Monday, October 8, 2018

Inktober 2018 Day 5

My Own Sidekick

The creepiness of vents is possibly only matched by the creepiness of some ventriloquists.

While preparing for a class in portrait sculpture this fall, I found myself thinking a bit about those puppets that we are not supposed to call “dummies”.....why are they so creepy? and why do I think they have something to say about representing the human head and portrait sculpture? 

Maybe part of the issue is the human brain’s proclivity to project life and intention on inanimate objects? Puppets often come off as more lively than their masters. The vent is usually the one with the boundary-pushing funny lines, while the “real person” is the boring straight man

(If this topic interests you at all, google Nina Conti and/or the movie “Her Master’s Voice” for some meta-ventriloquism material.)

I’ve made a lot of real world sculptural effigies of myself, but never a puppet with a hinged jaw. 

Perhaps just as well, I would be too easily upstaged. 

Inktober 2018 Day 6

It Has Become Difficult to Sleep Through the Night :

Yes, it is only the 6th day of October, and I am already falling behind on the posts.

I have some drivel to add to this one, but it is too late tonight, so I will just leave to assume I have some interesting thoughts ...about this image...or about anything...

Inktober 2018 Day 8

The Cure for Impostor Syndrome

Why is a mask so much more disturbing when you can see the person underneath? Often, masks reveal the wearer’s eyes. I thought perhaps revealed teeth might be a nice addition. 

My kids and spouse agreed that this drawing is more upsetting than the ones that came before it. 

Maybe that is an accomplishment?

Speaking of accomplishment, or the lack thereof, I definitely have had my share of impostor syndrome....particularly when teaching...(or even parenting...when are those real parents going to show up?)

But one just has to put on the mask and pretend to be the real deal.

Inktober 2018 Day 7

Problems With Depth Perception:

Human eyes are pretty distinctive because of the amount of sclera (white) in relation to iris and pupil. Evolutionary biologists have theorized that the large white is there to help us see one another’s gaze and read all of the important social information contained within it. 

As my younger son helpfully pointed out, the multiple eye meme is way played out. Many people have painted additional eyes on their faces, or just photoshopped on an extra set or two. 

But pedant that I am, I have to point out that most of these multiple eye iterations don’t consider where all those eyes are gazing.  

If you had multiple eyes, would you use them all to look at one thing, or to send one message?

Fun fact: I pretty much have monocular vision. Both of my two eyes work, but my brain only talks to one of them regularly. When I was a child, the unused eye used to wander, and had to be taught to follow the other one. 

While I was a child, I could never figure out why it was so important to my parents that I keep the recessive eye following the dominant one. Of course, later I was grateful that they insisted, as wandering eyes can be....distracting.

While studying sculpture in college, I had a lot of anxiety about my monocular vision. Could I really make three dimensional work if I couldn’t actually see three dimensions? 

I hope the answer is yes.

But if I had eight eyes, who knows?

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Inktober 2018 Day 4

Solutions To Problems I Didn’t Even Know I Had:

It seems that our ability to recognize faces is mostly based on overall patterns and not the particular facial features. But most verbal descriptions (and police sketch artists) rely on the type of features because it’s pretty hard to verbalize the pattern rather than, say, “she has a big nose.” 

I read that there are face feature kits, so one can assemble the face of a criminal from various parts.  But I also read that the success rate with such kits is low. (Eigenfaces work better...but maybe more on those later in the month)

But clearly, as far as self portraits go, all it takes is a bit of feature displacement for the whole thing to go off the rails. 

(My kind spouse recently got a new printer - with all the ink cartridges! So I was able to print out a large unflattering (so say I) photo of my face)

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Inktober 2018 Day 3

At Least I Have A Boyfriend:

Researchers report that human brains are incredibly good at discerning whether a face is male or female in a split second, though it is hard to articulate how.

Like previous studies of difference between races, I suspect that these results have something to do with the underlying assumptions behind the research. 
This image was inspired by the thankfully bygone meme of “underbeard selfies,” and how unfamiliar head parts become when viewed from an odd angle.

But my younger son referred to this drawing as “your self portrait with a cat on your head” so perhaps I was not very successful.

Scary cat though.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Inktober 2018

Not a Napkin:
Inktober 2018 Day1 I am afraid.

We lost a good many followers during previous Inktobers when I drew weird things that were not recognizable characters or fan art.

My apologies, once again.

I do see inktober as an opportunity to make myself draw some things in ink, not on napkins, at the somewhat uncomfortable pace of one per day.

I’ve been doing a lot of research about portraiture and heads and the various distortions that happen perceptually, biologically and that might be the topic.  

I know that sounds really bad.
I will do my best to work in some velociraptors and superheroes also.