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.

Gouache nudes again

Here are more sketches done in grey brushpens (the 2 and 5 minutes sketches at the bottom) and in gouache on toned paper (10 and 20 minute poses). The palette is simple, white, ultramarine, burnt sienna, with some elements of cobalt blue, crimson, terra verte, lemon yellow. I am using a single flat brush for almost all the marks. The idea here is to use the time discipline of these fast poses to force me to prepare mentally and then make fast mark making decisions in paint. Since I did these, I visited the British Art Show 9 exhibition at Manchester Art gallery where I saw Hurvin Anderson‘s painting “Is It OK To Be Black?” I really liked the simple expressive heads painted in with broad continual brush strokes of white on black. Something like that seems worth a try this coming weekend.

life drawing

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.

Ink

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.

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.

life drawing

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.