A not altogether sucessful follow up…

Following how pleased I was with the my long pastel in the last post, I decided at the next session to practice this medium again. However, this proved not to be one of my best efforts. I started on some black sugar paper as I didn’t have any pastel paper to hand, however this did not work as the pastel just didn’t stick. Therefore, ten minutes in I had to get some proper paper… After that, I tried to remember my previous lessons and try to be messy and build up the image in layers. However it didn’t seem to work and I ended up with a rather smudgy mess which I then outlined to give a bit of cohesiveness. I also found it difficult to give the depth of tone and detail for this picture. Although, friends have subsequently suggested that I try some pastel pencils to put in details. Hopefully I will have another go soon!

N.B.  – Also in this session, I did my short and medium poses in pencil as normal. We are having some difficultly photographing the pencil drawings as they are very light on the page. When we have sorted this I will put up my sketchbook and do a general pencil post.


Pastels – Experimental Mondays.

It has been a long while since I posted but I have been either unable to attend or I have been modelling! We have also been on holiday so I have been very distracted!

First Ten Minute

This experimental evening was the first time I have ever used pastels. I have not been particularly drawn to them in the past as I felt I would not be able to get the same amount of detail in. However it was fun to try! We started with some short ten minute poses, I found this quite difficult as you are encouraged to be messy and rub out the pastel and draw over the top – not always ‘colouring in between the lines’ which I seem to like! I also found the proportion difficult to render accurately – this was probably due to trying to concentrate on too many new things at once so all my pictures seem a bit off to me. During the coffee break it was said that my first ten minute was my best as it is the most ‘free’ of my short poses.

Later on, with some encouragement from Laura and Shelley to get messy and draw all over the page we started on the final long pose. I found this the best pose of the night as it gave me time to relax into the drawing. Of all of my pastels, I am most pleased with this one as it is relatively in proportion and it sort of has a face – something I found very difficult to draw in with any detail!

Final Fifty Minute Pose

Experimental: Pastels

Last week’s experimental session was using Pastels – have been a bit lax with updating the blog this week (Have been on holiday!). I’ve been trying to use pastels to get into colour recently, so had a bit of a head start. I’ve only really been using them for the three hour long poses, however, so doing medium length poses with them is a bit of a novel activity.

Medium Pose

We started with three ten minute poses which was an interesting challenge. Although I had my pastel paper with me, Jake opened up a pack of multicoloured paper (mine are more neutral) and that provided an interesting experimentation avenue – when doing one pastel picture a week, you tend not to want to experiment too much.

I also discovered a very nice blue which I used for the background of the second medium pose, and the background of the second longer pose.

After the three medium poses, we had two twenty-five minute poses, one which I drew on red paper, but am not too happy with, and the other I drew on white paper – and am quite happy with the end result (shown below). Overall, I am quite happy with what turned out to be another productive experimental session!

Long pose, and Drawing Moods

I went to the long pose on saturday, and everything seemed to be going wrong. Having a low day to begin with, our tutored oil session was cancelled at the last minute (with good reason), I didn’t have my previous weeks drawing with me to continue the pose with, and the only easel left was broken. Then, after we started the pose, I realised that there was some easels outside, but it was too late to move one in.

So, I was in a pretty dark mood as drawing started. From this, however, I managed to produce a drawing I was extremely happy with. After drawing Charlotte in the first part of the session, I decided she had a resigned expression in my drawing. Resigned to what? Death, perhaps (it is Jake’s class after all). The result is below: Nuclear explosion!

I was particularly proud of the view out of the window; it turns out that it is pretty hard to draw a cityscape from imagination, so I am pretty proud of what turned out to be not half bad. The draws and picture frame on the left I felt were needed to balance what would have otherwise been a large black area – and that would unbalance the picture. The white-outline objects help balance without distracting the eye from the focus of the composition.

