Between the lines

A3: Charcoal and wash

I was more deliberate about the design of this than I usually am when drawing one pose on top of another.  I included straight lines suggested by the interior of the studio as a deliberate contrast with the organic flowing contours of the model. By extending washes into some of these more abstract grid lines I was aiming to break up the composition further and increase the general ambiguity and transparency and the blurring of apparent boundaries between body and space, self and other…

Very Laid Back

A3: Charcoal & wash on paper

Here’s a bit of full-on foreshortening to kick off the New Year!

After a long break of no life drawing since summer I treated myself to four full days of  intensive untutored practice last week, so I feel like I’m just about back in gear.  And what an excellent way to spend that time between Boxing Day and New Year’s eve!

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!

Mediamix

A3: Charcoal on Paper

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.

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.

Headless

A3: Charcoal on paper

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.

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!