I recently attended a life class where we explored an area of a whole pose that may have interest in itself. The original drawing made in class is below:
I really liked this drawing with the tonal contrast showing musculature, the composition itself and the shock of red curls our model had.
In my A4 sketchbook, I made a couple of smaller sketches exploring the composition further by cropping close to the figure and then redrawing in water-soluble inks and pens.
Wanting to bring some vibrancy and colour to a larger painting (A2), I decided to splash and drip acrylic inks in a yellow, red and blue, not only as primary colours but as an inclination to 3 tones ie yellow for light, red for medium and blue for darker tone. These were mainly to provide background interest. I then used acrylic paint, a transparent burnt sienna to draw the figure loosely with a large brush, using a white as the burnt sienna in itself was too transparent in places to be a strong enough light and a blue to increase the darks. In one half of my mind the result is a mess, in the other half, it’s bright and appealing, dare I say exciting? My favourite part is the hair, tonally it works with the blue darkening the burnt sienna and the red lifting glowing highlights. I enjoyed just letting it happen and will look again at how I can use the initial drawing. I have so many life drawings now, it’s a shame not to develop them further.