Experimental simplicity

Here are three coloured twenty minute life drawing poses on tan paper with construction lines drawn in conte crayon and the figure painted in white, black, burnt sienna and cobalt blue.

In addition, the two, five and ten minute drawings on black paper were drawn freehand in just white and black gouache, following on from this picture I admired last week in the Manchester Art Gallery.

I switched between different sketches, either using a large flat brush filling space or a soft squirrel mop that comes to a point and tends to free flowing lines.

More life drawing

My right hand is out of plaster and though it remains stiff, swollen and sore I was surprised how quickly I defaulted to drawing again with my dominant hand. I missed the warm up fast sketches having left my pad on the platform when I changed trains and having to go back up the line one stop to retrieve it. I had gone with a plan in mind, to focus on a particular shape, likely negative space, and build the drawing round this, filling the page. These were the results, in conte crayon.

Left handed life drawing

So here’s a mix of drawings from our 90 minute session, and it will be obvious which were 2, 5, 10 and 20 minute sketches. We had a great model with excellent muscle definition. I switched media throughout, just for fun. Working only with my non-dominant hand is freeing. I think my lines are bolder, and this makes up for poorer fine coordination. I am generally working from inside out, blocking in content before finding the lines. One of the artists there is a professional sculptor recently moved from China, still looking at how to work here. Her drawings look like sculptures, extending off the page with wonderful definition of three dimensional shape. She was generous in her discussion of my drawings. The fourth down, the last I drew, was built on the contrast between the man and the red blanket he sat on. I felt I had struggled to control my materials. She, however, drew my attention to the abstraction and non-natural colours of Fauvism. I like this and I think I will try more for this sense next time.

Aloof yet mournful

I greatly appreciate that life model John Benge messaged me in response to my posting this picture on Facebook.  He says his stage instructions were the white horse should appear aloof yet mournful.  In Twin Peaks, the pale horse appeared only to one character and as a harbinger of death.  I guess the horse foretells tragedy but is itself not involved, hence its demeanour.

2016-01-29 Dr Sketchies (16)

Twin Peaks was a short lived surreal series broadcast a quarter of a century ago living on through its cult status with many fans.  I watched no more than an episode or so.  I think I felt faintly shamed that I could not get to grips with it, like I had failed a test in contemporary culture.  Twin Peaks was a great theme for Dr Sketchy’s anti art school session in Birmingham last Saturday.  This was a twenty minute pose by John Benge.  The drawing was roughed out in soft pencil then reworked in black, blue and brown fountain pen ink with water, with final colours applied in conte crayon.

 

Experimental drawi …

Today I learned that the Warwickshire Cricket Ground executive suite serves excellent sausage, onion gravy and mash.  Tonight was the last experimental drawing class of the term but I was having a cracked tooth repaired.   I was gently steered to the most expensive of several options, the dentist working to keep the eagerness out of his voice.  Home: my wife had baked a celebratory cake.  What, she musesd over the icing gun, should I write for someone forced from her job by a bullying manager?  (Later, I see the answer was “good luck”). My son was still awake talking loudly to a reindeer.  On Saturday, we agreed, we will make the reindeer a bed from a shoebox.

The last art I did was an ink sketch of Briony, the life model.   I have learned that I need to build the image then destroy it before rebuilding.  This did not get far enough at the time. 

Since then I’ve been thinking about colours, dividing the paper into quarters to some extent based on the colour wheel.  I tried this out on the ipad

So keeping to the formula, I painted over the original while waiting for my mouth to recover sufficiently so I could eat.

When it dries, I think I will draw back in in pastel.