Friday, March 01, 2013

Figure Drawing with Dennis Drummond

Dennis Drummond drawings in soft black charcoal on brown and white paper.
It's almost a year since I enrolled in a figure drawing class with Dennis Drummond. Mr. Drummond is a Professor Emeritis of the Columbus College of Art and Design.

His reputation preceded him. Among other things, he taught portraiture at CCAD, while I was in the next studio studying under Neil Riley in a class called 'painting' (we were painting nude and clothed figures). His studio adjoined to Riley's, and I always enjoyed walking through Mr. Drummond's class before entering mine. The easels were covered in his students' paintings, and they were working on placing spots of paint in varying colors and values that would read as light on form? This was the 2nd semester of 1990.

Each week, Dennis would make two or three drawings of the skeleton: front, side, back, and sometimes a top view. As the classes progressed he would add the muscles in colored chalk over top the skeleton.
Fast forward to last year: I attended a meeting of the Collage of Women Artists, and Dennis Drummond was the speaker. I'd never spoken to him, I'd just heard him spoken of. He was interesting for sure. While some might consider his self-introduction and discussion of his skills as bragging, it wasn't. It was the truth. He really IS as good as he said he was! If you ever get the chance to study with him, don't hesitate.

Hernia anyone?

A month later, I was sitting in his class. In the 8 weeks that I was there, I personally never got a good drawing. He told us we'd have to forget everything that we had learned. I had no problem with that position, and I did try to erase my memory and my training in drawing. But I didn't have the time or the practice to internalize his method. He was teaching figure drawing the way that Michelangelo learned to do it; where my history had been with line.

We were to take copious notes, and make the drawings of the skeleton and muscles right along with him. One of the young female students brought her video camera and tripod each week and videotaped all of his lectures. At some point, I decided to also take a few videos. I hope that you have enjoyed them, even though they aren't the best. Mostly, this is just a thank you to this great teacher for his years of dedication to his craft, and to his students.

No comments: