Life Class – 26 September 2015

26/09/15

Life Class – Kathy 09.30-12.30

First class back after summer was surprisingly full. Even our tutor was taken aback as he had prepared the room for the students to be around the model so that viewing was 360 degrees. However, we squeezed in, and as ever, I decided to stand at my easel so found a slot. As it was the first session I’d attended for a while, I chose to use drawing media and not paint this time.

We had a new model, Kathy, who was tall and voluptuous and very still – a gentle re-introduction. We had a fairly traditional session with some shorter poses, followed by a long one.

4-5 minute poses with spear Pencil on A2 paper

4-5 minute poses with spear
Pencil on A2 paper

The first few were around 4-5 minutes and had the prop of a spear, these are always a little tricky as I need to warm up and adjust to scale of the model etc. I failed to contain the entire figure within the paper, however, I concentrated on the stance and showing weight and solidity.

 

 

 

 

Three views of same pose 10 minutes each Charcoal on A2 paper

Three views of same pose
10 minutes each
Charcoal on A2 paper

Next, utilising the fact that we were encircling the model, we had a set of three 10 minute poses. This time the model repeated her seated pose, turning for each, so that everyone could have three drawings from different view points. This was enjoyable, however, my third view was front on and this was the most difficult, as there was little light and dark. This had the effect of flattening the subject and therefore, I subconsciously widened the figure which increased the scale so didn’t fit the paper. Standing back I realised this and then became less precious about the drawing and more scribbly which actually improved it a little.

 

Our final pose after tea break was around 40 minutes. It was a lying position and the model was again in the centre of the group. This meant that wherever we stood, we had pot luck of a “good” pose – we did have the option of moving, however, I decided to take the challenge of drawing whatever I was given. It turned out to be an interesting view with foreshortening and lots of lumps and bumps! While drawing the figure, it became obvious how important the surrounding fabric/background was for showing the form of the body. I tried to work quickly, moving around the paper and not become too fixated on one or other part of the drawing. I was happy with the solidity of the image and lost and found edges here and there, although still didn’t quite get the feet on the paper in their entirety.

40 minute pose Charcoal on A2 paper

40 minute pose
Charcoal on A2 paper

 

Life Class – 5th March 2015

05/03/15

Life Class – Andrea 09.30-12.30

This week we turned the tables slightly by doing a couple of longer poses to start with – two 15 minutes.  Followed by a couple of 3 minute and then two 10 minutes poses.  As is traditional we ended on a long pose but started before tea break, giving ourselves approximately 50 minutes rather than the usual 40.

It was interesting to see how this affected us psychologically in the way we approached the drawings.  I know I need to warm up before I can produce a reasonable drawing, so in that respect I found it harder. However, by the time we got to the quick poses, I was confident in my mark making and think the gesture of the pose more convincing.

Andrea 15 minute - charcoal

Andrea
15 minute – charcoal

Andrea 15 minute - charcoal

Andrea
15 minute – charcoal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our tutor also placed some white gauze type fabric around the model, so that we had to consider the tone, transparency and delicacy of the fabric around her.  Delicacy not being my strong point, I tried hard to achieve this by using subtle charcoal sweeps and a putty rubber to lift out the highlights with varying success.

Andrea 2 x 3 minute & 1 x 10 minute - charcoal

Andrea
2 x 3 minute & 1 x 10 minute – charcoal

Andrea 1 x 10 minute - charcoal

Andrea
1 x 10 minute – charcoal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have noticed recently how I tend to use the hair of the model to angle the head without adding much, if any detail to the face itself. I am quietly pleased with this little trick and must put it down to the regular life and portrait sessions where we are encouraged to look more than we draw.

Andrea 50 minute pose Charcoal and acrylic on canvas boards Approx A3

Andrea
50 minute pose
Charcoal and acrylic on canvas boards
Approx A3

As I had only a couple of A4 sized boards with me, I decided to clip them together to make an A3 board that allowed me to be more expressive.  I had in my mind before the class, that I would like to work less impasto and more with liquid paint to allow runs, plus, I was curious to draw tonally with charcoal and then use water to reduce it down to pigment rather than just a drawing medium.  Again, I should have taken an interim photograph at tea break when I had reached the “painting with charcoal” stage but the call of tea and a chocolate biscuit distracted me!  I had achieved a few runs and the charcoal was doing what I wanted it to, although, there were a few raised eyebrows among the other students – they thought I hadn’t noticed ;0). I had decided to use Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre and Naples Yellow as my three main tones, however, I did resort to neat white for the lightest highlights.  I was fairly pleased with my experiment, although, I did revert to neat paint to try to establish the darkest darks and lightest lights.  Maybe next time I’ll use acrylic inks to really push the liquid colour and runs.

 

Life Class – 28th February 2015

28/02/15

Life Class – Jill 9.30-12.30

Today’s class featured one of my favourite models that we have the privilege of drawing.  Her hair is cut in a classic bob and really helps describe a pose by the way that it falls.

