In my feedback on Project 1.4, The Human Form, my tutor said that she would like to have seen more in this series, and since I regularly go to a life class, I have tried to take on her advice about life drawing. Today, in the quick poses, I tried to overcome the ‘stoniness’ that she found in my previous drawings, but I have continued to look at connected body parts, and cropping in. She said, ‘think about pressures of the medium and directions of the marks to give more form’.
For the short poses, I worked in my sketchbook over a double spread, not worrying about turning pages. As always with short warm-ups, some are more successful than others, and it is quite tricky to separate the drawings.
I think these are less stony, but, in the heat of the moment, I didn’t make my marks follow the contours of the body.
This is using a graphite block, which I didn’t find a very sympathetic medium.
I think this is interesting in its concentration on the negative space between the head and arm. I tried to show the weight of the head by the creases on the cushion.
I did get to draw a lot of bottom today, and I really like this one in its simplicity and almost abstract quality.
In the longer poses, I tried to address my tutor’s other advice, to concentrate on a looser, more investigative use of media. I had prepared two large sheets of paper by gluing on some newspaper which had been dyed by being used to protect a work surface during painting. Newspaper is, of course, not archival, durable or really good for anything, but I love the way it soaks up water-based paint but still reveals text and image. I used gouache to integrate the newspaper with the support and then drew on top with pastel and charcoal. Newspaper didn’t take these well so I used a Mas??oil paint stick. I like the physical feel of this but it is a blunt tool and my marks are crude on this scale.
In the areas without newspaper tone, I washed charcoal dust in water. This created some lovely marks. The next pose offered me more scope for cropping in and I am ambitious to improve my drawing of hands. The oil stick has produced a slightly strange effect on the newspaper but I rather like the sculptural effect. I have, however, failed to make my marks follow the contours of form. The charcoal wash is lovely as a background. The newspaper rapidly acquired holes.
The oil stick sits on this surface such that it becomes more evident the next day. I need to think of a way of manufacturing a support which has some of these qualities but is a good surface to work on, perhaps a mixture of ink and charcoal wash, although this would lack the found images and text.
At the next class I will pin a note to the easel to remind me about weight and direction of mark and take some differently prepared coloured backgrounds to develop this idea,