“If you can’t draw hands and feet at this stage, you’re basically F_cked!”
Those were exactly the first words from my professor who taught ‘New Directions in Illustration’ class the first day of the spring semester, of my junior year at The Pratt Institute in 1999. I had my fair share of sport coaches who threw F-bombs but I rolled my eyes at my art professor, just because I found it funny right away. But the faculty were on your case if you weren’t competent at rendering hands and feet like the Italian Masters during the Renaissance time period. At that point, I found it annoying! Were they right? But, I found myself constantly drawing hands, feet and more hands. It took patience and persistence. Then you were pretty proficient at it.
Within the past two years, an idea for a symbol piece was to be made. The direction was for it to be a non-action piece and one that everyone could relate to. The idea came when I was string an old school STX Excalibur in traditional leather strings. I booked marked that in my “mental rolodex” and started the concept stages soon after. After looking at my drafts, I decided to make the stick a traditional, old-school, hand-carved wooden stick instead of the modern-day plastic heads. But, I also realized that the hands were going to have to look really good, if not better, than the wooden stick. The challenges were amounting and I was reminded by my professors in art school. I didn’t know if the stick, the strings or the hands were going to be the main points – it was going to be all components.
So away we went to start the final product. We documented the progression stages, below.
Slowly but surely things were coming together. And after a couple of years in a “concept stage” it’s very exciting to see it finally happening.
The final product came out to this. But before I close this article out, I also remember a debate I had with a parent on why you should learn, and master, stringing a lacrosse stick. My answer, and firm belief to that person was/is “stringing a stick is the BEST thing you can do for your lacrosse game while sitting on your @$$!”
And yeah, I cursed just like my professor who was on your case with drawing hands. Looking at the finished piece, I hope I have succeeded.
“Patience. Persistence. Proficient.”
11×14 inches. Pen & ink on bristol board.
Like on Facebook
Follow on Instagram