Caffeine Induced Self Portraits and Ominous Wire Figures

Going through my old sketchbooks is always a lot of fun and brings a lot of nostalgia. Today I thought I’d share the experience and walk you through my third year sketchbook from art school, specifically on two projects from a drawing course.

In a Drawing: Perception, Perspective and Structure course, our second project was about using information to create a speculative drawing. It’s clear I brainstormed quite a bit for this project, considering all possibilities.

Veronica Blanco Art School Sketchbook

I was inspired by Bryan Saunders Self Portrait project where he took a different drug each day and drew himself under the influence. (Fun fact: I ended up meeting him about 3 years later!) For my project, I went through a coffee experiment where each day I increased the number of cups of coffee I drank and painted a self portrait in coffee… for 7 days (I hate coffee now and can’t even stand the smell!)

Veronica Blanco Art School Sketchbook
Veronica Blanco Art School Sketchbook

I used my sketchbook as a daily log where I wrote down how I felt, how the coffee tasted and any differences.

Veronica Blanco Art School Sketchbook
Veronica Blanco Art School Sketchbook

I also experimented with different styles of drawing using coffee.

Veronica Blanco Art School Sketchbook

And brainstormed my moods visually.

Veronica Blanco Art School Sketchbook

The result:

Veronica Blanco Art Coffee Experiment
Veronica Blanco Art Coffee Experiment

The next project was to create a drawing on structure and abstraction. Thinking about the possibilities of drawing in space, I made four 3D wire frame renderings of human figures. I took inspiration from several artists including Marcel Duchamp, Andre Masson, Grego Maiolino and Julie Mehretu.

Veronica Blanco Art School Sketchbook
Veronica Blanco Art School Sketchbook

A lot of brainstorming.

Veronica Blanco Art School Sketchbook

And sketching.

Veronica Blanco Art School Sketchbook

More sketching and brainstorming.

Veronica Blanco Art School Sketchbook
Veronica Blanco Art School Sketchbook

When it came time to present, I hung the four 6-10 feet tall wire figures in the 4’ x 4’ spray booth room and asked each of my classmates to enter the room blindly while listening to an audio recording of a man breathing. It was quite the experience to say the least.

Veronica Blanco Art Wire Figures
Veronica Blanco Art Wire Figures

These were successful projects and really shaped my style of artwork. Although I may not force viewers to feel a drawing or put myself under crazy experiments, today I try to involve myself as much as I can into my work and I’m still finding different ways to portray the human figure and evoke emotion from the viewer.

#artschool #sketching #drawing

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