I was so pleased with the surprise result, that I took a little liberty and added a signature – I’m proud of this picture (and pretty chuffed to boot!). It’s interesting to observe how a dark, or bad mood, can appear to be refocused into actual productive working – perhaps I should try to apply this more often…

Themed: Harlequin

Three-minute Poses

On thursdays, there is usually a theme to the drawing session. Today’s theme was “Harlequin”, with Luska modelling – she had her face painted white with a red eye mask, and was wearing the ruffled shoulder ‘cape’.

The three minute poses were a good start to the session, especially with the violin – I certainly think that musical instruments should be used as props more often, as it adds a certain dynamism to the poses. I have been trying to put a ‘story’, or at least some flow, into the set of short poses lately and think I did reasonably well here – I had wanted one pose facing to the left to mirror off the end of the picture, but didn’t get one – this allowed me to practice my reverse drawing some more, to get this, and it seemed to work well.

The fifteen minute poses (here and here) didn’t go so well – I tried to emulate the style from the monday session that went so well, but apart from an okay-ish first drawing, pretty much failed at doing them well (the silhouette attempt felt like a spectacular failure).

Starting the longer pose, I wasn’t feeling optimistic given the medium pose results, but then noticed the patter of the hoops against the red background. Remembering the through-glass pattern of one of the Art Nouveau examples on monday I started out wanting to draw them as patterns, but turned them into what I envisioned as a stained-glass window, in an alcove, like in a church. I was pretty happy with the results, and especially the selective colouring of the mask and flowers – I think there is enough goings on that one could imagine a story behind it…

Art Nouveau Drawings

Last Monday we had an experimental session with the theme Art Nouveau. This was the first time I had experienced this theme during life drawing, however I was vaguely familiar with some of the more famous images.

It started with the usual three minute poses, three fifteen minute poses and then finally two twenty-five minute poses. Unusually, the poses up to the two twenty-five minutes were clothed. This made a nice change for me as it was possible to see if I had learned anything about drawing clothing from the background fabric I like to fill in!

Third fifteen minute pose.

As normal, I completed my drawings in pencil, although we were encouraged to use pen and ink, I found that I was not confident enough to jump right in – especially without the ability to rub out! I can’t help feeling that this is my OCD neatness coming to the fore!! Although seeing how strong the images can look when outlined in pen, I decided to outline the pencil when I got home and could take a little more time on it. Also, remembering the lovely red flowers in Frankie’s hair, I decided to accent the flowers, belt and the roses positioned in some of the poses, in red. I had forgotten how nice felt-tips are! I have to admit, I am really quite pleased with the outcome of all the images as they seem bright and striking to me.

For my final twenty-five minute pose I decided to work on my colouring success and looked up patterns for a border in Frankie’s kindly lent Art Nouveau book, and google. I think that surrounding the figure in black has worked quite well – it is something I have seen Nick do a few times in the last few weeks and I have been struck each time by the way it seems to push the figure out at the viewer. Hence, I finally decided to try it out for myself. In the end, I think that the border has a slightly Indian art vibe by accident due to the sculpted patterned edging. Regardless of the deviation from the theme, I am pleased with how the pattern encompasses the figure.

Experimental: Art Nouveau

Monday night is experimental methods night – they started last week with monoprinting, and the idea is to try a new material or technique each week. This week, however, was more of a themed session – Art Nouveau. We had this theme last week on thursday, and I am greatly enjoying it along with the fantastic reference books provided by Frankie. To make things slightly different, the first few poses were lightly costumed, and I definitely enjoyed drawing the contrast between the looseness of the fabric and the smooth curves of the body.

Although the evening was more of a theme, Jake encouraged everyone to use pen or ink to draw their pictures, where recently I have been the only one drawing consistently with ink – it was nice to see the ink and brushes being put out centrally, even though not many people used them. I used the bright red ink to add to my usual plain black, inspired by some of the pictures in the Art Nouveau book.

Three minute poses

Given the experimental nature of the evening, I decided to try things differently, and try to draw with a little more of a deliberate style. It started with the three minutes, where I tried to at least start out with a different style, even if I slipped into a more regular way of drawing. One of the recurring things in the Art Nouveau books we have is the recurrence of patterns, and after the second pose I decided to join the hoop Frankie was posing with into a chain that tied each pose together – something else that I have been trying to do lately.

