Project 3: Form, basic shapes.
Exercise 1: a 1-hour seated pose; I tried several different poses first, sketching roughly in pastel:
I have to admit I struggled with this one: not sure why, but I found the furniture - chair legs and back - confusing and difficult to engage with. Nevertheless it was an interesting exercise. I finally decided on a pose; initially I worked in graphite stick and then spontaneously picked up some tubes of gouache and started drawing with paint directly from the tubes.
The outcome was interesting - less detailed I was working on A3 paper, so the image is relatively small for working directly from the tubes; the paint is a thick impasto, but created an interesting effect. It became impossible to correct mistakes however and I realised too late I had proportions wrong of the chair and figure; I should have been more careful with these at the beginning before moving onto more expressive media. Nevertheless, it's still an interesting outcome.
Exercise 2: six different poses of the same figure, paying attention to overall form rather than detail. They are in order of drawing:
I found it interesting to move fairly quickly from one pose to another though by the last two I was getting jaded and found it hard to concentrate.
Using soft pastels on tinted paper. I was fairly pleased with the results, both in terms of overall proportions and in using the tinted paper as a mid-tone with just one light and one dark pastel for highlights and shadow.
I found it worked best to keep highlights to a minimum: too much and the image looks overworked. I actually like image 5, where I left out the highlights altogether: it has a visual simplicity I really like. I'm least happy with the final image as I was losing concentration by then and really struggled to capture the proportions of the model bent up on the table.
Exercise 3: Stance
Capturing the standing figure seems more difficult for me... the figure is stretched out, it seems harder to measure correctly. These were rapid poses of just a minute or two each, which is often a great way to warm up as you don't have time to measure or think, just draw very fast. Nevertheless, still thinking about the centre of gravity, weight, balance and direction
Here the final pose, below, was around 45 minutes. I wasn't happy with the first result (1.). I found it a tricky angle to draw, essentially flat on from the back with flat lighting. I photographed the pose and re-drew it at home with better results (2.): more accurate proportions, less overworked with more limited highlights.
Exercise 4: Energy
So for this exercise, the brief was to have the model adopt 'dynamic' positions, turning the body and holding the pose for around 5 minutes each.
I decided to try a different more fluid medium so used a brush-pen with ink, which I enjoyed very much: it's fluid, the line varies according the angle and pressure applied. It's rapid and captures a sense of movement. On the other hand, being a wet medium, you can't make corrections afterwards. Overall I prefer it to soft pastels or charcoal however, which I always find stiff - literally - which I think tends to make my work stiffer and easier then to overwork and over-correct.
To warm up, I began with sketches from Eadweard Muybridge photo series.
I found in earlier life drawing that I seemed to work best, or I felt happiest with the outcomes when I didn't spend too long measuring, but got on with drawing quickly; I also felt happiest using a brush and ink rather than dry media such as charcoal or graphite, so I focused on ink for these images: