Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Wire Mesh

A hand drawn wire mesh overlaying a photo of my drawing
Recently I have been learning about the importance of the idea of the wire mesh at The Cambridge Street Studios.  Footnotes are included in this post to indicate which sentences in this post are summarizations of ideas that the instructors at The Cambridge Street Studios have explained to me.

The idea of the wire mesh develops the basis of the mindset for modeling form.  Although the wire mesh is most commonly known for its use in 3-D modeling software, the idea of the wire mesh is just as applicable to modeling form in any medium.  While the modeling process is focused on sculpting the form in one's drawing to mimic the three dimensional structure of the forms one is copying, the application of the idea of the wire mesh to that sculptural thought process can help one to specify the structure of the forms one is copying.  The wire mesh allows for much of the specificity about the structure of a form to become apparent.

Wire mesh sketches of the model's mouth and chin from three angles from memory
By investigating the structure of a form from many angles one can better decipher how to sculpt the form in one's drawing.¹  I often make wire mesh sketches of the forms that I have been working on during and away from time with the model.  These sketches help to clarify the structure of the forms that I model.  The additional clarity gained from these sketches helps me to better define that structure in my drawing.

Adding Light Logic To The Idea Of The Wire Mesh

The planes on a form have a specific relationship to the light source based on where they are pointing in relation to the center of the light source.  The diagram above shows how the more a plane faces the light the lighter it becomes in value.  Taking this logic to my wire mesh studies has helped me to investigate the orientation of each plane to the light source.

Jeremy Deck recommends that I often make a wire mesh drawing of the planes on a form that I am about to model before modeling a new form.¹  Although the study above was made from one viewpoint, Jeremy Deck also recommends making planar studies of a form while standing in front of the horizontal center of each form to more clearly see the structure of a form.¹  I make tiny directional arrows projecting from these planes to clarify where the planes are facing.¹  When I place these studies next to my drawing before I am about to model a form I can better understand the structure of the form and the form's orientation to the light source.¹  This type of investigation helps in making the modeling process go faster because it reveals information about what I have to  represent before I even attempt to draw it.

Hand drawn wire mesh path overlaying a photo of my drawing

Additionally, it is helpful to base the directional path that I evaluate a form with on a directional path from the idea of the wire mesh.¹  Although I have found it crucial to evaluate a form in every possible path.  Thinking about the wire mesh really helps me to evaluate the form in my drawing to see if it correlates to the structure of a wire mesh on the model.¹  Essentially, the idea of the wire mesh becomes a tool for comparing the structure of the forms in one's drawing to the structure of the forms on the model.  This comparison is important because, the gradations in one's drawing reveal the specific structure of form that the wire mesh describes.

The idea of the wire mesh was very helpful to me while working on the drawing shown below.

¹ Jeremy Deck, personal communication, 2013.