Another week and a bit more printmaking. This time etching, something I haven’t done for a very long time but remember fondly.
In this case you cover the plate with wax and then draw into that with a sharp pin. That removes the wax so when you place it in an acidic bath it erodes and forms a line to hold ink. Simple.
I used a quick drawing I had done of some local overflowing bins as the basis for my tests.
Like any print you can vary the amount of ink left on to gain intensity. And you can continue to draw in, most easily by using dry point.
Or printing with two colours like this rather vibrant green!
Recently I’ve been using the printmaking room at The Royal Drawing School, Shoreditch.
The idea is to run through a few different techniques. First up is dry point which essentially means scratching directly onto the printing plate. I find it a bit hard-work and tricky to get fluid lines but I guess that could come with more practice.
Here’s my print. It’s from a sketch I made while on a film set earlier this year where the main character (actually a young girl) is doing some wirework against green screens. Just in case you wondered why a figure is hanging from the ceiling – nothing bad is happening!
This first one is quite subtle, but you can get great variation by deciding how much to wipe the plate and remove the ink.
This is the same drawing, just a bit more ink left in.
And the good thing about dry point is you can draw into the plate as you go and add or remove detail.
As part of the series of classes I went to earlier this year around drawing the head I also started using quite a bit of ink. It’s quite a free way to draw, especially when used with a brush.
Something I am planning to experiment with further.
Here are a series of quick drawings I did at the end of a longer session.
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!
Only one drawing this week. I was late and had to wait for a break to join the session and so only completed this one 25 minute drawing.
More similar to my normal style, I still think it gained something from the more sculptural drawing I did last week.
A new tutor this week and therefore some new exercises.
A (terrible) 15 minute pose and some short poses to warm up. So far so normal.
Then a few other exercises including one where we drew with the wrong hand. I’ve never tried this before and thought it would be impossible (I can’t write with my left hand for example), but actually it wasn’t so bad and set me off on a different styles for the evening.
A much more sculptural style than usual, trying to use the contours of the body rather than cross-hatching all the time which is my default.
Bit of weird face on the first sketch and a funny arm on the second, but overall I thought it was a step forward.