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…

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.