Finalizing your animation unit, I want you to draw an object in motion. This is actually rather hard, because there are a lot of different ways to show that an object is moving in a static (non-moving) drawing. One of the things I love to show students is Eadweard Muybridge’s photos, which know you have seen:
The thing that was great about these images is that Muybridge captured something that was previously too fast for people to actually see. This technological innovation inspired many people, including the groundbreaking makers of the 1999 movie The Matrix, where the filmmakers used some of Muybridges techniques to bend time and space and move the movie camera in ways never seen before then.
As art evolved in the 1900’s, we eventually arrived at one of my favorite paintings – Marcel Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2”. There’s no doubt in my mind that Duchamp was influenced by Muybridge’s photos:
Look carefully and you can see the person walking down the staircase. But instead of separate frames like in Muybridge’s photos, Duchamp put all the frames together. It’s a stunning departure from the idea that time is linear. Muybridge’s photos are a lot like a storyboard, showing us a story as it travels through time and space. Duchamp’s painting shows us all the steps (get the pun?) all at once, as if the person is on every step at the same time, as if time is stopped and also sped up at the same time.
So, what do you do with this? What would I possibly want you to do for this sketchbook assignment? Well, the need to show that objects are in motion is huge in many arts, from anime to comic books, artists have looked at Muybridge, Duchamp, and many other influences to try and show their audiences that an object is moving. Your sketchbook assignment is to draw an object that is in motion. How you chose to do this does not have to be like Duchamp’s painting – there are a lot of variations on this idea or theme. Below are examples of what some students have done in the past. You can also look at more examples from modern art – like the aforementioned animations, comic books, etc.