The first poses were quick 3-7 minutes and were in sequence of stepping up on to a stool, on top of a table, reaching over to a step-ladder, climbing down and moving as if to repeat.

Sequence of 5-7 Minute Poses Charcoal on paper

Sequence of 5-7 Minute Poses
a Charcoal on paper

As this sequence of movement had been recorded step by step, we had become more familiar with both the model and the different shapes made. This time, our model would be moving continuously, slowly and methodically – we were to select a point in the sequence to draw.  To do this it was important to merely watch a couple of run-throughs before drawing.  As I was doing this, my tutor whispered that I could do two drawings if I wanted as there should be time.  Taking this as encouragement I thought I’d have a go. We needed to watch, wait and remember the point at which we had decided to draw, looking for the clues to continue each time that point was reached.

Moments in a Sequence of Movements Charcoal on Paper

Moments in a Sequence of Movements
Charcoal on Paper

Our next challenge was to incorporate mirror reflections as we saw them.

Seated at a Mirror Approx 10 minutes Charcoal on Paper

Seated at a Mirror
Approx 10 minutes
Charcoal on Paper

Lying Before a Mirror Approx 10 minutes Charcoal on Paper

Lying Before a Mirror
Approx 10 minutes
Charcoal on Paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reclining, Reading Along a Mirror Approx 12 minutes Charcoal on Paper

Reclining, Reading Along a Mirror
Approx 12 minutes
Charcoal on Paper

Seated Looking Down into a Mirror Approx 10 minutes Charcoal on Paper

Seated Looking Down into a Mirror
Approx 10 minutes
Charcoal on Paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our long pose for the morning was seated and around 40 minutes long. I decided to use acrylic paint again this week, and attempted to look at tone and warm and cool colours.

Final Seated Pose Approx 40  minututes Acrylic onA3 Canvas Board

Final Seated Pose
Approx 40 minutes
Acrylic on A3 Canvas Board

Life Class – 7th February 2015

07/02/15

Life Class – Sally 9.30-12.30

This was my first class of the year, so was keen to get going.  We began with the traditional series of short poses, anything from 5-7 minutes each:

Sally - short poses 5-7 minutes each. 1 - graphite, 2 & 3 charcoal.

Sally – short poses 5-7 minutes each.
1 – graphite, 2 & 3 charcoal.

 

Initial warm up using graphite, but the shine on the buff coloured paper made it difficult to see what I was doing.  Changing to the matt media of charcoal solved this problem and also helped my lines to become more fluid.  Sally had a long, thin pole as a prop to the pose which helped me place “landmarks” on the figure.

Sally - short poses 5-7 minutes each. Charcoal.

Sally – short poses 5-7 minutes each.
Charcoal.

 

 

The theme of the next few poses was to show the figure gradually emerging as if from a hole in the ground.  Tables were placed together to create a central space in which the model would pose, each one coming further out.  We were to attempt the section of the figure above the space and give the impression of the bottom half being submerged beneath the surface. This by using tone to denote the differences above and within the hole.

 

 

Sally - short poses 5-7 minutes each. Charcoal.

Sally – short poses 5-7 minutes each.
Charcoal.

Sally - Pose 3 10 minutes, Pose 4 12 minutes. Charcoal.

Sally – Pose 3 10 minutes, Pose 4 12 minutes.
Charcoal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It would have been nice to have all the poses on one page, however, I didn’t want to work any smaller than I did.  The final pose in this series, number 4, had a spotlight beneath the table (or in the hole) shining up at the model. We were to pay attention to way the light and shadows fell on the model.  I found the most effective way of doing this was to ensure the tones surrounding her were also described.  The paper was tinted a pink/buff, the drawing was made with charcoal stick, charcoal pencil and white pencil.

After tea break, a longer pose was set up lasting around 40 minutes.  The model was placed higher than the students, sat on a chair, on top of a table.  No dramatic lighting this time, however, the background tones were just as important.  I decided to paint with acrylics using a limited palette of Prussian Blue, Burnt Sienna and white – adding a little yellow ochre at times to distinguish the fabrics draped over the chair and table. I re-used a canvas board, that had a lot of texture from a previous acrylic painting and that had been covered over with a couple of coats of Gesso.

Sally - 40 minute pose. Acrylic on re-used canvas board.

Sally – 40 minute pose.
Acrylic on re-used canvas board.

The painting didn’t come out too bad, which I was pleasantly surprised at, as I hadn’t used acrylic in anger for some time.  I enjoyed the fact that the paint dried quite quickly on the board so that I could sculpt the figure into and out of the background easily without overly contaminated the colours.  I did keep forgetting to wash off my brushes with water though to stop the pigment drying into them. I often use oil paint and it’s not overly different other than the drying time.