Monday 23 November 2009

Art Monday: Anthropometry


Close up of left side: Close up of right side:Click each to enlarge.

The text on the right hand glove says:

"It follows also, that no vain or selfish person can possibly paint, in the noble sense of the word."
-from Modern Painters by John Ruskin Vol.5, E.P. Dutton & Co. (no date on colophon) .

"When the pupils can make from the figure rapid pencil sketches showing good action and good proportion, they may be allowed to indicate the features in a very simple way. "
-from the Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Art, Toronto, William Briggs, 1916, 1918 edition.

The assignment was to discuss sexuality, body image, eroticism, beauty or any combination of these. I decided to go for body image and perfection from a different angle.
Anthropometry seemed appropriate.

After some discussion with
Felice Frankel about our upcoming ScienceOnline2010 session, my mind has been ticking about the way scientific visualizations and scientific illustrations create their own standards, holotypes and "perfect" images, as well as how artists have done the same. From da Vinci's Vitruvian Man, to laws of the body being 7.5 heads high (or whatever), artists have been using these semi-arbitrary rules for perfect drawing for as long as there has been clay and fingers to smudge it with.

India Ink, pencil, and sanguine brush marker drawing on hygienic latex gloves. Glued to stretcher bars and backlit. Copyright Glendon Mellow 2009.

Some of the rough work can be seen here.

- - - - - - - -

Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.
Flying Trilobite Gallery *** Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ***


traumador said...


so the question i must ask, how did you get the drawings onto the gloves?

straight up drawing or was there a more interesting means of transferring them?

Christopher Zenga said...

The first sign of madness is illustrations on latex gloves, the second sign is back lighting them! GASP!!!! When I finish this portrait I'm doing on a Trojan condom I'll get you some help.

Looks great G-Mel,


Glendon Mellow said...

Hey Traumador,

Thanks! I tried a lot of different ways to do the drawings. Turns out conte dust doesn't adhere well.

In the end, I used a Faber-Castell Pitt brush pen with India Ink and another with sanguine-toned ink, and just drew all over them, and then rubbed my hands together for a while to give them their "background" tones.

I used the same kind of pens to draw on them, but with a sepia tone for the skeleton, and sanguine for the muscle study.

The skeleton glove in behind on the far left was done with a 2mm mechanical pencil, tracing the drawing I had done. Interestingly, I had to press really hard to make a mark, and it also then transferred some pencil from the original drawing onto the back of the glove.

Loc-Tite glue attached them to the stretcher bars. One of the things I like is that I drew decent proportions, but they are pulled and distorted by the surface they are on.

Glendon Mellow said...

Zenga: the madness is here. grab your latex and markers and let's backlight the hell out of 'em.


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