My blogging task for tonight was going to be casting an eye over the second episode of Mark "The Poo" Philippoussis' reality dating show Age of Love, which I am chronicalling for Sidelined. The first installment is here. But I keep getting a foolish WordPress error, lost everything I had done, watched last night's The Daily Show (the Cheney bit was hilarious -- watch here), caught up on some eBay feedback to leave and here I am. Still half a glass of red (Chateau Cheapest with a Screwtop) and forty minutes til bedtime.
In prep for Egypt I've been giving up my Sundays doing an archaeological drawing course. I've always liked drawing, am crap at it of course (utterly unlike certain artists of my acquaintance.) But I do think there are certain of these skills you can learn. Right, you have to be born Eric Clapton but anyone can learn the chords to Leaving on a Jet Plane and bash it out in the lounge room. The learning chords and strumming business is quite mechanical and can be acquired. So it is with archaeological drawing which is a technical process. Obviously it helps to have natural ability but the basic skills can come through practice. So the propaganda goes anyway.
So week one. We learnt to "set up" the drawing, which means getting the outline in exact proportion to the real thing. Then you do the detail. This involves 2mm graph paper, an array of set squares on stands (so you have your hands free), a honkload of rulers, vernier calipers, knitting needles, really friggin' expensive clutch pencils (with a sharpener that costs alone $12! Strike me pink, a sharpener that costs twelve dollars!), yellow tac, a hundred rubbers (note: erasers) and lots of squinting.
My first project was some kind of clay bird:
Apologies for it being wonky -- had awful trouble with the scanner and I don't dare try it again. As you can see most of the detail involves shading. The old representing-a-three-dimensional-object-in-two-dimensions trick. Knowing how to do that properly (I don't) is where practice and technique comes in too.
Anyway, birdy was OK for a first effort. Next was a wee Sekhmet-y figure (don't quote me) which was more challenging and thus, less successful
See the whatsit she's holding? It's supposed to match up in the plan (front on) and profile views but doesn't. Boo.
Last week we moved on to ... sherds! Which were the seventh ring of hell. On account of maths, we can work out from the angle of the curve of a pot sherd how big the pot was. It's like magic! A sherd is important in terms of the position it had in the overall pot, so you have to image it spatially in three dimensions ... then draw it in two. Spatial awareness! That's for boys! This is what I came up with. It doesn't look like much but it took me all day and maybe a nerd somewhere would find it vital, were it to be published. (Ha!)
On the right is a view of the sherd I had and on the right is the reconstruction from it of the rim. Sherds are hard.
This Sunday is our last class and is inking a drawing. Think I'll use birdy for that.