Thursday, August 23, 2007

Aquarelles on coloured paper, 20 minutes.

Aquarelles and coloured pencils on coloured paper, 15 minute pose.

6B and coloured pencil on coated paper, 20 minute pose.

Some drawings are better than others. Sometimes the model moves. Sometimes I get tired or uninspired by the pose, or hungry or just because. But the name of the game is to continue to look at the challenge presented by the subtle nuances of the body, and convince your eye/brain/hand to act in concert; and hopefully the gods of drawing materials join in and together we all create a masterpiece. And you think about it, and think about it again. And again, when you look at the drawings, and again, when I edit and post them here. Mark Bernstein asks, 'Can we do it all, better?' He sees 'galleries and museums are a big conversation: how can we do this?', and asks what is the purpose of music. Big questions, Mark, good questions. In the age of machines, it is the hallmark of humanity. There is no machine that makes art - drawings, music, or any of the other glimmers of creativity that define us as a species. The purpose is itself.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

After last week's breakthrough on capturing a likeness, I couldn't wait to grab my 6B and settle in to see if I could create another likeness this week. What if it was a one off? A weird torture from the universe - a likeness once, and only once. I'm pleased to say, no, it seems like it is something you can learn, get better at, and generally keep in your repertoire of skills. I feel pretty pleased with this drawing. 6B on coated paper, 15 minute pose.

6B on coated paper, 20 minute pose.

6B on coated paper, 20 minute pose.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

10 minute pose - 6B pencil on coated paper.

20 minute pose - coloured pencil on coloured paper.

20 minute pose - aquarelle on coloured paper.

Finally! Something resembling a likeness. It was a good night's drawing tonight - one of the other artists looked over my drawings from a week or so ago, and said, 'Oh so it was (model's name).' I was amazed that he could interpret that information from my drawing as I didn't think there was even a passing resemblance. This drawing is different, it actually does begin to capture a reasonable likeness. An unexceptional drawing, but nevertheless, one I'm very pleased with. 20 minute pose - 6B pencil on coated paper.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Some models have an unwitting gift in that I find them easier to draw. I have no idea what is the difference that makes a difference - confidence and energy for sure - but I 'm not sure if that's on the part of the artist or the model. Coloured pencils on coloured paper, 20 minute pose.

I like the cleaner hatching - the aquarelles don't always take to the gloss paper very easily, so strong and incisive work is what is required. It makes any mistakes really obvious - not very forgiving at all. 20 minute pose.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Still working on capturing a likeness. 20 minute pose. Aquarelle on gloss paper.

Winner of the Mekon look-alike contest... oh dear, not very flattering. The great thing about using strange (well, strange to me) colours is that it shakes you out of the rut - the ideas and colour combinations that are known and safe simply don't work any more. Aquarelle on coloured paper. 20 minute pose.

I like the look of the ink lines and the colour work after - it's a bit like Carl Larsen's work, unfortunately quite a long way to go. It requires two skills for the price of one - the lines have to be spot on, and then the colour work needs care and balance. There's a lot going on in a 15 minute pose. Ink and aquarelle on coloured paper.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Anatomy of Anatomy

One of the better descriptions of the agonies and ecstasies of life drawing can be found at Everyday Matters - illustrator/writer Danny Gregory explores aspects of the human form. Danny's right - part of the drawing process is the artists themselves are laid bare - your every error, your every inadequacy is laid out, 'permanently' on paper. It's daunting holding your work up for comment or critique, even in an informal session. Friends and family have no care for this - they simply think: arms don't look like that, or oh dear, according to your drawing that poor model seems to have had an interlude with a chainsaw.

Call yourself an artist. My theory is that it takes about 10,000 hours to get good at something (about five years, full time), and about another 10,000 hours (total ten years, working full time) to become an expert. You might get there faster with a motivated teacher, but if you've become a genuine, world-class expert in less than ten years, let me know so I can celebrate you. Meanwhile, only about another 19,999 hours to go...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I'm finding the two minute poses are getting a bit easier. I'm getting much faster and can do a better job of getting in some of the details. I like one minute poses - I draw fast gestural drawings and sometimes they work better for me than something I labour over. I've heard that some people can capture a likeness in that sort of time - that they practice by sketching from the tv news. Phew! I wish.
6B pencil on paper. Two minute pose.

jun28-3-2007The coloured paper I'm using is quite soft - I'm still working out what methods of applying the colour will work, and which will not. In this drawing I wanted to explore some of the green and blue tones - I struggle with drawing warm skin tones in cooler colours. By layering in the colours I get a result I can tolerate. Only another 100,000 (or so) drawings to go...
Coloured pencil and aquarelle on coloured paper. 20 minute pose.

I got a bit distracted drawing this 20 minute pose - I could've done with another 20 minutes. I like the warm colours - rose. One of the things I find interesting is once I've reached a good drawing state I notice a 'flat' surface - like the model's back - is not flat, there are some shapes and depressions. And then there are more - and more. Suddenly an apparently flat surface with not distinguishing features becomes this fascinating landscape of subtle colours, textures, and undulations; oh, and then it's "two minutes more in this pose..."
Coloured pencil and aquarelle on coloured paper. 20 minute pose.
Foreshortening - the bane of most artists life - no wonder portraits used to cost an arm and a leg - I'd charge extra for them as well. 20 minute pose, aquarelle on coated paper.