Second Medium Pose

We then had a set of three fifteen minute poses. I tried to use the extra time to try to draw in the style of the session, but was having difficulty in restraining myself from adding detail in the body sections (a lot of the art nouveau pictures seemed to have very sparse body detail, but lots of detail in the surroundings). So, for the second medium pose I decided to draw Frankie as a silhouette, with only detail in the fabric she was wearing. This forced me to avoid drawing any body detail, though I had to be careful with the shapes of the edges. I’m pretty happy with the result, and will definitely try to emulate this style again in the future, though it’s not something I would want to do as a prevailing technique.

We then broke with tradition and had two 25 minute semi-long poses, instead one long 50 minute pose. The first I left black-and-white and spent some time working on the patterns – I think the picture works, and like the pose and expression, even though the face doesn’t much look like Frankie. The second semi-long pose, I decided to try a little more impact – I tried to visualise a spotlight on Frankie lying in a pool of blood, and although the end picture doesn’t exactly evoke that, I still like the end result.

Gallery Operational!

I’ve finally got satisfied with the format of the gallery software to push it out to the general internet. The link is on the bar above, and can be found here. It’s finally nice to be able to have a proper place to put my pictures.

It is only my drawings at the moment, but we are working on uploading Charlotte’s drawings at some point soon.


Firstly, I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new Blog – Drawn Together!

This is the first time I have started a blog as the idea has never appealed to me before now. However, I was persuaded by Nick – it does seem a particularly good way to compile and share our pictures and my other craft projects! I hope that it may also prove interesting to someone else.

Arts and crafts has always been something I have enjoyed. Some of my earliest memories are of drawing and I have always loved to glue stuff! However, in my late teens I rather lost touch with drawing etc. as there were too many other pressures. It is great to now have that bit of extra spare time to donate to a hobby I love and can improve at. I have also found it wonderful to be able to share this hobby with Nick and be able to do it together.

As Nick has already said most of the images added will be in conjunction with a life drawing sessions we regularly attend and enjoy as a means to improving our drawing. These sessions have recently started running experimental workshops which give you an opportunity to try different techniques – I hope I will find other art mediums that appeal to me! I also like to make other craft projects such as papier-mâché, acrylic painting, wax sculpture* and jewellery* – beads and ribbon (* only just started!). Next weekend we are attending a oil painting session so we will be able to discuss how it went. I recently saw some fantastic images of silk painting which I would love to try, I will write about that in the near future when I have got the materials! Basically, you can see we have a lot of ideas and plans for future art projects! I hope that putting it out on the internet will maybe encourage others to try something new or just find our triumphs or failures entertaining!


Hello, and welcome to Drawn Together. This blog is going to be a vehicle for writings and musings on the Art, craft and drawing that Charlotte and I do. Much of what we post will be life-drawing related, but really any kind of craft projects are encompassed by the idea of the blog.

The idea of the blog. It isn’t the kind of thing that normally suits me, as I’m not usually into self-promotion on the internet, which it usually feels like – I don’t feel that I usually have anything unique to contribute. But everybody’s art is unique, and therefore of interest, and I wanted a place on the internet to post my drawings, other than uploading the occasional individual pictures to generic web space. On the other hand, I didn’t want a dumping gallery, and the blog format affords chances to talk about or focus on specific things, or talk about techniques. As Charlotte is doing the drawing with me, and has several additional interests, a co-blog project seemed a very good, and cute idea.

I’ll probably talk about the genesis of this new hobby in a future post, but I find it amazingly relaxing, and feel that everybody should at least try it, without worrying that their drawings aren’t “good enough” or that they can’t draw; everybody can draw, it just usually takes practice to get to the stage where you are routinely happy with the things that you draw. If posting even the pictures I consider terrible on the internet encourages at least one person to try it out, then I will be happy.

The blog is basic for the moment, as it is starting, but I have plans (tested) for a gallery, and a specific layout format that places our posts together. This will all come in time!