I am continuing to look at portrait drawing particularly looking at using mark making and tonal values to add structure to my drawings. I posed my model with a lamp and experimented with the light falling across her face. I did two 30 minute drawings in my sketchbook. I feel that I am making some progress although in my second drawing i think i have drawn her nose too wide , But i now feel i need to explore using charcoal on a larger sheet of paper.
on a rainy mid October evening I attended an art macabre organised event of the historic cutty sark ship in Greenwich.
Art Macabre run unusual life drawing events fusing history with interesting themed life drawing saloons. Almost creating a colourful tableau setting. The cutty sark event had a sea theme with a mermaid, an opera singing ships figurehead and the captain posing with tea chests. There was so much to draw that I didn’t get to draw the mermaid. I found the way that the models were posed very imaginative and unusual and I will definitely attend other art macabre sessions.
I used my A4 sketchbook, watercolour pencils and a Pental mechanical lead pencil – I enjoyed sketching the Opera singer as it was a opportunity to add movement to figure drawing. On the whole I was fairly pleased with my drawings although I feel I work better with larger paper when figure drawing – as I tend to find fitting the figure on the paper very challenging.
Yesterday afternoon I attended a local life drawing class. Again I was concerned with the structural form and the stance of the human figure. The male model for the class was interesting but was very challenging to draw – he was an older man with an unusual body shape – fairly short lean limbs but with a short stocky torso with a very round prominent stomach. I used for the first time compressed charcoal in grey tones and white chalk which I really liked using as i found it a very versatile medium , particularly for capturing a sense of the structure and form on the short poses.
the class started with 3 short 5 minute standing poses. What was interesting is that for the first pose he had his arm straight out which offered an interesting foreshortened effect which was difficult and challenging to draw – I found breaking the form down into shapes easier. The model had a few problems holding his arm still and it did drop down towards the end of the duration of the 5 minutes so I drew it as it changed! So my finished drawing appears to have 2 left
arms! But I think it looks fairly interesting. I did two further 5 minute drawings on one piece of A1 paper. I then did an hour and a half long pose – this time the model is seated with his left hand pressing down on the arm of a wooden chair . I again used charcoal and also charcoal pencil. I struggled with the pose again finding the models body shape difficult to capture . I feel although I am happy with my mark making there are elements of my drawing that I am unhappy with – the hands seem undeveloped , and clumsy , his arms don’t have the sculptural solid feel that I was aiming for. I also feel that the chair does not work , it looks unconvincing ? And does not appear to support the weight of the body.
again I enjoyed working with compressed charcoal. I have another life drawing session this time on the cutty sark ship!