Back lit

Acrylic on Paper  14 x 10 ins

Another exploration with interactive acrylic and ‘drawing with a brush’.  Here there was time, about 50 minutes in all, to introduce white with the umber and go beyond a basic wash-in to add a little loose modelling on the back and a touch of detail in the profile.

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Stretching curling turning

A3: Charcoal and wash on paper

I enjoy the challenge of foreshortened poses and with this one it just seemed right to emphasise the length and movement through the body by framing the head fairly tightly into the top corner so the model’s torso and legs seem to unravel and extend down the page…or is she maybe curling up…or turning over?

Leaning back

A3: Charcoal and wash on paper

I’ve taken a break from life drawing for a while and have been painting, mainly figure paintings but also landscapes, and now I’m almost ready to come back to this. I never intend to stop but my pattern seems to be to draw regularly for a few months and then have a few weeks off. So far I’ve always come back to it with renewed enthusiasm…

Meanwhile this drawing is one I did earlier. The diagonal pose goes off the page anchoring it to the edges of the paper and I like sense of the light coming in from the right and the dark shadow on the left emphasising the weight leaning on her right arm.

Got a minute…

A3: Ink wash on paper

These three one-minute sketches are each about 10.5 ins/27cm high and it’s all about capturing the gesture of a pose with a brush and ink…and fast!  The model moves into a new pose every minute and there’s no time to think so they’re a lot of fun to do.

I seem to have hurried the photography too. Must set up some kind of reflector system…or an A3 scanner would be cool!

Pushing it

A3: Charcoal and wash

In an attempt to turn poor lighting conditions to advantage I deliberately under-exposed the photo of this drawing to make it all a general grey and then quickly erased most of the background in Photoshop to whiten it and leave the figure blocked in with an overall tone.

As a result this image is no longer true to the original drawing, being a combination of natural and digital media, but there’s something interesting here about ‘mistakes’ working if they look intentional and making the most of happy accidents to create something new.

Big man crawling

A3: Carbon pencil on paper

By taking the figure beyond the frame I was aiming to convey a sense of his size and weight and a feeling of slow or restricted movement.  The wet carbon pencil is bold.  It makes fat black indelible lines and there’s no going back so it feels more risky than a soft malleable medium like charcoal. I’m pleased with how it turned out.

Quick draw

A3: Charcoal and wash on paper

These are all fairly quick drawings, the two lower poses being about five minutes each, and the feinter washy ones at the top were one or two minutes.

It’s amazing how much can be done in a very short time to capture the gesture and mood of a pose.  There isn’t time to think. You just have to go for it and be spontaneous.

I had a good day today and enjoyed working quite fast.

Fast and loose

A3: Charcoal and wash on paper

I let the proportions get a bit out of hand here and was conscious of working quickly and relying on the values and the dark wash to do the work and make an impact. So now, without reference to the model, I can’t be sure where it’s all gone off, but the left leg certainly looks way longer than the right.

I think I need to concentrate on some disciplined measuring in my next few sessions to bring my eye and hand back in. They’re slipping!

Winning and selling

A3: Charcoal and wash on paper

One of my drawings won a prize this week at the arts club annual exhibition. I also have two paintings in the show and sold one at the private view despite the NFS tag. Someone made me an offer and I took the cash. I’ve had offers for the drawing too but haven’t accepted…yet…as it’s one I’m fond of. I do have a plan chest full of drawings though so why have I not let it go?

It’s wonderful and very encouraging to receive acknowledgement and appreciation, and money, for my work.

I’ve sold many paintings in the past that I really loved and have no regrets about parting with any of them. (Well, maybe one, and I’ve insisted on keeping a few). Letting go of the old makes way for the new, and no one can enjoy work that’s hidden away in a rack or drawer.

I heard that a local artist, an excellent and prolific draughtsman, has been selling his life drawings for silly money at his open house show. A kind of loss leader for his paintings perhaps. I like that this gets his work, and his name, out there and suggests both a lack of attachment and a confidence that he can more or less give them away as there will always be plenty more where these came from.

The winning drawing is “Two’s Company” which I posted here on 18th February.