Recent life drawings

Life drawing classes have stopped for the Christmas break, so it seems a good time to post some of my recent work from them.  The first three pictures are the ones with which I felt happiest – I think they have a feeling of solidity, despite their imperfections, and that’s one of the things I’ve really tried to work on.  However, as is apparent here, and in following photos, hands and feet are still the bane of my life drawing!

Alice, charcoal, 30 minutes

charcoal, 30 minutes

Andy, charcoal, 30 minutes

charcoal, 30 minutes

charcoal, ten minutes

charcoal, 10 minutes

In recent classes, there’s been more of a focus on trying out different types of poses and techniques, and more freedom to use whichever mediums we think might work best for each of these.  I know I have a tendency to revert to charcoal more frequently than I should, so I’m resolving to use other materials more in the new term.  Especially ink.  So often, it can seem a scary medium for life drawing – so final.  However, whenever I do brave it, I always wonder why I don’t use it more!  In the meantime, here are a couple more charcoal drawings.

charcoal, twenty minutes

charcoal, 20 minutes

charcoal, 30 minutes

charcoal, 30 minutes

In general, I’d say my eye for proportion is improving.  It does still fail me at times, though.  So far, I’ve tended not to pursue a strict ‘measuring up’ regime, preferring to work more by relating one part of the body to another.  I start by roughly gauging the mid-point and marking that on the paper.

One of the things we were asked to work on, recently, was drawing without using line – thus, emphasising tone.  As someone who relishes line, this was a real challenge.  Below are a few of the drawings from those sessions.

light tones only, 25 minutes

white compressed charcoal, light tones only, 25 minutes

light tones only, 10 minutes

white compressed charcoal, light tones only, 10 minutes

dark tones only, 30 minutes

charcoal, dark tones only, 30 minutes

In the last one (above), we were supposed to indicate only the darkest tones.  However, where I was standing, there were relatively few.  And I did sneak a few lines in…  I also got rather carried away with curves in this one, and ended up with a curious and almost abstracted figure.

charcoal, 30 minutes

charcoal, 30 minutes

I like the above drawing.  Again, it feels like a solid figure.  My main grievance with it is that his right arm appears to be floating slightly above his leg.

The next three drawings were all fairly quick sketches.  In the first, I used two 6B pencils taped together.  I thought this might be interesting, as I can so easily get caught up in trying to be too precise.  (Yes, I know that probably doesn’t show.)  I’m trying hard not to erase so many lines, and working with two pencils at once is a good way of acclimatising to this.

two 6B pencils taped together, 10 minutes

two 6B pencils taped together, 3 minutes

white and grey compressed charcoal, 10 minutes

white and grey compressed charcoal, 10 minutes

The drawing above was another exercise in making myself live with aspects I didn’t like. I struggled to get the left arm right, and consequently was left with a clouded effect which felt messy.  Rather than redo it, though, I decided to leave it.  One thing I did like was the combination of solid tone and pure line.  That’s something I will definitely try again.

colour pencils, 20 minutes

colour pencils, 20 minutes

I hadn’t tried using colour pencils for life drawing before, as they always seemed better suited to more detailed work.  However, I like the effect here – a sterling exercise in foreshortening, too.

pastels, 30 minutes

pastels, 30 minutes

This was another attempt at including more colour.  As much as I love pastels, I struggle to use them well.  Blending is a particular problem.  Much more practise required.  That said, although I knew this drawing would be hugely flawed, I decided to just enjoy it… a lesson in itself.

Advertisements