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Old 04-26-2005, 12:34 AM
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City Block -WIP (x-post)

(cross-posted from drawing & sketching)

As an avid student of MC Escher, (and not having drawn anything fun lately), I spent the past week doing some preliminary drawings for an "impossible" drawing. Escher once said, "Why can't floors be ceilings, and ceilings be floors". Well, now I'm saying, "Why can't a skyscraper be in front of a skyscraper that's in front of it." My intention is to use perspective and shadows as a means of providing "physical contradictions". (look at the 4 closest structures)

This is a preliminary sketch, and before I continue, I'd really like some feedback... Composition okay? Need more buildings with pinnacles? Too many buildings? not enough buildings? Any suggestions at all will be appreciated.

(had to splice the scan... sorry for the poor image)
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Old 04-26-2005, 05:30 AM
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Re: City Block -WIP (x-post)

Hi,

It took me a while to find the contradictions.. This looks like a wonderful project and it will be fun to see this progress. What are your plans with the space around the structures ? Maybe you could add somes roads that lead to the spaces between the buildings ? Or maybe you could make this an island and add some ships in the water around the island. As far as the structures itself I think this is fine as it is. Maybe it would add some tension if you would rotate the structures so that the point of the square is not pointing straight at the viewer ? Just some taughts... Good luck with this one !

René
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Old 04-26-2005, 05:56 AM
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Re: City Block -WIP (x-post)

Dave, this is going to be very interesting to follow. I haven't any extra suggestions to offer you, as I am really looking forward to see how you develop what you have now. Looks exciting.

Val.
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Old 04-26-2005, 07:42 PM
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Re: City Block -WIP (x-post)

I can't give you any suggestions until I see more of what you are doing. The layout looks like a city block, but I am going to be interested in how you work this piece. There are a lot of ways you could go.

Ok, I just had a thought. The surrealist peeping out of me.......lol Why don't you make it look like the block was plucked up out of the ground with the dirt and such coming off ragged at the edges and below the buildings.
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Last edited by sassybird : 04-26-2005 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 04-26-2005, 07:49 PM
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Re: City Block -WIP (x-post)

This will be fascinating to watch grow. I kinda like Sassybird's idea.
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Old 04-26-2005, 09:33 PM
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Re: City Block -WIP (x-post)

Thanks for the comments, everyone!

Re:René right now it's a bit hard to see the contradictions without any shadows. The best way to demonstrate the impossibility is to try to count the buildings. The island idea was interesting but I want to keep this a "floating entity". As far as rotating the block to a different vantage point... I tried various different approaches before arriving at this one, which serves my purpose better to create the contradictary "illusions". Thanks for the suggestions though. And for the support!

Re:Sassybird We have a winner!!! I love your idea of the roots and I do believe I'm gonna run with it! I have some cool thoughts of maybe some subway cars and gas pipes tangled in with the roots. (I'm surprised I didn't see this idea... my father is from Pittsburgh and everytime we went to visit, I always said it looked like a slice of New York City air-lifted and set down in the middle of the mountains.) Of course you do realize that this means it's back to preliminary drawings for me again

I'm really "gearing up" to do this drawing. I'm gonna have so much fun!

I'll post back when I have something sketched out.

Dave
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Old 04-27-2005, 08:00 AM
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Re: City Block -WIP (x-post)

Hi Dave I loooove Sassy's idea... ooh ooh, make it look like urban decay i love the layout, your stuff is so cool, i can't wait to see it done
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Old 04-27-2005, 11:26 AM
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Re: City Block -WIP (x-post)

Dave, your idea of having subways and gas pipes tangled in is a good idea. I can't wait to see what you come up with
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Old 04-28-2005, 12:51 PM
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Re: City Block -WIP (x-post)

This is really interesting Dave and am very much looking forward to seeing you develop it. The Escher work on your website is truly amazing.

I would agree with and like Sassy's idea. The thought that occurred to me was perhaps a 'roof top city' , the square shape you have would fit nicely on top of one massive skyscraper.
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Old 04-29-2005, 06:02 AM
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Re: City Block -WIP (x-post)

Watching avidly. I am a big fan of Escher too. Can't wait to see what you come up with
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Old 04-29-2005, 01:29 PM
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Re: City Block -WIP (x-post)

Dave, this is going to be so cool!! I think your composition is good the way you have it...3 pinnacles is just right and the perspective is right on. How big will this be?? Really looking forward to how this one works out for you, especially given your attention to detail!!

