Thanks to Naomi, and to Hannah for organising these fortnightly sessions. I had no clear plan today and used a mix of techniques. This is a mix of 2, 5, 10 and 20 minute poses. note the two drawings superimposed on each other in blue and green sharpie (better had I used complementary colours). I think I am still overdrawing. Especially on the blue paper, fewer, bolder strokes might have worked better.
Here are the images from life drawing yesterday. I was working in a new Seawhite A3 toned paper book and opted to work directly in blocks of shade or highlight from the side of a conte crayon, then throw a line round it after.
At the life drawing session, the model was once again Sophie who holds the most amazing positions and whose animated features still shine with humour as we draw. Previously I have worked in charcoal pencil and conte crayon. Today, I worked in pen and ink, grabbing the wash off the nib with a water brush. The first 2 minute poses were drawn free but subsequently I built a construction in pencil.
Sophie has beautiful tattoos. For the first time I tried to at least reference these in the longer drawings.
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.
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.
Thanks as always to Briony – a great model with regal poise.
Someone described my blog as a “mixture of joy, despair and hope” which made me laugh. I can say I was despairing after life drawing last weekend. I had clear ideas and couldn’t persuade the gouache to work the way I wanted – it wouldn’t lift off the prepared surface to create negative shapes nor build to create layered colours. The preliminary sketch above was the best thing to come form this session. Huh!
Here are a couple I did earlier.
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.
A week ago, I began a life drawing in charcoal on rough watercolour paper. It proved difficult to build the contrasts because the tooth grabbed the grains and prevented me lifting tones with putty. So I painted over it with gouache.
In retrospect, I needed to use more white in the mix or dilute the pure colours more. However, I liked the graininess of the charcoal showing though the paint. These next doodles were done later to explore these effects.
I was aiming for subtlety of colour, retaining the charcoal tones. I based the second pair of doodles on a photograph in a book on the siege of Stalingrad.
I went prepared to use this approach in life drawing yesterday. However, I followed instructions, painting the paper a mid tone to start, then building the picture with gouache white highlights then deeper grey dark tones before drawing into this with pastels and finally charcoal to give depth to the shadows. I didn’t have time to re-model her torso properly.
I’ve begun to make more self-conscious use of warm and cool colouring to suggest depth.