Sonja Funnell Art

Sonja Funnell Art: September 2012

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Cliché of Beautiful Girls in Art

I'm making fun of my own art to prove this point, so there it is above. ^

The subject of this post is something I am very guilty of in art, and would love to stop doing, but I know I, and the many other people who do it cannot.

When wondering what to draw or paint, there are easy options. Flowers, landscapes, a still life, animals... When the urge to draw figurative art comes along, the most obvious model choice is usually the one made in my experience.

Draw a beautiful girl. Draw a beautiful girl, staring out longingly at nothing, or smiling, or making a face obviously captured for a magazine, one we don't encounter in life. Draw her in a dramatic pose, standing alone. This is also most likely taken from a magazine or stock photo. If you're not feeling inclined to draw a full body, just find a gorgeous face, and have her staring out at the camera. Once you have this amazing idea for a composition, it's time to decorate your beautiful girl drawing.

This part is so much fun. You can give her long thick eyelashes and hair, create any costume you can imagine. You've drawn a model, so it's time to dress her. Once you're finished, you've created an aesthetically pleasing work of art. But it has no depth to it. I'm not saying that all works of art need to be deep, inspiring, and full of meaning. I believe, with just a touch of narrative, even if the idea is only known by the artist, the artwork will be improved for the viewer.

I  think the way to rework this area of my art could be to follow a few steps:

1. I need to think of a story behind it, or a motivation for why the woman or girl is doing the things she is. She shouldn't just be posed in the middle of nowhere, it's not a fashion shoot. If it is, then it should be shown.

2.  Maybe the women need to be more diverse, instead of always striving to draw what is classically considered beautiful. Maybe she is not beautiful at all, and this would add interest.

3. Maybe she needs to be a he. It's far too easy to think men are boring to draw. But my sister, who is also an artist, has proven this wrong with many of her unique character designs for men. Men can have long flowing hair too...>_>

4. Draw from life whenever possible for a model. If this is not possible, use photos which have not been airbrushed to death. So many drawings of beautiful girls are obviously from airbrushed photos because of the lack of depth to the face and perfect features. 

So, in conclusion: There is nothing wrong with drawing like this sometimes, I have notebooks full of drawings that are pointless women doing nothing but looking beautiful. It's fun to do, and people enjoy these drawings. I would just like to move away from this in my serious work and illustration.  When I browse, I see so many popular drawings that fit this description, and I would like to see more diversity. So if this is the change I want to see, I need to stop doing it myself in my finished work.

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Dragon Reloaded

This was an enjoyable project involving painting over an old painting, and hopefully improving it. The original painting was made in 2010, and I've come back to it two years later, and turned it up a notch >_>. There are aspects of the old one I enjoy more, so maybe in the future I'll go back to it again. This is why I love oil paint, it's very forgiving, and let's you always go back. I'm currently working on another dragon, so I'll put that one up soon.