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Old 04-30-2005, 03:59 PM
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Re: City Block -WIP (x-post)

Well folks, I really need some advice (or encouragement). As we all have different areas to focus on... they're not always "art related" in the sense of composition or technique, etc. There's a mental aspect to my work that I've been trying to overcome. Over the years, I've done so many commissions (mostly of houses...hundreds of houses!... stupid houses!... and let me tell you, they all look the same after a while!) Anyway, from the constant flow of creating for other people, I've fallen into a rut where I draw to please everyone else, constantly worrying about "what they'll think". Even now, as I'm transitioning from doing commissions to doing prints, I'm "drawing for someone else"... only this time from a marketability point of view. (in my other post... The Blacksmith Shop is an example of this)

"City Block" is my first drawing in over five years that was supposed to be for nobody but me, and created purely from within my own head. (all of the "Escheristic" work on my site was done from 1995 - 2000)

However, everybody here all gave me some really great suggestions and I immediately (and instinctively) fell right back into "pleasing everyone else". I began looking for ref photos of roots and subways, sketching and drawing, transferring prelims onto fresh board... etc, etc, etc., but things just weren't "fitting" and didn't look right to me. Ultimately, I spent countless hours on a treadmill of trial & error sketches and preliminary drawings that wound up in the trash. And then I realized that the fun was gone. And now, a week later, I sit and look at my drawing, and it looks exactly the same as it did last week. I got nowhere.

The problem is, I really like everyone's ideas so much that I want to use them all. But if I use any of those elements in this drawing, I'm afraid the focus will be stolen from the "contradictions". My initial idea was simply to have a "floating block" ;the surrounding area wasn't the focus. Kinda like "less is more".

Re Sassy - I think a drawing of "a block of normal skyscrapers" with roots would be a great drawing on it's own. But I see it from a different vantage point... perhaps one from underneath, looking up at the buildings and with a better close up of the roots and the "urban decay"). It's an awesome concept and I would love to do it... but it's not my original idea. I would feel like a plagurist by using it as the focus of a completely different drawing.

Re Dave T - I actually had the idea of placing this ontop of another skyscraper, but again I didn't want the two elements to compete as the focus. You will definitely be seeing this idea worked out in the future in one way or another (if I ever have the time).


I'm feeling that there's a fine line between "drawing from the heart" and being close-minded. So, am I being close-minded, or do I want to draw from my heart? Am I saving the drawing by not overworking my idea?... or am I sacrificing a better drawing because of my inability to make any of these ideas work? (wow... I didn't have these issues when I was five years old... I just drew)

note: the idea for this drawing came from another drawing that I never finished (because it got damaged before completion with almost 200 hrs into it). I'm attaching the original drawing to give you an understanding of how intrigued I am with skyscrapers, and how this idea for "city block" came about. image size - 16" diameter
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Old 04-30-2005, 04:36 PM
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Re: City Block -WIP (x-post)

Quote:
Originally Posted by artistdbs
I'm feeling that there's a fine line between "drawing from the heart" and being close-minded. So, am I being close-minded, or do I want to draw from my heart? Am I saving the drawing by not overworking my idea?... or am I sacrificing a better drawing because of my inability to make any of these ideas work? (wow... I didn't have these issues when I was five years old... I just drew)

No, no, you just have WetCanvas-itis! But in a good way, I think. One thing I love about WC is that you will get lots of good ideas, but the bad thing is picking the one that works for you. This is a good thing when you are running out of ideas and need some more to mull over -- not so good when you already have too many of your own! Bottom line is the drawing is yours, and for you. Only you have the drawing's vision in your heart. We're just the sounding board.
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Old 04-30-2005, 04:51 PM
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Re: City Block -WIP (x-post)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MonicaB
...This is a good thing when you are running out of ideas and need some more to mull over -- not so good when you already have too many of your own!

If I could spend 12 hours a day... everyday... to work out all of my ideas, I would never finish. I get a dozen new ideas for every one drawing I create... the list just keeps getting bigger and bigger! (it's actually very frustrating when you don't have the time)

Thanks so much for the words of encouragement! They really help.

Dave
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Old 04-30-2005, 05:00 PM
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Re: City Block -WIP (x-post)

Quote:
Originally Posted by artistdbs
If I could spend 12 hours a day... everyday... to work out all of my ideas, I would never finish. I get a dozen new ideas for every one drawing I create... the list just keeps getting bigger and bigger! (it's actually very frustrating when you don't have the time)

I know exactly what you mean. Working for a living is what really gets in my artistic way. I keep hoping to get laid off again so I can do more art, but dang it, I need to start screwing up more often!
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