A fairly quick wash-in experimenting with interactive acrylic paint, I found it very freeing to splash around with water, rather than turps or mineral spirits which are both costly and toxic, and to be able to reactivate the paint when touch dry, more like oils. I’ll continue to play around with this medium to find out how it performs in other ways.
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?
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.
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 felt tired and niggly and was ready to pack it in and go home but thought, as the model was making the effort, that I’d give it one last go! So I let myself off the old expectation hook by drawing mainly with my left hand which pulled me out of the doldrums into presence and the joy of simply looking and drawing with nowhere to get to. I think this pleasure shows in the end result which has a loose kind of freshness about it.