Sunday, 15 November 2015

Setting Priorities

This will be the final post to this blog for a while. The state of world events has forced me to re-evaluate my priorities. I have begun a new blog: The Road Towards Common Ground ( ) which will focus on world affairs, and the opposing perspectives from which they may be viewed, in hopes of finding some common ground. I realize that I can, in no way, find the time to write two blogs, and so I have made this decision with some regret. But I believe that this new blog will contain important things that need to be said. And the alternative, to remain silent, just wasn't an option for me.

I would like to thanks those who have followed this blog for years and I will leave it up for anyone who would like to view the archived post.

Thank you,

Monday, 5 October 2015

Lines of the Day: October 5, 2015.

Michael Whynot. Figure studies. Red chalk.

A page from my sketch book that I did this morning. Just an exploration of assorted anatomy. I imagine them in three dimensions: forms, upon forms, upon forms. If you are drawing an exterior contour line with no relation to the forms from which that line is comprised, your drawing will be stiff, lifeless and two dimensional.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Lines of the Day: September 28, 2015.

Michael Whynot. Nose study. red chalk.

Michael Whynot. Nose study. Red chalk.

Michael Whynot. Nose study. Red chalk.

The nose, like most of our human anatomy, is a wonder of complex interactions between various forms in three dimensions. It takes considerable study to nail these forms down so that one can draw them, convincingly, from imagination. And, even once this is accomplished, the infinite variations of these forms found in nature, from a live model, can prove to be an endless source of enjoyment if the artist pays attention to all these subtle nuances which distinguish the individual and sets a work apart from being merely formulaic.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Lines of the Day: September 12, 2015.

Michael Whynot. Arm study. Red chalk.

Michael Whynot. Head study. Red chalk.

Michael Whynot. Hand study. Red chalk.

Michael Whynot. Figure study. Red chalk.
Sun thickening linseed oil.

Here are four sketches from my sketch book; beautiful lines appear and disappear, flowing over and under, in and around forms, creating space on the two dimensional surface of the paper, giving movement and life where there should be none.

Also, here are some trays of cleaned flax seed oil setting out in the sun to thicken. The preparation for painting, using materials of my own making is labor intensive, but will lead to an intimate understanding of those materials.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Pentimenti: Exploring Composition.

Michael Whynot. Study of foot. Red chalk.

Michael Whynot. Study of arm. Red chalk.



Pentimenti (singular pentimento) is the italian word for repentance. These are the traces of exploration that the artist has entertained on the road to a finished composition. They are not so much a mistake as they are a weighing of possible variations on the composition.

Michelangelo, da Vinci and Raphael all used drawing to explore aspects of the figure and of the larger compositions as a whole. This is one factor which I believe set them apart from lessor draftsmen and freed them from a total reliance on the live model. Great works of art are created in the mind of the artist, not copied slavishly from nature. It is the artist's role to pick and choose those aspects which contribute to the beauty of the whole and transcend nature and, in so doing, uplifts the human spirit.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Lines of the Day: August 23, 2015.

Michael Whynot. Torso study. Red chalk.

A five minute torso study, from imagination. A constructionist approach to drawing focuses on structure; and once that structure is understood, a solid foundation is laid for the exploration of infinite variations on that structure. Herein lies the path to creativity.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Lines of the Day: August 19, 2015.

Michael Whynot. Head studies. Red chalk.

Why is the human form so challenging to draw? Why do draftsmen struggle with the head, for instance? It is due to the simple fact that we are attempting to represent on a two dimensional surface, something which is constructed in three.

Notice that when children draw the head, it is usually in profile, or straight on, and typically flat; they ignore the dimension of depth entirely. But, if we want to progress in our work, we must embrace depth.

And, even then, if we think we have a system down for drawing the head, suddenly the model turns to a three quarter view, and everything changes; that is our next problem: three dimensional objects, in nature, rarely look the same once our point of view changes. Heads twist, tilt, raise and lower; often doing all simultaneously. And every part of our human anatomy poses similar difficulties. This is why mastery of the human form can take a lifetime. But, like any ability, hard fought for, the rewards are well worth the struggle.