A recurring theme of mine is that shortly after reading a book, particularly a biography, I’ll pick up a few things from the story’s protagonist and try to implement them in my own life. The drawings you’ll see are one such case. After reading (and not finishing) Walter Isaacson’s biography on Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci, “Leonardo da Vinci”, I became fascinated with sketching the human anatomy. I tried my hand (you’ll see why that’s funny soon) at replicating famous drawings of the Renaissance period. The following drawings are dated some time my Freshman year at MIT.

Fig 1: My unfinished attempt at Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam painting

And here’s the Vitruvian man:

Fig 2: An unfinished attempt at da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man

I’d be sitting in class and obsessively drawing my hands in different positions and orientations – after exhausting the interesting positions of my own hands (i.e. fingers bent in whichever way), I’d begin discretely drawing the hands of the person sitting next to me. (That sounds creepy when written down). I don’t know what it is about hands that made me want to draw them, I suspect it’s because:

  1. They’re right there, and so I can draw with an easily visible guide.
  2. They’re manipulable, and that makes them interesting.

I drew alot of hands. Sometimes on top of my homework.

Fig 3: Hands, with the Vitruvian Man

Fig 4: More hands. In different poses. Sometimes feet. Excuse the middle-finger one, it was for the sake of Art

Fig 5: Even more hands

Fig 6: Even, even more hands. With feet to boot. (get it?)

Once I had my fill of hands, I attempted drawing scenes. With the focus being on the human elements of the scene of course. Here’s a drawing of myself, drawing myself.

Fig 7: Drawing myself drawing myself :o