Life Drawing- Embracing Jeopardy

Finally back to some life drawing this week, I decided to try and introduce a a real element of risk taking into my drawing by working in ink with a brush. My ambition was to create very simple drawings with gestural sweeps of the brush and areas of tone created by catching areas of water.


3 minute drawings

I did some practice mark making before we started and then a series of 3 munte drawings on the same A2 sheet. As usual, some are awful, in some, I suceeded in capturing a simple expression of the pose. These three were the sort of expression of the pose I was intending.

jeopardy-in-life-7-of-11 jeopardy-in-life-8-of-11 jeopardy-in-life-6-of-11

In this last one, the ink has moved in the water to suggest but not define the face. The knee is well expressed but the line for the back would have been better if the are beyong had been wet, creating a hightlight on the back.

I committed to the method for longer poses, using a brush with water and a sword liner brush loaded with ink.



This is much less successful. I have hesitated applying the ink and produced non-assertive marks. Having more time, I have been tempted to try to capture detail. I have tried to restate areas which have resulted in chaotic marks.



Here I have tried to concentrate on the composition made by face, hand, knee and foot. The hand and foot are far to small but the face is better suggested more softly. I wanted to juts suggest the dark areas and not complete the body. I have added the supporting cushions to balance the composition but I don’t believe an observer could ‘read’ these.

I gave up at this point and did some drawings in more conventional media. However, right at the end, I completed a 5 minute portrait in ink.


I set myself a very difficult objective and most of the results are a resounding failure. To use ink in this way will require me to put in hours and hours of practice to gain experience of how to balance ink and water and hard and soft marks. There is certainly a high degree of risk since each mark is both  irretrievable and yet not final, as the ink continues to move after application. The character of the marks achievable can be really sensuous and I must try and gain an understanding of how to use ink this way.


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