kim Luu, Matt st cyr and Al jerek, which is cool. Hahaha I'll look pretty stupid in this comment if that isn't true tho.

    Anyways, crazily cool lifedrawings, I'm looking forward to your next posts!

  8. Hey Aaron nice to meet you!

    Yeah I've been good friends with those three for a good amount of time, and they are super awesome people and talented people. I was at Sheridan's art fundies program last year. I applied for both of schools animation program, leaving Calarts the only school to accept me. Both schools have their advantages, and I guess they would have different mission statements.

    I can't seem to find your blog on your user page, so please let me know what it is!

  9. aaah srry! I've been too busy to be blog active for a bit. Anyways that's too bad that I didn't see you last year then. Glad you're enjoying Calarts though, and the admission into Sheridan is veery strange, they seem to cast aside clearly talented people who would accel in the program from time to time. Anyways, my stuff is at

    nice to meet you : >