experimental life drawing

Yesterday, in the life drawing session, I followed a class plan intended to help free us of some of the constraints on our drawing.  I covered the paper in a variegated wash in acrylic ink to form a ground.  In gouache, I blocked in the warm light spilling across the lower limbs and lifted out from a white wash to form the head and torso.  Then, before the break, we were told to partially destroy this. I washed over it in dilute sepia ink both covering and smudging the still wet gouache.

My plan then was to add back the minimum of marks.  I meant to find the key highlights and depth of shadow and mark just these, looking for contrasts in hue and tone.  How easy to be seduced by detail though.  I started to draw into this with pastel, standing too close without breaking between making marks to just look.

I am happy enough with this outcome and pleased with this experiment in mixing media.  However, I can see how a more subtle, more expressive drawing might have been achieved with fewer marks.

In parallel to this process, I had sketched rapidly in charcoal to get an idea of the main shapes.

7 responses to “experimental life drawing

  1. Great work. The finished painting looks very refined. I love the rawness of the work in progress.
    i aagree with you that perhaps a little less of the refinements would still show a skillful finish while retaining a more expressive feel. Once those pastels come out, often a good drawer just can’t help themselves … they just have to draw “well”. The whole process was really interesting. Thanks.

  2. fabulous observation, great drawings. I love the subtlety and textures in the background. you have a real eye for the negative shapes as well. really well done.

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