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.
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.
The cut-out effect is the result of photographing the drawing in poor lighting, which made the whole thing a bit grey, then erasing the background area in Photoshop to lighten it.
I’ve sometimes done this on previous posts to clean them up a bit around the corners but it’s more obvious and deliberate-looking here, and I like how the soft grey links the three individual poses together to create an apparent group of figures.
So, having said I might like to focus a bit more on the head what do I do here? I leave it really vague and instead get all involved in the fascinating contrast between the light and shade on the shoulder and torso until the pose is over and there’s no time left. What can you do? To me the head just wasn’t the most engaging aspect of this pose, in fact it seemed almost invisible, as if a veil of light had been thrown over it obscuring any detail.
I’ve never focused on just the the head before but this time I found it interesting to do that, and I like how it turned out, even though there’s very little detail, so it isn’t really a portrait, but I think it does capture something of the character and elegance of this particular model.
Portraiture is another discipline entirely, and one I’d certainly like to explore and develop…
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!
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.