Another week of life drawing. I forgot all my equipment so I just worked in the charcoal supplied by the school.
We started with a few five minute poses and I was a bit rusty as I’d missed a week. Here’s one (the others were terrible and on such flimsy paper I jettisoned them). I quite like this one although in terms of likeness it’s not really that close.
And then we had a longer one hour pose. I often rush through this and finish way before the end and spend time tinkering or trying some other angles on fresh drawings. This week I took my time and worked more methodically.
Looking at it now some of the light and dark seems out of balance, but it was actually a reasonable likeness so that’s something!
It’s a new term and I have switched group at The Royal Drawing School to one that is focussing on the head rather than the whole form.
Drawing the figure is hard and I think drawing the face is the hardest part (followed by hands and then feet in that order!) mainly because I know I over think that part. I forget to just relax and draw what I see rather than try to make it look ‘right’.
So how did week one go? OK.
We started with some quick poses, 10 and 15 minutes.
And the moved onto some longer poses. I tried not to worry about likeness too much but focus on structure, light and shadow and hope that some sort of likeness would be a side product of that. Kind of worked.
The tutor on the course strongly suggested we bring colour and in my case more ink to work with. That and charcoal which I think is a fast medium to work with, did seem to be a good idea.
The model also approached the session differently. He still moved a lot and fairly rapidly but his movements were slightly more considered and whilst not repetitive kind of evolved which helped when trying to capture the shape of what he was doing.
To try and get some control I tried to use my paper and the placement of the figure to show where he was in the room.
Then later I constricted the area I worked in and maintained the size of the figure to try and give a sense of constant movement of one person rather than just random figures on a sheet of paper.
I’ve been really focussing on drawing recently and a couple of weekends ago I took part in a two day workshop focussing on movement. I have drawn a model on the move before but ages ago and with quite limited, slow and repetitive moments which made it hard but not too hard.
This was totally different. The model was responding to music and was constantly on the move around the room. She also mixed it up with some accessories for example a ballet style skirt in these early images.
Needless to say it was pretty hard. I only really started to get somewhere when I switched to ink.
Last week and time to reflect. Whilst I felt a big move on overall and specifically more confidence in depicting the whole 3D shape of the model rather than just an outline. It was also reminder that nothing is ever perfect….
Problems in all of these, some overworking (even though they are mostly short poses) and apparently a problem with faces – I’m probably overthinking that part and not just drawing what I see because it’s a ‘face’. The good news is that now this series of sessions has finished I am switching to classes that focus more on the head. Apparently just in time!
On Fridays after work the drawing school run a Drink and Draw session. It’s a nice idea to do some more informal drawing before the weekend, maybe with a friend or two. However, I found it a bit too busy and hard to focus as the normal silence of the drawing studio was broken by a little chatter. At least that’s my excuse!
Anyway here’s how I got on.
Quick poses to start, all 2 minutes. A couple of these I was pretty pleased with, they capture the form, but feel free and have some energy to them.
Then a longer pose, I think around 15-20 minutes. The first one I’m not so into as it’s heavy and I can see that I struggled. It’s kind of flat, although I do like the line that runs down the back to the hip.
The second I prefer although it’s far from perfect.
A quick diversion into red chalk..
Then finally the long pose which is my least favourite. I tend to work reasonably fast and so I struggle a bit with overworking these ones.
And week two. Week one was actually very enjoyable so I was really looking forward to it. Mixed results…
We started with some very quick poses, just a couple of minutes allowed. I quite liked these two as they feel quite fluid.
These ones not so much.
We tried an exercise where we drew without looking at the paper, just at the model. Although I’m pretty sure I must have snatched a few glances given that the two sides kind of meet up.
Then some longer poses, I think these were 10-15 minutes.
And finally a longer pose, around 30-45 minutes I can’t totally remember. I really struggled with the foreshortening on the legs so this feels pretty awkward and overworked although there are some parts of the drawing I like.
It’s been an age since I have focussed on drawing for drawing rather than as a prep stage for a painting.
And even longer since I have done any life drawing, something I always loved as a student. And so I’ve fixed that and started going to evening drawing at the Royal Drawing School. It’s been so long and I am so rusty that I was pretty worried about just how bad I’d be. Life drawing is popular but it is also really hard and can be a bit depressing at times when things just won’t work out.
So I’ve decided to try and record a hoped for improvement here, session by session. That includes the bad, the medium and the hoped for good….
Week one started with some quicker but not super quick poses, around 10 – 15 minutes each. And also a change for me to use charcoal something I always avoided as an art student, although I can’t remember why exactly. I think I just found that everything got very dark and hard to work.
Then some longer half hour poses.